Now, some of those rejections aren’t entirely worth getting your feelings hurt over. For instance, if you get rejected from a college it means that maybe your grades or extracurriculars weren’t up to par.
Then you just go make your own college.
If you get rejected from a job offer, it could just be that your skills and experience aren’t quite what the company is looking for (or maybe because you showed up to the interview reeking of booze and wearing sandals with socks). But when potential friends or, more likely, romantic interests reject you, that’s basically being rejected for who you are as a person. That’s somebody saying “You are not the type of human being that I want to regularly associate with.” Now, I’m not a psychologist (I have watched Analyze This and I believe that counts), but I think if that doesn’t bother you, then you may have a personality disorder (and I think I know a thing or two about having a personality disorder).
The real trick is learning how to deal with this. Obviously, ignoring it is one option; self-confidence is important. Of course, if a lot of people are rejecting you as a human being and you’re still confident in yourself then you’re probably a huge douche (so stop reading my blog, asshole. I don’t want you either). If you take every single rejection to heart and try to change yourself constantly to be accepted, then you’re some kind of weird amorphous blob of no personality who lacks the conviction to be your own person.
Clearly, the answer I’m leading up to is some bastard combination of the two (moderation is important, which is why I’ve never overindulged on anything).
Some people I know question how I can be such a walking pile of anxiety and personality quirks, yet still have little problem striking up conversations with new people. How do I appear so calm? The trick is that I just automatically assume that I stand no chance whatsoever. See, if I approach a woman and I’m worried about what she thinks of me, I’m going to be nervous about making a bad first impression. If I’m talking to new people who I’d like to add to my circle of friends and I’m worried that they’ll think I’m lame, I’ll be too overanxious and come off badly. So, I just approach every situation with the firm knowledge that this person will not like me and that I will never see them again. No pressure. Absolutely none. I stop worrying about being nervous and saying something stupid (I usually do). I don’t worry if they think my jokes are lame (they usually are). I am not concerned about whether they think I’m a bad dancer (nobody thinks this, I’m a great dancer). And this is all because I know already that they won’t like me.
“But Ryan, that seems like an awfully negative way of looking at things!” First off, this is my blog and I don’t need you questioning me. Secondly, the positive side to this is that people don’t always dislike me, which means that I end up pleasantly surprised sometimes when I find out that I am accepted. So, there. I win. Other than that, your two options are basically to take the rejections hard and cry yourself to sleep at night (I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s hard to sleep on a soggy pillow), or telling everyone else “Fuck you, I like me.”
I think it’s also worth noting that this entire post grew from a joke about rejection that I wrote last week: “Sometimes I send out resumes for jobs that I am completely unqualified for, like CEO of Kraft Foods, because I think it’s important to always be familiar with the feeling of rejection.” Originally, I wanted to write this joke about being rejected by women but that would have been a lay-up and I wanted to go for the 3-pointer (I hope that makes sense, I don’t watch basketball). Also, while I'm totally okay with self-deprecating humor, making a joke about regularly asking out models or actresses is a little more creepy and pathetic than I'm comfortable with (I do have some standards).