Awareness and Dealing with Rejection

Raise Your Awareness

You are a buddha. Well… maybe not, but then again maybe we’re all on our way. In We Can Be Buddhas a TED talk by Bob Thurman he discusses how individuals can change their awareness. We must stop looking inward at our miseries and grow to understand others through compassion. He argues that in this way we can help to make ourselves happier too.

This is the strange paradox of life: when you’re no longer locked in yourself, and the wisdom or the intelligence, or the scientific knowledge, or the nature of the world, that enables you to let your mind spread out and empathize and enhance the basic human ability of empathizing and realizing that you are the other being. Somehow by that opening you can see the deeper nature of life…”

So let’s take a few minutes and raise our awareness about the world around us. I’ll give you a little fodder to help you along, but please take the time to explore your own feelings about this.

Human Interaction and Rejection

Everyone reading this article interacts with at least one other person everyday. Human interaction is an essential part of all our lives. We need each other, but how often do we think about the other person and what they’re going through? Human connections are important and through our desire for them we often reach out in unappreciated ways. On her blog a woman from LA talks about how men are constantly approaching her and though she politely turns them down she is constantly being called a variety of insulting names for it. And of course getting rejected, even in a polite way, is upsetting for anyone, but a negative reaction isn’t going to make it better. Unwanted advances and negative reactions to rejection are such a common occurrence that rejection hotlines (phone numbers you can give out to unwanted suitors) exist to help ease the awkwardness of the situation.

While this is definitely one way to handle situations like these, maybe we should start learning how to handle rejection without taking it so personally. Rejection is a healthy part of a successful life. Successful people experience more rejection than unsuccessful people. Many people who are successful don’t succeed on the first try, but they don’t stop at the first rejection. Rejection is natural and needed to grow.


How to Deal with Rejection

Johns Hopkins University says “Don’t get mad, get creative.” A recent study at the university shows that rejection breeds creativity. It also strengthens independence. So when you get rejected take that energy and do something creative with it. Rejection will continue to happen no matter what.  In 100 Days of Rejection, a TED talk by Jia Jiang, he talks about what rejection is and how we can learn from it. He says:

The higher you go the more you will get rejected.”

According to Jiang there is no way to avoid rejection and if you really want to get out there and do something great; rejection will be a part of your journey to greatness. So Jiang’s solution is to practice a real life game called Rejection Therapy™.

Rejection Therapy™ is the real life game with one rule. The game is designed for anyone who wants to build confidence and overcome fear of rejection.

The game is designed to have the players practice getting rejected to help overcome the emotions that go along with it. Jiang decided to try 100 days of the game and has had some interesting experiences so far. He’s been creative about what he’s trying to get rejected for and has been surprised at the things people have said yes to. For instance he once asked to play some soccer in a stranger’s back yard. The stranger was pretty enthusiastic about it and invited him in. Another great example happened at a Krispy Kreme donut. He asked the woman to make some donuts in the shape of the Olympic rings. She did it, and even gave the donuts to him on the house.

The game has limitless possibilities and can be played in any situation. After you are accustomed to being rejected about issues that matter less it’s not as hard to approach more personal matters. The game is a great way to practice rejection and the more you practice the more comfortable you’ll feel with it. Be careful, if you don’t get rejected it doesn’t count as playing the game. So, aim high and learn to deal with your rejections gracefully.

And if you want more advice head over to reddit to check out AlexanderTheCool’s advice on How to Handle Rejection like James Bond.


Rejection is always going to happen, but it’s not always personal. Use it, learn from it, grow from it; make yourself better.



TED Talk Bob Thurman We Can Be Buddhas

UNWINONA: I Debated Whether Or Not to Share This Story

Lotus Sutra 12: Girl Buddha

US Health News: Why Loneliness Is Bad for Your Health

American Psychological Association: The Pain of Social Rejection

Rejection Hotline

Online College: 50 Famously Successful People Who Failed at First

WikiHow: How to Handle Rejection

99u: How Rejection Breeds Creativity

Rejection Therapy

TED Talk: Jia Jiang 100 Days of Rejection

Johns Hopkins Don’t Get Mad, Get Creative: Social Rejection Can Fuel Imagination, JHUCarey Researcher Finds

Reddit: How to Handle Rejection Like James Bond

Facebook: Glorifying and Depressing

Why is it that I go on Facebook to kill time when Facebook may actually be killing me over time?

A recent study of Facebook, conducted jointly by two German Universities, has shed light on why I am so miserable some days and other days too darn happy to measure on a sensible happiness scale. 600 participants were studied while they logged on to Facebook and 1 in 3 were reportedly unsatisfied towards the end of their session. The study describes an interesting phenomenon the researchers call the self promotion – envy spiral. I follow you on Facebook (auto correct still tries to correct Facebook as face book, I think Mark Zuckerberg is working on that), because we are friends or acquaintances or I think I know you somehow, thus I am constantly updated with the pictures of that vacation you just went on or that new relationship you are engaging in. That would be all hunky dory and what not but now I am envious of your self-promotion of happiness. Your happiness is making me miserable… true Yin and Yang huh? Or maybe it’s the other way around? It’s likely one of us is making the other miserable 33% of the time.

We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,

Researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University told Reuters,

From our observations some of these people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site.

Now I know that YOU know at least one person that has left Facebook in the last month or so because of the “It takes up too much of my time” excuse, but maybe that person simply couldn’t stand being miserable anymore. It may also be that this self imposed misery is our fate as the internet has become a norm in our society, ultimately giving birth to news and information which can be received at the convenience of a click of a mouse. That is instantaneous misery available to you as long as you have access to the internet. One has to think that it may not only be Facebook and the internet that are causing our misery but also all of the advancements in technology which are meant to improve our quality of life.

So what if your better looking than me? I wouldn’t wear that out in public, makes her look trashy. I’m happy that you just got engaged and I’m still single! That trip to Burma seems like it is enjoyable, glad you could share it with me here in zero degree weather. But of course I’ll make it to the award ceremony where you will be receiving prestige and applause for your work in molecular biology!

So much stress… definitely bad for your health. Darn you Mark Zuckerberg and your new age sexiness.. you planned this world wide web gloat/grief relationship didn’t you?