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Please Reject Me!
November 3, 2010 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Rejection Therapy is the real life game with one rule: YOU MUST BE REJECTED BY ANOTHER PERSON AT LEAST ONCE, EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Can you overcome the common fear of rejection by making a game out of getting rejected? The goal of Rejection Therapy is to help each player "know for yourself that rejection is not a devastating event to be avoided at all cost but the mother of success." The Rejection Therapy suggestion card deck at $15.95 is entirely optional. How do you win? You succeed when you no longer obey your fear of rejection, or simply get rejected every single day for 30 days in a row.
posted by DarlingBri (63 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite

 
Post flagged for possible rejection.

You're welcome!
posted by rusty at 2:16 PM on November 3, 2010 [23 favorites]


Huh. That's actually pretty cool.
posted by niles at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2010


Do I win faster if I get rejected 30 times in a single day?
posted by axiom at 2:19 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Post flagged for possible rejection.

Post flagged for being awesome. I see your rejection and raise you a rejection to your rejection.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:19 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


DAY ONE: My colleague has emphatically denied my request to do his mother in the bum. GO ME!
posted by everichon at 2:19 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I play this game every day with my wife. The mother of success, you say?
posted by empyrean at 2:20 PM on November 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Does sending resumes out to name/faceless HR departments count as premeditated rejection?
posted by jsavimbi at 2:23 PM on November 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Finally something I can excel at.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 2:27 PM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Actually this seems like a good idea for me. I have a constant paralyzing fear of rejection (that and being reprimanded/yelled at). $16 for a deck of cards though?
posted by SirOmega at 2:31 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Democrats totally kick ass at this game.
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:31 PM on November 3, 2010 [26 favorites]


It's like the subset of Aversion therapy that may not be a phenomenally terrible idea.

Come to think of it, if this became widely practiced, it would quickly get very tiresome. If I had people asking me to do things for them constantly because they were no longer afraid that I would turn them down, I would go insane. Fear of rejection is sometimes a good thing because it forces people to evaluate their actions before taking them -- it's obviously problematic when it is debilitating, but going from one extreme to another is not healthy.

A simpler way of doing the same thing comes via my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote: "Do one thing every day that scares you." I imagine you'll get more mileage out of that.
posted by spiderskull at 2:31 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


So it seems that all those RelationshipFilter DTMFA answers are actually a force for good.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:35 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I wanted to use a deck of cards to get rejected I'd still be playing Magic: The Gathering.

Hey-o!
posted by ODiV at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2010 [84 favorites]


I am currently unemployed and looking for work. I am getting all the rejection "therapy" I need right now, thank you.
posted by Decani at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I would have done so well at this game back when I was "playing the field."
posted by blucevalo at 2:37 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would have leveled up like crazy in college, when I was single.
posted by mecran01 at 2:37 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


My first job was selling computers door to door. That was in 1990. Where's my medal?
posted by The Lady is a designer at 2:39 PM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't ask people for things, because of a paralyzing fear that I might get what I want.
posted by grobstein at 2:40 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, fuck off.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I had people asking me to do things for them constantly because they were no longer afraid that I would turn them down, I would go insane. Fear of rejection is sometimes a good thing because it forces people to evaluate their actions before taking them -- it's obviously problematic when it is debilitating, but going from one extreme to another is not healthy.

Right, the whole tone of the site is very heavily biased toward the Ask side of the Ask versus Guess spectrum.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:47 PM on November 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: the subset of Aversion therapy that may not be a phenomenally terrible idea.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:48 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, I'm a shitty cartoonist who just did a book show. Can I, like, bank my quotas? 'Cause I'm good until February.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:49 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm curious as to what the suggestions are. The sample is "Before purchasing something, ask for a discount." But getting better at requesting discounts is not something I particularly want to do.
posted by grouse at 2:51 PM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, having a manuscript [or presumably, any sort of pitch not done in person] rejected by a publisher doesn't count in this game because it's allegedly not a personal rejection by another person. The authors of this game clearly have no clue what it's like to be a writer—and how very personal some of these rejections can be.
posted by Maias at 2:52 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


No.
posted by quin at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Easier said than done, especially if this includes random encounters with a Member of the Appropriate Sex (roll against the table for "medium concert venue" terrain)

There's something about someone LOOKING AT ME striking up a conversation with you, while you have this SUFFOCATING internal dialogue going on and every microexpression is a UGLY judgment, each pupillary contraction a sign of NOT GOOD ENOUGH failure, and all the while you wonder, why pick me to talk to? Is that I look harmless INEFFECTUAL LOSER enough to talk to? Will her friends show up from buying T-shirts at the merch table, laughing at MY EXPENSE at something and draw her away? Will you hear that question FOREVER again, "You came here alone?" with the HUMILIATING inflection just so? It's just curiosity, so REFLEXIVE DESPAIR put aside your hope, because she probably NEVER ANYONE'S "TYPE" has someone already — just this something I can't put into words that makes going forth and doing this like a RIGGED game.

