A Beginner's Guide to Rejection Therapy

Mental Health | Toni | 10 Minute Read
Why getting rejected is great for you.

A Beginner's Guide to Rejection Therapy

Mental Health | Toni | 10 Minute Read
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I just got back from a spontaneous weekend getaway to Morocco. For a weekend? I guess I was just in a silly goofy mood tehe. To tell you the truth, it was a very, very drunk decision but at least this time it was one I didn’t regret.

My best friend and travel companion is a gluten-free (of the celiac variety, she’s not making it up) vegetarian. This obviously makes for totally stress-free foreign dining experiences! Especially in Morocco where couscous is practically its own food group.

Unfortunately for the pair of us, not only does my bestie have some pretty intense dietary restrictions, but she also gets hangrier than any other human I’ve ever encountered. Think: 5”2 anaemic she-hulk. This is when I, like the good wife that I am, step up and forage.

I’m in the airport on our last night, waiting for our plane to FINALLY  take off (it was delayed 3 hours, a sleazy jet slay 💅) and I’m going up to all the vendors to see if they have anything “GLUTEN FREE” and I shit you not, the first guy I ask just looks so confused but then mysteriously hands me a sandwich over the counter and is like “shhh our secret, yes?”

I was hella confused because, not only is this sandwich glutinous as hell, but it’s also full of meat; certainly not gluten-free-veggie-friendly. And then it hits me: he thought I was asking for something “for FREE”, not “GLUTEN FREE”. And it worked? Like I just committed nightlight robbery in Marrakech, completely by accident.

Sadly, in the end nobody had anything edible for her. But, what’s more important (for the sake of this article, not my starved travel companion) is that I accidentally tried out rejection therapy, and it lowkey paid off. So, I’m f*cked around and found out and now I’m here to convince you that you should do the same.

Q: What the actual f*ck is rejection therapy?

A: No, it’s not going to therapy because the hot Aussie in the club wouldn’t give you his number. It’s worse. It’s basically a social self-help game (founded by this dude called Jason Comely, who must have been rejected so hard this was the only way to cope) where getting rejected by other people is the only way to win. Basically, you have to get rejected by another person, at least once, every day.

Q: That literally sounds like my idea of hell, why would I try it?

A: Yeah, I’m gonna level with you here. When I first heard of rejection therapy I was like: “who in their right mind would ever come up with, let alone convince other people to try this shit”... and then I accidentally started doing it, and here I am trying to convince you. Maybe I’m loopy, or maybe rejection therapy is onto something.

Think about this way: have you ever stopped yourself from doing something, trying something or asking for something due to a fear that you might be rejected? Maybe you’ve been putting off asking for a raise at work, even though you’re stupidly over-qualified. Or, maybe you turned down that hinge date because you thought that they were out of your league (they’re not). The truth of the matter is: any decision that you make which is motivated by a fear of rejection, regardless of how trivial, is holding you back from achieving your full potential. “You’ll never know unless you try”. We’ve all heard this adage for a reason: it’s true. If we avoid situations due to a fear of rejection, we’ll never know what our full potential might have been.

Isn’t that heartbreaking?

It doesn’t have to be like this though. What if you didn’t give a shit about the outcome, and instead just relentlessly pursued your goals, hopes and dreams? You’d probs be a lot closer to achieving them, wouldn’t you? I know that this is WAY easier said than done. It’s nerve-wracking putting yourself out there when you might get shat on. And I totally understand that there are some situations in your life that are just too make-or-break to put yourself on the line for right now. This is where rejection therapy comes into play...

With rejection therapy, you intentionally put yourself into absurd situations in which you will (most likely) get rejected. These situations aren’t life or death. In fact, they should be so impersonal that the rejection itself doesn’t meaningfully change your life path whatsoever. The point of this (seemingly pointless) exercise is that, through repeatedly putting yourself through rejection, you will eventually become desensitised to it. Thus, when it comes to actually making those life-changing leaps, you won’t hold yourself back due to the fear that you might potentially get rejected.

Rejection is an art form; you’ve got to practice in order to improve.

Q: Ok this isn’t as dumb as I first thought! How do I get started?

1) Choose how many days you want to commit to. And stick to it.

2) Write down (or create a spreadsheet if you’re really fancy) of all the fucking batshit crazy and improbably situations* that you’d like to try and get rejected from. Really think outside of the box here; if you’re gonna get rejected, it might as well be fun. *just make sure that none of these situations will harm anybody else, or yourself, physically or mentally. Keep it light y’all.

3) Find a way to hold yourself accountable. Write down how you feel, what’s changed, what was hard and what was easy. It’s too easy to let our progress go unnoticed, but writing it all down will help you figure out just how far you’ve come.

4) See what happens next. We’re often so scared of being rejected, that we reject ourselves first. Don’t a fear of rejection lead you into a life of regret. You’ve got this!

This whole thing is just as new for me as it is for you. But, tomorrow i’m going to ask my barista if I can go behind the counter and make my own flat white. The day after, I’m going to ask to sit on somebody’s lap on my commuter train into work. And maybe, down the line, i’ll be able to ask for something that truly matters to me.

The question is: what are you going to do?

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