get rejected

I recently read an article on Design Sponge by Amy Azzarito that gave me a bit of shift of perspective.  The article is about asking for what you want and not being afraid of being told no.  So many of us don't do things or don't ask for things simply because we're afraid of being rejected.  If you think about it, if someone says no to a request you're no worse off, you're still right where you started before you asked but now you know the answer.  If you hadn't asked, the answer could've been yes, but you never would've known.  We tend to feel like being told no is a reflection of us, that we weren't worthy or that we're lacking in someway.  That's not always the case, though, more often being told "no" just means that the person we asked is lacking.  They don't have time to do what you're asking, they don't have the resources to complete your request, etc.  But we're all standing around getting nowhere by not asking for what we want.  If a guy wants to go out with a girl but is so afraid of being rejected that he never asks her out, they he really doesn't have a chance with her.  By being afraid of the No's we're sacrificing all of the potential Yeses.

The article mentioned Rejection Therapy and my interest was piqued so I looked into it.  Basically it's a "game."  For 30 days you have to be rejected, you have to make a request and the response has to be no.  If you make a request and the answer is yes, you have to keep trying that day until you get a "no" response.  It feels a little brutal, but essentially it's a psychotherapeutic technique called flooding, so you expose yourself to the thing you fear over and over and eventually the fear minimizes and you're no longer afraid, in this case, of rejection.  


top/courtesy of wolf mama vintage :: sheer top/courtesy of ruche 
necklace/courtesy of adorn by sarah lewis :: bracelet(similar)/vintage
 jeans + heels/courtesy of modcloth :: 
photos by Dan

I think especially as women, we don't ask for enough.  We aren't bold enough.  We're afraid of being unladylike, or bossy, or bitchy if we ask for what we want.  I was particularly struck by a story Amy's shared in the article:
When I heard about the concept, I was immediately transported back to my first job in New York. I was working for a company that sold book binding supplies and was hired on the same day for the same job as another girl. She and I, both new to the city, became good friends and one day she let her salary amount slip. She was making about $100 more per week than I was. At the time, this was a huge difference. I was just barely scraping by on the amount I was making. I was so shocked that I asked how she got more money. She told me that when she was offered the job, she just told them that she needed more. I felt like the wind was knocked out of me. I couldn’t believe it was so simple. She just asked.
She just asked.  She wasn't better, she wasn't more experienced, just just asked.  The answer could've been no, but it was yes, and the result was more money.  If we all go around willing other people to give us what we want, we probably aren't going to have much success.  I'm pretty doubtful of my telepathy skills, so willing other people to give me what I want probably isn't going to give me great results, but I kind of live that way!  Maybe if I'm just nice and courteous and shy and demure people will give me what I want.  What?  It makes no sense.  We can be courteous and also ask for what we want.  And being said "no" to isn't then end of the world,  it actually might be the beginning.  The more no's you get, the more yeses you're going to get.  If you get one yes for every three no's, you're just going to have to wade through the no's to get to the yeses, but you have to take the no's to get the yes.

This quote from Barbara Kingsolver has been my new approach to life: “This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘not at this address.’ Just keep looking for the right address.”  She's talking about a book manuscript, but you can fill in anything.  Consider that you're making a request to "the person who will say 'yes'" and if they say 'no,' you've just asked the wrong person, so keep on asking until you find your yes person.

So, go out and get rejected today.  Ask for so much that someone tells you, 'no.'  Feel the rejection. Accept it as what it truly is, not all the baggage you bring to it.  Move forward knowing that at least you asked!  And maybe the next time you'll get a yes, but you'll only know if you ask.

And if you need a little fire in your belly to go for it, watch this and feel the power.