Even if you have ENDURED trained yourself to do this PUNCHED IN THE FACE for years and nobody can tell that you are WRITHING uncomfortable or shy while you deliberately HOLD LIVE COALS chat with the most intimidating person in the room, you've accomplished the equivalent of training a dog to walk on its hind legs: it's unnatural, at best.
posted by adipocere at 2:56 PM on November 3, 2010 [30 favorites]


"Rejection Therapy" - also known as "The Awkward Teen Years".
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:58 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Could we have the img tag back now?
posted by everichon at 3:01 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fuck the FPP, group hug NOW
posted by The Lady is a designer at 3:16 PM on November 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I was rejected for a raise today, does that count?
Seriously though. While it's true that you need to learn to accept risk, I think that age has been the best therapy for me. Once you get a few scars, you realize that falling down isn't so bad. That's anecdotal, so feel free to reject it if you've found otherwise. Zing!
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:19 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have heard people recommend this a million times and have recommended it myself, but few people ever try it. Hopefully now that it has its own slick-looking blog post, internet buzz, and conveniently available game cards available for purchase people will actually try it.
posted by schroedinger at 3:20 PM on November 3, 2010


Asking for discounts works better if you have a quote for a better price from Amazon or whoever.

Even better if you have the printout right there. Looks more official.

Wait, what are we talking about?
posted by LogicalDash at 3:28 PM on November 3, 2010


No.
posted by koeselitz at 3:31 PM on November 3, 2010


Adipocere, I don't know quite how to take your three paragraphs, but that's a crushing inner monologue. I never want to leave my house again now, and I'm only ever going to listen to sadcore indy rock.

Let's brainstorm some examples for me to try out tomorrow!
posted by boghead at 3:32 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only real way to overcome your fear of rejection is to go back in time in a DeLorean, get your father to punch out the school bully, and then come back to a picture-perfect life.
posted by boghead at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Actors do this therapy their entire lives. Except they call it "auditioning".
posted by Ndwright at 3:47 PM on November 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


Right, the whole tone of the site is very heavily biased toward the Ask side of the Ask versus Guess spectrum.

After looking at the site, I was coming in here to bring up Ask vs. Guess as well. I do think this is potentially a good way for a Guesser to become more comfortable in a predominantly Ask environment.

BUT: on the Rules page, it says that if a request is unexpectedly accepted, that's a failure in Rejection Therapy, because you "didn't ask for too much." This is where loud blaring warning bells and sirens should be going off if you're in a predominantly Guess environment. If you "ask for too much" in an Ask environment, and are rejected, it's no big deal, everything goes on much as before. (Indeed, on the What Counts as Rejection page, it talks about not bearing ill will towards the person who rejected you, one of the basic tenets of good Ask culture.) If you repeatedly "ask for too much" in a Guess environment, you will do serious and likely permanent damage to your relationships.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:55 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


> I would have done so well at this game back when I was "playing the field."

QFT. Last weekend a (single) friend of mine asked me if I ever resented the loss of my "freedom," being married, and in response I sang "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose..." He had, apparently, forgotten that my success rate with the opposite sex back then approached absolute zero.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:10 PM on November 3, 2010


know for yourself that rejection is not a devastating event to be avoided at all cost

My heart transplant rejected me.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:21 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does sending resumes out to name/faceless HR departments count as premeditated rejection?

No in order to qualify you would need to do something like find out who the hiring manager is via some mechanism such as googling, calling random people in the company and ask to be directed to the head of "whatever it is you are applying for" Then talk to the hiring manager and try to convince them to bring you in for an interview resume unseen. If they won't bring you in for the interview ask them if its because you sound black? Even if you are not black. I mean anyone can sound black right? Once you are brought in for the sit down you must use guile, personal charm and your obvious talent and qualifications to win the job.
posted by humanfont at 4:29 PM on November 3, 2010


Oh man, I work with small children. If my requests aren't rejected, it's a sign of a brain tumor.
posted by sonika at 5:15 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Awesome idea. I did a similar thing to rid myself of my... body hatred? corporeal dysphoria? negative self-consciousness? when I was in my late teens. My method involved being naked a lot :)
posted by jtron at 5:51 PM on November 3, 2010


I like how this guy has developed a whole philosophy of life based on the idea that rejection becomes easier with repetition, which idea, in my extensive experience, is dead fucking wrong.
posted by enn at 5:53 PM on November 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


Screw you. I refuse to participate. Get a life.

