You can only be rejected by someone who knows you
A shy acquaintance we’ll call Jack recounted how awful he used to feel from instant rejection. As a late bloomer (1), he felt doubly vulnerable given his little experience in chatting up those he found attractive. No sooner would he say, “Hello,” or ask someone to dance than they would turn away or abruptly shout, “No.”
Rejection made him wary of approaching anybody else, so he held back, felt worse by the moment, and left. He didn’t want to risk rejection twice in one evening. Luckily, Jack later looked at his situation more closely. “You can only reject something you know,” he thought. “These strangers know nothing about me, so whatever they’re doing,” he concluded, “it’s not rejection. Maybe they’re just as frightened as I am.”
By choosing not to take some stranger’s quick dismissal personally, Jack felt much better—so much so that an obvious plan unfolded. Each time he went out he would give five people the opportunity to dance with him. He started optimistically, but by the time he heard his fourth curt refusal Jack decided that he wasn’t going to let his fifth prospect off the hook so easily.
“Did I ask to fuck you?” he bellowed to Bachelor Number Five. “We’re in a bar, not your bedroom. I only asked to dance!” He eventually got so good at making his recipients feel guilty for answering, “No,” that escape was out of the question. Not only did they relent and realize that they wanted to dance after all, but later confessed appreciation for Jack’s persistence. Turns out that they were just as frightened as he was. The evening ended well once the two learned something about each other.
Aside from showing what can happen when you take matters in your own hands, Jack’s story clarifies what rejection is. He was right to conclude that we can reject only that which we know well. With that in mind:
Barflies and gym bunnies who won’t say hello or even look at you aren’t rejecting you. They are more likely shy people hiding behind walls or jerks with attitude. Rather than feel bad and take their unresponsiveness personally, why not have some fun and push until you get a reaction? They’ll either drop their facade or blow up. Either way, they’ll show their true face.
When someone decides not to continue seeing you after a number of dates, it isn’t rejection, but failed courtship, whether the interlude lasted a few weeks or a few months. Time alone never makes a relationship; only joint emotional commitment does. Hopefully, each side learns something from failed courtship.
True rejection can only occur after you have let yourself go emotionally and the other knows your intimate details. For example, if your spouse of seven years ever announces that it’s over and that you are no longer loved—now, that’s rejection. It hurts and delivers a shattering blow to self esteem than only time can repair.
Everyone endures superficial judgments in daily life—at work, when socializing, while running errands, and so forth. None of it is genuine rejection. Knowing this, arrange conditions so that those whom you wish to know get to know the real you.
Tengo lay down on his bed. fully clothed, and let his mind wander through various possibilities. The last time he saw Aortuune was when he was ten. Now they were both thirty. They had both gone through a lot of experiences in the interim. Good things, things that weren't so good (probably slightly more of the latter). Our looks. our personalities, the environment where we live have all gone through changes. he thought. We're no longer a young boy and a young girl. Is the Aomame over there really the Aomame he had been searching for? And was he the Tengo Kawana she had been looking for? Tengo pictured them on the slide tonight looking at each other, disappointed at what they saw. Maybe they wouldn't find anything to talk about. That was a real possibility. Actually. it would be kind of strange if it didn't turn out that way.
Maybe we shouldn't meet again.
Tengo stared up at the ceiling.
Wasn't it better if they kept this desire to see each other hidden within them, and never actually got together? That way. there would always be hope in their hearts. That hope would be a small. yet vital flame that warmed them to their core —a tinyflame to cup one's hands around and protect from the wind, aflame that the violent winds of realitymight easily extinguish.
I don't know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.
My love keeps growing more passionate and egoistic, while his is waning and waning, and that's why we're drifting apart."
She went on musing.
"And there's no help for it. He is everything for me, and I want him more and more to give himself up to me entirely. And he wants more and more to get away from me. We walked to meet each other up to the time of our love, and then we have been irresistibly drifting in different directions. And there's no altering that."
We do not love people so much for the good they have done us, as for the good we do them.
Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.