As someone who has spent a good amount of time writing and thinking about rejection over the last year, I listened with interest to the rejection episode of You Are Not So Smart. I found it fascinating that we experience rejection as a physical pain – so much so that the pain can be reduced with Tylenol.
The show featured a guest who set out to inure himself to rejection by getting rejected on purpose 100 times. The stories are funny and entertaining and they’ve helped this guy significantly. (For one thing, he got a book deal out of it!) He did things like ask for a ride from a stranger or order donuts in the shape of Olympic Rings. But what struck me most about his rejections were that they didn’t require a great deal of investment beforehand. He just figures out what he’s going to try, goes in, tries it, either gets rejected or he doesn’t.
In other words, his sorts of rejections are much different than mine. Mine are less painful in the moment, I think. (I don’t think Tylenol would help, for example.) But they are more painful in the upfront costs. I spend a lot more time and effort preparing applications, grants and such. I don’t avoid filling these things out because I am afraid of rejection, I avoid filling them out because they take so much time and effort and the odds are such that this effort is 90% likely to be wasted effort.
If I were mathematically inclined, I’d make some kind of proof demonstrating the difference in STYLES of rejection, where X = time invested in asking and Y = the pain in getting rejected, with the answer being some mystery number representing the willingness to risk rejection again.
And as ever, in my case, an additional integer in this proof would be the addition of the brilliant support of my Patreon patrons, who boost that willingness to put the effort in, to fail, and then fail again, as is ever the way.
You can be my own personal Tylenol by becoming a patron on Patreon.
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