Okay, see ya tomorrow ...
posted by pressF1 at 6:28 PM on November 3, 2010


Does trying to hitchhike and not getting picked up count?
posted by snofoam at 6:48 PM on November 3, 2010


I invented this.
posted by ND¢ at 7:05 PM on November 3, 2010


As it stands, it takes about 20 years to learn this, hence 40-year-old men happily hitting on every unreceptive 20-year-old woman, who all end up thinking they must be ugly, because no 20-year-old men will talk to them, because they're too busy fearing the rejection.

If we start teaching people this stuff early, our entire social order is going to implode!
posted by -harlequin- at 7:12 PM on November 3, 2010


I did this as an event once in SF. It was called the rejection game, and I even made score cards (for free!). The object was to get rejected obvious but have someone close by to score the interaction and mark you down based on four criteria

Delivery
Speed
Style
Rejection

You weren't allowed to push it so far you'd get slapped or thrown out. Eventually the entire bar caught on to what we were doing and stopped talking to us.

However one highlight was a friend of mine walking up to a woman and saying, "Hey, wanna fuck in the bathroom?" to which the girl replied, "does that EVER work?" My friend then yelled to his girlfriend at the end of the bar who was also playing, "Hey, wanna fuck in the bathroom?", to which she of course replied, "YEAH!" and they walked off to leave our unwitting contestant gobsmacked.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 7:13 PM on November 3, 2010 [13 favorites]


Does rejection time come with rollover minutes? I'm good for, like, three years then.
posted by tamitang at 8:38 PM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


The difficulty I've had trying to do this is not so much reluctance at rejection, but reluctance because that it can' t be a bluff - If I approach someone and if that person might conceivably say yes, then I had damn well better have meant it when I indicated I was interested in them.

Trying to figure out which complete stranger is someone I'm genuinely interested in... I average substantially less than one a day.

I would lose this game :-/
posted by -harlequin- at 8:59 PM on November 3, 2010


-harlequin-

I agree, that bothered me too. If you're doing this with people you actually care about, you really have to be ready to act on a yes or you'll destroy your relationships. If you're doing this with strangers, are you supposed to say, "Nah, just kidding, I don't really want to go out with you. It's just an exercise" if they say yes?
posted by Sangermaine at 10:40 PM on November 3, 2010


if you're interacting with less than one stranger a day, you're not playing the game right.
posted by triceryclops at 10:50 PM on November 3, 2010


I approach complete strangers all the time with the assumption that within ten minutes they'll be my BESTEST FRIEND EVAR and rarely get the cold shoulder. This is decidedly not because I am suave handsome and rich (I am none of those things), but because I am attracted to weirdos, usually slightly drunk, and exude a puppy-like enthusiasm that people find beguiling. Or sometimes overwhelming.

And if I get rejected? S'ok. There are plenty of fish in the sea.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:01 PM on November 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


As it stands, it takes about 20 years to learn this, hence 40-year-old men happily hitting on every unreceptive 20-year-old woman, who all end up thinking they must be ugly, because no 20-year-old men will talk to them, because they're too busy fearing the rejection.


I wonder if the 40 year-old men are hitting on the 20 year-old women because they fear rejection from 40 year-old women, who are really damn good at it.

Strangely enough, now that I'm pert near 40, I spend more time rejecting 20 year-old men than I do 40 year-olds.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:18 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm very intrigued by this, but I'd hate to do it near to where I lived.

It could also be called the 'Be a Complete Arsehole' game
posted by DanCall at 2:22 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Too right Dan: I reckon I could probably be divorced, unemployed, unemployable, in jail, and seriously injured with no more than six carefully selected rejections close to home, never mind 30.

But then the therapy seems to have been designed by someone who believes funny socks will serve as a personality substitute.
posted by Segundus at 3:34 AM on November 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This game is based on Failure Mode.
posted by Moistener at 9:06 AM on November 4, 2010


DAY TWO: Dog has rejected my request that he alight from the sofa. CHA CHING!
posted by everichon at 12:37 PM on November 4, 2010


I reject all of you fuckos.

I'm a giver.

(seriously, most people experience enough rejection in the course of normal life that they don't need to go looking for more. This is stupid)
posted by jonmc at 5:44 PM on November 4, 2010


Yeah, it's kind of stupid if you have nothing to gain from it. But if you have a job or in an industry that recjection is a part of it's actually a good thing to be "immune" to it.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you don't want to do this because you may be rejected or are afraid of being rejected, then you should be doing this.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:02 PM on November 4, 2010


After looking at the site, I was coming in here to bring up Ask vs. Guess as well.

