Conquering Your Fear of Rejection
We get it. Rejection can be scary. You smile, you make your move and despite your very best ice breaker, you get the cold shoulder instead of a phone number.
Don't worry. It happens to the best of us. The trick is to cut your losses and move on. Unfortunately this is easier said than done so read on to learn how to conquer your fear of rejection.
Don't Take it PersonallyMaybe the woman in question really is just out with her friends to have a good time. Maybe her feet really do hurt. I tend to wear very uncomfortable high heels when I go out dancing and as a result, I spend half the evening sitting on the sidelines nursing my sore toes. When a man asks me to dance and I say no, I'm not necessarily rejecting him. I'm rejecting the idea of subjecting my poor feet to another dance.
There's also a good chance that the person you're attempting to chat up doesn't want a relationship (or even a friendly conversation) right now. Maybe he or she is just getting over a break up and isn't ready to take on any new complications. It's impossible to glean this sort of information just from looking at a person so you'll never know if you don't ask. But be prepared for the answer to be "no" and if it is, you need to respect that.
It's Not You, It's Them. Really.Some women don't like short men. Some men don't like women with curly hair. That's their problem, not yours, so don't waste your time trying to convince someone to change their mind (or trying to change yourself).
We all have preferences and whether we admit it or not, these preferences can be quite shallow at times. I, for one, am totally guilty of ignoring men who aren't taller than me (and at 5' 7" before heels, that's a pretty significant portion of the population). I've tried dating shorter men but I just don't feel sexy when I'm towering over my date so I've given up trying. It's not something I'm proud of and I'm sure I've missed out on getting to know some really great guys as a result, but this is my hang up and it's not going to change unless I want it to change. Don't waste your time trying to convince someone to go out with you if it's clear they're not interested. Instead, move on and keep looking until you find someone who appreciates you exactly as you are.
Learn From Your MistakesIf you find yourself constantly aiming for (and getting rejected by) super model lookalikes, you may need to rethink your game plan. Be honest with yourself. Unless you're equally good looking (or filthy rich) there's a good chance the super models are going to continue ignoring you. Aim for a new, slightly more realistic target instead.
It's also helpful to ask a trusted friend for their advice. Unless you're starring in your very own romantic comedy, do not slip a microphone down your shirt for play-by-play coaching, but your friend may have noticed something that you didn't. Maybe you came on too strong. Or maybe you thought you were flirting but in reality you took the idea of "less is more" a bit too far.
Cut Your LossesDon't whine. Don't beg. If you've given it your best shot and the object of your affection has failed to realize what a brilliant catch you really are, say goodbye and make a dignified exit. Even if you're angry - even if you're humiliated - you need to hold your head high, at least until you're back in the comfort of your own home. Then, by all means: bring on the ice cream, the name calling, even the tears if need be, but do it in private.
I once met a rather handsome Danish man at a nightclub in Copenhagen. He asked me to dance and after a few songs, invited me home with him. I declined - one night stands have never been my thing - and instead of wasting his time trying to convince me, he simply shook my hand, thanked me for dancing with him and said "Well, it was nice meeting you but I have a very great yearning tonight so I am going to find someone else."
I was completely flummoxed by his parting words (really? A great yearning?) but a few minutes later, I found someone else to dance with and he found a new woman to take back to his apartment for the night. In the end, it was a win-win situation and we both got what we wanted.
Pick and ChooseThe easiest way to get over rejection, of course, is to avoid getting rejected in the first place. Before you decide to make your move, take a moment to calculate the potential risk. If you're in a professional setting or out with friends who are already prone to giving you a hard time, it may be best to sit this round out and wait for a more opportune time.
Do some basic math too: are there three women already talking to the hunk you spied across the room? My boyfriend and I recently spent an entire morning observing six teenage boys who were vying for the attentions of a single girl. Granted, they were teenagers - they're still learning the rules - but as an adult, you should know a thing or two about math. Six boys plus one girl equals five rather disappointed young men. Don't let yourself be one of them.
Don't forget: rejection is better than uncertainty (or spending months pining away for someone who doesn't even know you exist). And the only shot you're guaranteed not to make is the one you don't take. So take a shot. It's not going to kill you, and once you've recovered from the initial sting, you'll be that much stronger for the next time.
- Give yourself an incentive. Are you coveting a new pair of shoes or the latest iPhone? Commit to trying out five new ice breakers and once you've reached your goal, treat yourself, regardless of the results.
- Refine your focus. If you (or your friends) notice that you're always aiming for and getting rejected by the same type of person, try something - or rather someone - new.
- Make yourself a playlist. Load up on your favorite power ballads (or chocolate and wine) to see you through the tough times.