Why You Need to Go Out and Get Rejected

August 14th, 2014 by Nick Notas 16 Comments

You have been certifiably rejected -- be proud 

Yesterday, I got my hair cut by an old-school Italian barber. 

After he found out what I did for a living, he showed me a picture of his attractive, fit 63-year old girlfriend. Yes, it was kind of awkward.

He told me…

“You know what I learned that helped me the most with women?

Don’t wait around. Make a move — you’re going to get a yes or a no. It’s one answer from one person. When you get a ‘no’, find a girl who will say ‘yes’. ”

It’s simple but true — just because one particular person isn’t interested, doesn’t mean the entire world hates you. And from my experiences, the people who get rejected the most succeed the most often.

So, it’s time to get rejected. I want you to be turned down, scoffed at, and cold-shouldered.

Getting rejected is like getting punched

I equate experiencing rejection to getting punched for the first time. 

When I was younger, I was terrified of getting hit. I roughhoused with my older brother but he always went easy on me. Little did I know he’d be the first person to kick my ass. 

One night we were lying in our separate beds arguing about something. Of course, I had to have the last word. So as things got quiet, I decided to say something that I knew would really hurt him. I made an emasculating comment about why his ex-girlfriend left him.

Right after I said it, I knew I screwed up. Deafening silence fell over the room. My brother leapt from his bed onto mine and punched me until I cried. 

A minute after he stopped, however, I distinctly remember feeling a wave of relief.

I got hit, it hurt for a little, but then it was over. The build-up of getting into a fight was infinitely scarier than the fight itself.

Since that night, I haven’t been scared of getting hit. It inspired me to take boxing classes, start an amateur fight club (when I was young and stupid), and even stand up to jerks during confrontations at bars over the years.

Rejection is the same thing. A person says no, it hurts for a little while, and then it’s over. The more you expose yourself to it, the less terrifying it will be and the stronger you’ll become.

Why you see rejection as so horrible

The real question is…

Why do you take rejection so personally? Why does it hurt you so much – for days, weeks, months, or even years?

The short answer is because you just haven’t been rejected enough. You haven’t survived through it enough times to be able to say, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.”

The long answer is because when you’ve worked so hard to protect yourself, anything that threatens your ego is devastating.

Here’s the progression:

You feel insecure -> You build a wall to protect yourself  -> You refuse to put yourself in vulnerable situations that challenge your insecurities (such as being rejected) -> You take chances rarely and when they don’t work out, your entire wall comes crumbling down -> You become angry, frustrated, or depressed

Because of all this, rejection becomes much more personal and toxic to your self-worth.

For example, let’s say you’re inexperienced with women. One day, you finally muster the courage to kiss a girl. She turns away and she tells you she’s not interested. She was your only chance and you blew it.

Of course that’s going to feel like a devastating loss. So far your only reference experience is getting rejected. Zero out of 1 girls kissed you – a 0% success rate

But you shouldn’t stop there. What if you pursue another girl? And what if you go for a kiss, and she kisses you back?

Now you have a POSITIVE reference experience. You see that the other rejection was an isolated occurrence and temporary. It wasn’t the end-all-be-all of your romantic life. And now you have a 50% success rate.

You can see how your odds dramatically improve with the more chances you take.

So if you think rejection is horrible, just remember: avoiding rejection is a guaranteed way to stay insecure and not see the results you want in life.

Becoming confident through rejection

Over seven years ago, I deliberately put myself in uncomfortable situations where people could tell me “no”. Just like getting over getting punched, I wanted to get over my fear of rejection. 

I’ve written about some of these experiences, everything from my famous beaver pickup line to screaming in the middle of the street on my knees to telling women I have a small penis. Once I became a coach, I began doing the same with my clients.

The last thing I want to do is overwhelm or humiliate people. You don’t have to go to the extremes that I did. I just want you to start with examples that slightly challenge your comfort zone. Try small, manageable rejections and work your way up.

