How to Survive Rejection

Uploaded 11/10/2023, approx. 6 minute read

I know you like it long. Get your minds out of the gutter.

I made the videos, not that other unmentionable cigar.

So, today a short video about rejection. And no, Shoshanim, I'm not rejecting you. There's just much to say about it.

Rejection is denied. In the American Psychological Association's online dictionary has denial of love, attention, interest or approval, an antagonistic or discriminatory attitude towards you or a group of people.


First of all, we tend to label nowadays. Labeling is a contemporary sport. So, everyone labels themselves and others. Toxic.

Toxic is a big label. The name of the game. Everyone and his dog and his mother-in-law are labeling everyone else as toxic. The neighbors, the discarded spouses and so on and so forth.

Toxic is not the same as difficult. And difficult is not the same as complex. You could be a very difficult person. I am a difficult person, for example. You could be a complex person and I like to think of myself as complex.

But you may not be toxic. A toxic person is someone whose effects, whose impacts on other people are such that they cause them damage, harm and hurt. A toxic person is someone who breaks other people, regresses them, reduces their functioning, renders them dysfunctional, causes them pain intentionally or unintentionally.

Many people are toxic and they're not toxic because they're evil. They're not toxic because they mean to be toxic. Their toxicity is not intentional or premeditated. It's just who they are.

Like a snake is toxic or a virus is contagious.

And so, because we tend to label each other, today more than ever, people are concerned with how they are perceived and with possible rejection. Everyone is a spectacle. Everyone is a theater production. Everyone is a movie in the making, a work in progress.

And everyone via social media and other means is hunting for feedback. Everyone is defined by an external gaze. Attention, the attention economy, attention is the fuel that keeps the engine, that keeps the car of modern society going.

And so, when we hunt for other people's input and then use this input to define who we are, other people's feedback becomes the determinant of our identity.

We live through other people's gaze. We experience ourselves through their eyes. This is really bad and it leads to anxiety because if you are rejected, if you're ignored, if you can't see yourself in someone's gaze, then you don't exist. It's an existential threat.

So, people catastrophize. And then having catastrophized, they act on their own catastrophic scenarios as if these scenarios were facts and not just possible scripts or fears or anxieties.

So, this is the sequence. I don't exist unless and until I'm noticed and seen. I need to be seen in order to exist. My identity emerges from other people's gaze through other people's gaze. Their gaze defines me. Their gaze infuses me with my identity.

I have to collect this collective view of me. These eyeballs, they delineate and demarcate my boundaries within which I exist and subsist.

So, you know, social media companies monetize eyeballs. We don't monetize eyeballs, but we use eyeballs as identity markers. We collect eyeballs. It's like a hive mind of eyeballs, which then serves to define us.

And if you fail in this enterprise of attracting a sufficient number of eyeballs to you, then this is a catastrophe and that's why people catastrophize.

And then catastrophizing is about the future. It's anticipatory. It's predicting a bad outcome.

But people are so used to magical thinking that whatever happens inside their heads, they confuse with reality. If you wish something to happen, it will happen. If you think about something, it will occur. If you imagine something, it will become reality.

This is magical thinking. We are encouraged to think magically, you know, the secret of this bullshit.

So when we imagine a catastrophe, it becomes instantly a fact, a reality. The catastrophic scenarios that we conjure up in our tortured minds, the scenarios that say, you're not going to be seen. You're not going to be seen. You're not going to be noticed. No one will pay attention to you. You're going to be ignored.

Then you will die. Obscure. Forgotten.

These scenarios, these catastrophic scenarios are perceived as overwhelming, dis-regulating, terrifying facts. These possible scripts become actual and we act as if they were actual.

To avoid this terror, this fear of rejection, you need to adopt a specific posture in life, throughout life and with everyone. This is who I am. This is who I am. It's a take it or leave it proposition.

Because it is a take it or leave it proposition, some people are going to take it and some people are going to leave it.

So I'm going to accept, anticipate and accept a certain amount of rejection as ineluctable, as inevitable. Being rejected will not kill me. Will not kill me. I may even grow stronger. I am who I am and I can't be liked and accepted by everyone.

Say to yourself these three things.

Number one, rejection will not kill you. Repeat after me. Rejection will not kill me.

Number two, they reject you. They've rejected you. It's their loss. Not yours. Their loss. Each and every one of us is an entire universe.

Rejecting someone is like rejecting the galaxy. Rejecting a whole world of emotions and memories and cognitions and facts and fun. People who reject are stupid. So it's their loss, not yours.

Number two, repeat after me. It is the loss of those who rejected me, not mine.

Number three, not everyone rejects me. It's a fact. Look around. Some people don't reject you. Some people do reject you. Some people don't reject you. Sometimes some people, difficult people, complex people get rejected more often than accepted.

But there's not a single man alive or woman alive who are rejected universally with no exception. None, not one.

So look at those who accept you and ignore those who reject you. Not everyone rejects you.

This proves that the rejection has to do with the people who are rejecting you, not with you. It proves that you are capable of being accepted and liked and even loved. So it's being rejected is not something that has to do with you. Being rejected is something that has to do with those who have rejected you because you can prove easily that other people accept you. So it's not something in you that causes the rejection.

Of course, everything I've just said, when I said it's to take it to live it proposition, this is who I am, accept me as I am or go away, etc.

Certain amount of rejection is everything I just said. It's not a license to harm other people, to hurt other people. You need to avoid harming other people or hurting other people. It's the only rule.

But if you don't harm other people, if you don't hurt other people, if you're just difficult or complex or just you being you, then the hell with rejection. Life is too short. Spend any time or resources or energy on haters and crazies and nut jobs out there. Just flow on, ignore them. The vast majority of them are anyhow not worthy of your time, attention, thoughts or any other kind of resource.

Rejection is about the rejector, the person who rejects. It's never ever about you.

Remember that next time you're inevitably rejected.

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