Rejection Therapy Saved My Soul

Back in 2011, I participated in the 30 day Rejection Therapy challenge. In the past couple of months, it has gotten publicity.

I wanted to write about it one final time because its incredible concept changed my life for good.

Before, I used to be like many frustrated people unsure of how to meet people. Should I go to house parties? Should I join a hobby group? Meeting people confused me.

I hope my story will help you find a way to care less about what others think of you and allows you to request things that you’d want from others whether that is a date from a beautiful person or a job offer from a networking acquaintance.

——

Around mid 2010, a defining moment absolutely shocked my world. For the rest of my life, I felt as if I had to live with regret.

My mood was in a regretful heap of lost hope.

Then I was introduced by to Rejection Therapy. For 30 days you’re forced to get rejected once a day. It is a form of exposure therapy by systematic desensitization to rejection.

The concept seemed simple enough. I promised myself that I would lift myself up by creating this blog and blogging about my daily rejections. It took me a couple of days to gain the courage to partake in any sort of social challenge but it finally clicked.

On the first day, I asked the post office at my university for a free stamp. The cashier replied with saying that I could use my credit card to pay for it. At this time I laughed because I didn’t have it on me. It was literally the one day I didn’t bring it. I said if I could have it for free. He shrugged and there it was. I got my first rejection.

I continued with these simple rejections for six days. They really humbled me and realized I could ask for whatever I chose to ask for.

The first major rejection that really changed my life

On the seventh day I was sitting on the bus going back to my apartment. A beautiful redhead walked into the bus and had to sit next to me because the bus was crowded. My vitals were going absolutely off the charts.

Nobody in the bus really noticed except me so I thought to myself that I might as well talk to her. I took out my notebook and wrote on a piece of paper, “cute girl next to me, would you want to get coffee? Write your # if yes, give the paper back if no.”

I mustered up all my courage and handed it to her. She looked at it, blushed profusely and handed it back to me because she had a boyfriend. In hindsight, I could tell she wasn’t interested but nothing really bad happened. She smiled and we ended up conversing on the bus for a good five minutes before my stop arrived.

The expression itself held all the joy

My soul was elated with joy. Finally, I expressed myself to somebody else and nothing really bad happened. I got rejected and it didn’t matter. I expressed myself. The joy was in expressing myself. It was one of the most gratifying moments of my life.

Once I realized that joy came from expression itself versus any external outcome, I focused more on expressing myself. If I expressed what I wanted to, that was what I could control. I cannot control other’s reactions because there are too many outside variables but I can control my expression.

Other challenges had me asking for gum, chatting with people in my classes, asking people to study with me, and asking for discounts from coffee shops. Some of them seemed very simple like asking an old lady for a pen to use for studying when I forgot to bring one.

Others were more difficult. For example, when a girl with a blank canvas was swiftly walking to her class, I respectfully asked her, “What’s going on with the blank canvas?”

She smiled, lit up, and talked to me about her art project for a minute. I told her it would be awesome to continue this later on but she said she had a boyfriend.

I would get better with conversation later on with my later experiments but for now, I was understanding that rejection wasn’t such a big deal.

Allowing myself to feel uncomfortable

If I felt my ego hurt from some particular outcome, I allowed myself to feel all the icky, awkward emotions in my brain. I would then find solace by thinking on how to improve which also helped my mood. By allowing myself to feel uncomfortable, I came to learn that opportunities were always around me. I only had to grow the courage to take those opportunities.

Once Rejection Therapy showed me that it was possible to talk to all sorts of people in most situations, I continued the blog to meet interesting people and learn how to take more risks socially.

My blog wants to reach out and do good outside the comfort zone. Some of that has to do with adding choice in my personal dating world but another aspect of it is to add good feelings and gestures out into the world.

I wouldn’t be where I am without Rejection Therapy, so it truly saved my soul.

[Disclosure: I made this post by my own free will and nothing monetary wise was given to me for this post. You can find more information here]

4 comments
mattj7theriot
mattj7theriot like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'm trying out rejection therapy myself, and I have to tell you about a (slightly) similar rejection that made me want to try things like this.  I was in a relationship and met this amazing girl.  Trying to be loyal, I stayed with my then girlfriend, and broke off contact with her.  Fast-forward a year and I break up with my girlfriend, knowing I won't be happy with her, and then ask out said previous girl.  So much had changed and she had met someone else, though she confessed her past feelings for me.  Although this wasn't a spiteful rejection, I took it hard and its been a challenge moving on.  I've been kind of doing my own sort of rejection therapy lately, asking out a waitress and yesterday putting my number and a note on a napkin and giving it to a cute girl at a restaurant.  Anyway, great stuff I'm going to follow your blog.

michelledavella
michelledavella

I think the profound realization isn't that you were able to express yourself, but that when you were rejected NOTHING HAPPENED. The reason we hold back from expression is because of fear- fear we're not worthy, fear of a million possible outcomes. And the beautiful truth is that when we're rejected nothing changes. We're still who we are. The fear is meaningless.

approachmachine
approachmachine moderator

 @michelledavella Hey Michelle, I lacked expression and had a tougher time expressing myself before I participated in Rejection Therapy so it was a profound realization to me. Of course, I agree with your point too. Nothing really happens except our interpretation as to what happened. The net downside to this is pretty much nothing so it's worth it to try it out. The rest is just your ego jumbling around old survival mechanisms. Keep fighting that excess ego!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] then I came across Matt’s Rejection Therapy Saved My Soul article, the Rejection Therapy Project, and the science behind [...]