Earlier in my career, while I was in sales, my favorite word to hear was “yes” and my second favorite was “no”. Sounds strange, who wants to be turned down or rejected? Remember, I am a simple guy who prefers a direct “yes” or a “no” response. I hated hearing “maybe”, which was a very non-committal response. Do I have a shot or don’t I?
A couple of weeks ago, Abbey and Abbie wrote about the benefits of declining invitations that you are not excited about. It got me thinking, what about the recipient getting that “No!”? Saying no is hard and it can come with guilt, but hearing no is difficult as well, it feels like a rejection. We take it personally.
I don’t know anyone that enjoys being rejected. Rejection is scary, and maybe that fear is why we don’t act or ask for something we want. Rejections come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, walking down the street and saying hello to strangers, or giving them a head nod in acknowledgement and getting no response is rejection. The photo you posted on social media that did not get many likes can also be viewed as a form of rejection. Or even worse, the person you were trying to impress did not engage with your post- another form of rejection! Maybe the worst rejection of all is if you don’t like my FFfT (but that can’t possibly be true, can it? 😉)? See the rabbit hole that rejection can take us down?
We all say no, yet many times when we hear “no” we take it personally because we don’t like to be rejected. It is rarely personal, and I believe that much of our fear about rejection comes from the stories that we tell ourselves which we mentally believe to be true. I am still working on my fear of rejection, but what I am learning is that if I don’t ask, I don’t get. While I don’t always get what I am asking for, many times I am very surprised by what I do get, and if I don’t ask I certainly will never get. When I don’t get what I want, I often will ask why and in many cases the answer surprises me; what I learn is that the rejection is never about me.
This weekend, take your shot: ask for something no matter how small; you may just get it and if you don’t, ask for something else.
“We are always afraid to ask because we aren’t afraid of the answer, but the feeling of rejection.”-Anna R.
Have a great weekend.