Building your rejection muscle

One of the reasons people are hesitant to date is because of the potential for rejection. I would say you not only have the potential to be rejected — it is a certainty.

Let’s look at this word “rejection.” The dictionary says, “dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste.” No one likes to feel dismissed, inadequate or inappropriate.

But what about “not to one’s taste”? When someone says, “We’re not a match” he is simply saying that you don’t match what he’s looking for. Is that bad? I don’t think so. It saves you time and energy investing in someone who isn’t a match for you, either.

I’m told that women have a harder time with rejection than men. My male friends tell me that while rejection is not fun for them, they have some muscle in this area that many women don’t. As boys, men are socialized to ask girls to dance, request a date, go for a kiss. All of which risk rejection. More advances are rejected than accepted.

woman flexing muscleHowever, girls typically are not encouraged — at least not as much — to take these risks. I know this has changed dramatically over the last 40 years, but I’d say midlife women generally don’t have as strong a muscle in the rejection department.

Because our muscle isn’t as strong, most of us take rejection more personally than men. We allow it to affect our mood. We either begin to feel unworthy or man bash. Neither helps us on our path to find the love we want.

So what to do?

To build your rejection muscle put yourself in situations where you purposefully get rejected. I know you think this sounds crazy. But the more comfortable you get with rejection, the less it will affect you.

I once took a seminar from Landmark Education where we were assigned to get 10 noes during our lunch break. We were told to ask people outrageous things, like “Would you buy me lunch?,” “Would you buy me a new Porsche?,” “Would you pay my mortgage?,” “Would you give me a back massage?,” “Would you shine my shoes?” We learned that we would survive rejection. We were not being rejected, but our request was being rejected. (We also learned people said yes to things we thought were unreasonable.)

So email attractive men you think wouldn’t be interested in you. Ask cute men you meet in the hardware store, Starbucks, or the grocery store if they would have coffee with you. If/when they reject you, think, “Thanks for helping me build my rejection muscle.” And a few might say “yes.”

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Explore posts in the same categories: Dating after 40, Getting your dating attitude on

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