If there’s one word in the English language that people fear the most, it’s the word “no”. How many times have you avoided asking someone out on a date for fear of that word? How many times have you avoided asking your manager for raise for fear of that word? How many times have you avoided taking a chance on putting yourself in front of people for fear of that word?
Rejection is hard for us. It reminds us of our failings. It reminds us that the person we see ourselves is not the person others see us as. It hurts us, and we tend to avoid that hurt us.
The only way to deal with rejection is to get rejected. Some people have devised a method where you ask a stranger every day a question to hear the word “no”. In doing that, you not only work on your fear of rejection, but you also get a chance to work on the fear of speaking with a stranger.
That’s not enough, as the opportunities for rejection happen anywhere. A random stranger, at work, at home. What’s important is that in all cases to remind yourself not to respond immediately. Take a deep breath, remind yourself this isn’t personal. Look at your request from that person’s point of view. If you don’t understand the person rejected you ask that person. It may seem painful, but no harm will come to you. In fact, you’ll feel a lot better, since you may have discovered an area that you need to improve on. Or you’ve discovered it’s not worth your time trying to seek this person’s approval. You’ll have peace of mind. You’ve also avoided the blaming the other person for how you feel. That’s a significant step for peace of mind and detachment (more on that in a later post).
In the end, confronting rejection face to face leads to a better situation.