Rejection is a funny thing.
In prehistoric times, if you were rejected from your crew it meant that you were stranded alone and a sabre tooth lion was more likely to kidnap you and force you to clean his cave for months on end without TV breaks or CrossFit classes.
If someone rejects you now, what happens?
Technically nothing physically happens for the most part, you’ll survive, but you may feel like crapola and wonder if you will be banished to living alone in a mansion with 40 cats (just me?)
In fact, recent studies showed that the feeling of rejection lit up the same areas of the brain that lit up during physical pain such as a tooth ache. This means rejection hurts bad. Real bad.
What Dogs Can Teach You About Rejection
If you want to learn how to deal with rejection better whether it’s in the workplace, school, dating or in general life, take a lesson from my good friend Maxipoo the dog.
Every single time we are in the elevator and someone else is in it, he will look at the person in the eyes lovingly and wag his tail profusely as if this is the only person in the entire world that he has this reaction to.
- He is NEVER scared that he will be rejected.
- He NEVER thinks about what the person’s reaction will be.
Nearly 99% of the time people respond favourably. But 1% of the time, people won’t notice Max or will ignore him and therefore “reject” him. Does Max care about the 1% whatsoever? Nope. He just continues his journey out of the elevator to fulfil his dreams of peeing on all the trees in Vancouver.
If Max stopped putting on this show because of the 1% that ignored him, he would miss the favourable reaction of the other 99% of corporate adults who turn into giggling, little children because a cute, fluffy dog wagged his tail at them in an elevator.
Are You Focusing On The 1%?
According to casual polls by Brendon Burchard, it is very likely, if you are an average person:
- The number of people you perceive have rejected you in your lifetime which caused you high levels of emotional pain is an average of 5-7 people.
- The number of people you perceive have been nice to you or “accepted” you, is over a thousand.
Rejection Is A Game Of Math
The fear of rejection, or being rejected can be really painful. It may make you feel unworthy, or wonder what you did wrong to get rejected.
But at the end of the day, it’s a matter of odds.
The point is, there will likely always be one person out of a large number who rejects you or who you perceive rejects you, and that’s ok. (Everyones perception of rejection is different depending on our self-esteem levels and sensitivity). People are allowed to do that. Learn to expect that.
But don’t let that 1% stop you meeting the other 99% of people who are waiting to interact with you.
Be the metaphorical smiling dog in the elevator who focuses on the lives you are making better by not letting the fear of rejection stop you.