Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rejection Tuesday

The number of items that I could classify as "rejections" yesterday, suffered in various forms throughout the day, totaled three.  By day-end, I decided that my day had turned into a cruel theme, and it was enough to dub yesterday, March 1, 2011, as "Rejection Tuesday." 

Although they were all relatively minor, it got me thinking about the concept of rejection.  On one hand,  rejection is a bruise to the ego.  When a student says she didn't like my Zumba class or a copy editor didn't like my freelance article, it hurts.  It's one thing when you kind of "half-assed" it and you open yourself up to rejection because of your poor performance or attention to detail, but when you know that your effort was the absolute best you can do and still receive negative feedback, you feel wronged.  So the knee-jerk reaction is to appeal.

In some rare situations, appealing a rejection can actually change the outcome (fingers crossed for my article).  But most of the time, appealing rejection is really only about making yourself feel better.  I'm not going to ever be able to explain to someone who's made up their mind that they don't like my Zumba class how they might actually like it if they did this or this or this.  So, after the initial appeal to my student, I realized there was no changing her mind and dropped it.  Even when you know that you are absolutely right in a situation, at some point, you have to just let it go.  But, (and here is where most of us struggle) where is that point?

When a situation starts eating at you, and is affecting you far longer than the person who "wronged" you, it's time to move on. When a disagreement turns into an argument, it's time to just "agree to disagree."  When the benefits of being happy outweigh the benefits of being right, cleanse yourself of the situation and put it behind you.

Being rejected isn't all bad, after all.  Rejection comes from putting yourself in a vulnerable position.  For me, I spent years living behind a wall where I was unlikely to be rejected because I never put myself "out there" to get hurt.  A lot of my success today has come from putting myself in a position where I could face rejection, and I'm sure glad that I took that risk.

Furthermore, rejection can make you better.  In most cases, rejection is just a particularly harsh form of criticism.  When I look at why I was rejected, I can see areas that I can improve in order to try not to face that same rejection in the future.

But all the same, rejection sucks.

Be on the lookout for Rejection Tuesday to be made a national holiday by 2015, celebrated on either the first Tuesday in March on whenever multiple rejections occur in one day.  I think we should celebrate it with wine (whine?) and cheese.

3 comments:

Nick said...

Only three regections in one day...lucky.

Good post though.

Jason said...

It is almost as bad a major revisions Monday. But not quite as bad as HOW COULD YOU BE SO STUPID Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Just remember, when the rest of the world seem cruel and uncaring, your parents will always accept you. After all, they have no choice. Love Mom and Dad