This post is not about Antarctica. If you’re here simply for those posts…. feel free to skip this one! I have a bunch of drafts started for new posts so more are coming soon.
Recognizing the rejection is not personal was a hard lesson to learn. I think it first clicked a few years ago when I asked a man I’d been friends with for a few months if he wanted to go out on a date. He profusely apologized and showed distress at having to tell me no. I suddenly found myself in one of those rare epiphany moments as I realized that the second he said “negative, ghost rider” that I no longer cared about his answer. I’d agonized for a few days to any pal that would listen about whether or not to ask him. I was super into him. But the second he said no a flip switched and I no longer was into him in that way. That easy. I stopped his apology to explain that it was okay. He should not have to feel remorse for rejecting my feelings because rejection is no an insult. Not being “into” someone is not an insult. He didn’t say “No way in hell, you’re a cunt muffin and you smell funny.” In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever called me a cunt muffin.
This is a hard concept for many to come to terms with. So many are afraid to put themselves out there or to let people know if they’re interested because they are afraid. Afraid of embarrassment. Afraid of rejection. But I don’t see it that way. There’s no embarrassment in finding your pal to be a super intriguing person you want to get to know better. There’s nothing wrong with feeling a special tingle when you look at that cool cat across the room. And there’s no embarrassment in them not feeling that way about you. Guess what? Not everyone who tickles your fancy is going to want your fanny in return. And that is okay. 100% normal. It’s similar to playing the children’s card game Go Fish. You take a shot and hope for a match. But if they don’t have what you asked for you don’t take it personally. You don’t internalize the negativity. You have a split second of “oh damn” and then you move on and quit hoping to have more of a match with that person and just enjoy their company as is.
No one wants to be rejected. However, I find that once you can release it from being a painful prodding it helps to free you into being more open with everyone in your life. I’ve sent messages to people over the past few years to those I’ve met like “Hey, I think you’re pretty great. I’d love to cultivate a friendship with you!” Most have been like “Hell yeah, it’s hard to make new friends once you’re out of school and everyone is weird about telling people they care about each other!” But on occasion I get what would be coded as a rejection too. And that’s okay. Not everyone is going to care to expend that energy. We shouldn’t let those moments bother us. Shrug. And move on. Really.
A couple nights ago my “beau” back home let me know that he thinks he’s more in love with another chick that he’ll ever be with me. He was super worried about telling me this. The conversation quickly turned into me comforting him. First, I pride myself on my intuition/people reading skills so I’d already known for a very long time he was more into her romantically than me. In fact, I think everyone knew that except maybe him. But more importantly, okay yeah, I’m human and I’m into him so of course I want him to think I’m the best fucking thing under the sun (or in my case, kind of adjacent to it). But if he doesn’t feel that way? If he cares about me but just not that way anymore? Okay. Fine. I could never take that as a personal affront. I’m just super pleased that he respects me enough and is open enough to be upfront with how he feels. In fact, the only way this situation could hurt was if he wasn’t telling me that and instead I thought something that wasn’t true. Once I know how someone feels or doesn’t feel it becomes a non-issue.
In this particular instance, he’s one of my best buds. I don’t feel the need to hold that #1 and only spot in his life. As long as I’m in his heart somewhere I’ll be content. I want the people I care about to care about me in equal amounts but I also understand that’s not how it always works out. I don’t take that personally. People don’t always click the same way.
When you put yourself out there to someone it’s always full of hope and the tingling appeal of possibility. If the relationship can be compared to Schrodinger’s cat then the anticipation of the future is still looming. You’ll wait with baited breath for the reply…. And thus, it’s normal to feel a twinge of disappointment when the reality you’re in doesn’t veered the way you hoped. But please, I beg of you, never take rejection personally. Onto my next point….
Ready for another story? A few days ago, my friend Amelia went on a blind date. The date picked her up and drove her to a local casino. Ten minutes later he excused himself to use the restroom. At some point, she realized: he wasn’t coming back. He’d just up and left. She called a few people and found a ride home… but it gets worse. Her keys were still in his car. He wouldn’t answer his phone. He blocked her on social media already. By the time she got home she did get her keys back – he did a drive-by of her house while she was on her porch and threw them out the window. Amelia was crushed. She felt embarrassed. Ugly. Hurt. She felt pretty low. But here’s the thing – none of that was deserved. Why couldn’t he just say to her, “hey, I’m just not feeling this…let’s part ways?” One quick sentence and it would have saved her a rollercoaster of bad emotions. Instead, he chose not to confront the situation.
We should never feel ashamed to reject someone either. I know that usually if I’m rejecting someone then it has nothing to do with how great or not great of a person they are. They simply aren’t what I want in that moment. In fact, I’ve even recently given people the caveat of “I’m not interested right now… but I don’t trust absolutes… so I will let you know if that changes.”
I’m a young female with a, well, decent body, and an intriguing life… offers to pursue relations of all sorts are thrown my way (it doesn’t hurt that I’m one of only 30 females in a population of 139). I’m never afraid to let someone know that I’m just not feeling the same vibes they are laying out. Because guess what… that is one of the kindest acts you can display. Definitely. No one should want to pursue someone who’s not into them. It’s so much better than letting them continue when you’re already sure it’s not going to happen.
Flip back a few paragraphs. We talked about this. Knowing someone isn’t into you is like the biggest a turn-off. Unrequited attraction is not romantic. It’s not special. It’s pointless. And rejection is not an insult. Repeat that with me; rejection is not an insult.
So, go for it. Don’t feel bad about letting people know you’re not into them. Put yourself out there and let people know you’re into them. Sometimes you’ll miss but that’s okay…. It’s so much better than never knowing.
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