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Afraid of “No”? A Dose of Rejection Therapy May Do the Trick

Rebecca Shafir M.A.CCC

Do you put off making cold calls, requesting a raise, asking someone out on a date and the like, because of the risk of hearing: “No.”

Rejection deflates, demoralizes, and can even cause physical pain. It’s even harder to hear “No” when you think you have a good chance of hearing “Yes.” Now imagine if you could desensitize yourself to feel less hurt and pain when you heard the word “No” and with your new-found sense of courage, even increase the chances of hearing a surprising “Yes”?

Paging through the January 14th issue of Bloomberg Business Week (granted I am a bit backed up in my reading), I found a story about Jia Jiang whose hurt and pain due to rejection were no different from what most people experience. Jaing’s project of 100 Days of Rejection Therapy was particularly interesting because his approach was a rather funny, innovative and effective one. To build up resistance to rejection he started making crazy requests where a “no” would be pretty much expected: asking a hotel security guard if he could borrow $100, asking a flight attendant whether he could give the safety announcement, and asking an ice cream shop to invent a flavor just for him, etc. Eventually Jiang started making requests that many of us might balk at but were more reasonable and truly in his best interest, like asking a UT communications professor if he could lecture to a class on social movements. In this case, the professor actually said “yes” and plans to find a spot in his syllabus for Jiang to come speak.
After after a month and a half of daily bouts of rejection brought on by 100 Days of Rejection project, Jiang no longer feels the sting of rejection. As he puts it, “I feel like I have swagger now.”  Read the whole story at Business Week. www.businessweek.com/…/rejection-therapy-a-hundred-days-of-no

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