I was just coming in to say that Ask v. Guess seems (sorta) bogus to me. (I realize that based on the notion's popularity, the Internet would disagree vehemently.)

I'm shy and *generally* a Guess/infer person, but I have no problems asking for all sorts of shit that is unlikely. And while I'm shy, like BitterOldPunk, I strike up convos with strange people in drinking spots all the time. (Unlike BitterOldPunk, I am both handsome and suave, though not rich. :|)

I would suppose that I grew up in a Guess culture/family and have gradually become more of an Asker, but I really don't think it's that binary.

I have no problems asking out-of-towners to stay at their house, when uninvited (Ask). I've asked for rides home from people who are out of my way and I know they really don't want to, but I do it anyway (Ask; possibly b/c I know how hard it is to say no ;). I've asked to come to parties to which I wasn't invited (Ask). I have little problem asking for beer or drugs when not offered (Ask).

But, growing up and even now, I never make a sexual advance unless I know it will be reciprocated (Guess), I never ask for raises except with advancements or other achievements/responsiblities (Guess), and I'm generally quite anxious about asking anyone for anything, especially if I'm unsure how they feel about it. If I read them as ambiguous (a Guessing technique), I'll usually Ask, depending on how much I want what I'm asking for.

At work (aside from asking for more money), I'm much more of an Ask person. I intrude on people's time regularly with special requests when they are certainly busy with other projects (Ask) and make all sorts of time-off requests (Ask). I get rejected plenty.

I'd say that the theory is more appropriate for cultures, i.e. America or Eastern Europe vs. Japan or the Middle East, etc. Among my best friends, I can't define any as strictly Ask or Guess, though I suppose we all have tendencies one way or another. (Perhaps we are all Guessers who've adapted to an Asking culture.)

We have dual or multiple personalities based on whichever culture we're in: home, work, sports, hobbies, friends. I'm a different person with each culture. Usually, I'm more Guess than Ask (mostly b/c I'm shy), but when I'm in more of a leadership role (sports, work), I become an Asker ("Hey, do you think you could give Susan a ride to the game Saturday?" ; "Hey, I know you're heads-down on that project, but can you help me out with this Web form for an hour or so?").

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that our "Guesser" or "Asker" status depends a lot on the roles we play in our different cultures, specifically whether you are a leader or follower. In sports and work, I'm a leader, so I Ask more. In most other areas, I'm a follower or outsider, and I prefer to Guess.

If I want it bad enough and am too busy, stressed (work) or otherwise distracted (horny) to worry about rejection, I usually Ask. If I have time and brainspace to worry about rejection, I usually Guess.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you don't want to do this because you may be rejected or are afraid of being rejected, then you should be doing this.

That's really it. If you have a serious problem with rejection, i.e. you are prevented from asking for reasonable things that you actually, honestly want because you are afraid of the emotional state that rejection creates in you, then yeah, this game might be for you.

But I'm with jonmc. The path to adulthood is paved with rejection. Anyone in a long-term sexual relationship gets plenty of it. Most of us don't need any more.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:35 AM on November 5, 2010


However one highlight was a friend of mine walking up to a woman and saying, "Hey, wanna fuck in the bathroom?" to which the girl replied, "does that EVER work?" My friend then yelled to his girlfriend at the end of the bar who was also playing, "Hey, wanna fuck in the bathroom?", to which she of course replied, "YEAH!" and they walked off to leave our unwitting contestant gobsmacked.

That's what seems fucked up to me about this game (or games like it). You can't just say "Hey wanna fuck in the bathroom?" because what if she says "Sure"? (Unless, of course, your girlfriend is cool with that, in which case, kudos.)

Unless your requests are sincere (which it looks like the cards mostly are), it's sorta cruel to the people you are asking.

And for me, the hardest part of this game would be finding things I want to ask for. I'm curious to see the cards, because I too have no desire for discounts.

A much better game might be requesting things you think you want until you find something you actually do want. I suppose that's the "Game of Life." ;)

The FAQ needs an addition: "What do I do if I don't know what I want to ask for?" Gimme a good answer and I'll send you $15.95.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:44 AM on November 5, 2010


The path to adulthood is paved with rejection. Anyone in a long-term sexual relationship gets plenty of it. Most of us don't need any more.

I agree, but I'm not inured to rejection, and that's what you're supposed to gain from it. The way I've understood it is that people feel, and then subsequently think, that they themselves are being rejected when in fact it's what they did. So the problem lies in the thought process that conflates the rejection with themselves and their identity. With most things in your head you can't simply rationalize your way out of, you must take action to learn to not be petrified to do and thereby (hopefully) learn how what you've done is "wrong".

It might sound like an exercise in banging your head against the wall, but it really isn't.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:37 PM on November 6, 2010


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