  1. Go into a store and ask for something you know they don’t have.
  2. Go into a store and ask for a 10% discount on your purchase. (credit: James Altucher)
  3. Ask a stranger for directions to some place obviously close (right next to you) or really far away (like in another state).
  4. Ask to cut in line or to take a taxi first.
  5. Ask a stranger to borrow $20.
  6. Call a random number and make a request they’ll refuse. “I randomly dialed this number. Can I ask you a favor? Would you sing me a lullaby to sleep?” You may have to use *67 before you dial to protect yourself.
  7. Offer to pay for your restaurant bill through services like doing dishes.
  8. Say something embarrassing or dance wildly in public. Notice the people laughing or looking at you uncomfortably.
  9. Make eye contact with an attractive woman from across the room. Don’t look away until she does.
  10. Write on a piece of paper, “Do you want to get a coffee sometime? Write your number if yes, return this if no.” Give that to a random woman you find attractive.
  11. Introduce yourself to a random woman and immediately ask for her number.
  12. Introduce yourself to a random woman using a really cheesy pickup line.
  13. Ask a girl to buy you a drink at the bar.
  14. Ask a random woman if you can be her boyfriend.
  15. Stay for at least 15 seconds after a girl denies your number request rather than leave quickly. Maintain eye contact. Let her know you appreciate her taking the time to talk with you or say that her boyfriend is a lucky guy. Then smile, shake hands, and wish her a good day.

The whole point of these exercises is to prove to yourself that rejection won’t kill you. That even when it happens, it’s never as harsh as you imagine.

Stop trying to avoid rejection. It’s an inevitable part of putting yourself out there.

You can refine your social and dating skills to improve your odds, but someone at sometime won’t want to connect with you. That happens in business, with friendships, and in romantic pursuits.

You need to learn how to handle that rejection as it comes and make it your ally instead of your enemy.

  1. javier on August 14, 2014

    wow there’s some tough love here, nick. my favorite part:

    “avoiding rejection is a guaranteed way to stay insecure and not see the results you want in life.”

    that hit me hard and in the gut!

    • Nick Notas on August 14, 2014

      Sometimes tough love is what we need. Glad it resonated with you Javier.

  2. Christopher on August 14, 2014

    I had a girl “reject” me by cheating on me last year. I’ve been scared to date again because I’m worried that the next girl will do the same thing. What do you think Nick? This article gave me hope that maybe it won’t happen again.

    • Nick Notas on August 14, 2014

      Sorry to hear that man. I know from personal experience how much that hurts.

      An ex of mine cheated on me with one of my best friends. I had a hard time trusting other girls for a while. But you have to remember that it’s just one individual and stuff like that happens to the best of us.

      There are plenty of women who won’t cheat on you like that. In fact, in all my year’s after that moment, no other girl did.

      Either way, it sounds like she did you a favor. Clearly she wasn’t a great girl for you. It’s time to focus on finding the right woman to connect with.

  3. Noah on August 14, 2014

    One cool thing I realized about rejection is it’s a form of screening- you find out quickly which girls are into you and which one’s aren’t. If you get rejected, then congrats, you’ve filtered out an uninterested girl rather than wasting your time pursuing her.

    It’s in our nature to hate to be rejected in just about any context. It’s not fun. But after getting rejected so many times, you really get desensitized to it and just stop caring. Because let’s be honest, are you really going to still be thinking about a rejection 20 minutes after the fact? an hour? a day?

    • Nick Notas on August 14, 2014

      Love the idea of rejection as screening. I completely believe in it as well.

      If a woman isn’t interested in me, that’s fine. She saved us both time. Now we can focus on people who we do find compatible.

      You just have to remember that there isn’t a finite number of women. One girl says no, there are literally hundreds or thousands near you who will say yes.

  4. Scott on August 14, 2014

    Hey Nick

    Great article about about rejection here, my only question is what if you are getting rejected all the time and how come some guys get rejected way more than others? How can you improve the number of women that will be interested in you and therefore improve your success ratio?

    Note this isn’t so much for me but one of my friends asked this question when I talked with him about rejection and I thought it was an interesting point.

    • Nick Notas on August 15, 2014

      Hey Scott,

      If you’re getting rejected all the time then it has to do with one of two things:

      1) Your approach — that includes your appearance, body language, and what you initially said.

      2) Your conversational ability — are you holding engaging conversation? Are you asking good questions? Are you able to respond in a way that flows naturally?

      As for being more attractive to women, that includes everything I teach on the site — approaching, flirting, self-confidence, fashion, and more. I recommend you read through the dating 101 page. It’ll give you a good overview of what you need to work on.

  5. JC on August 14, 2014

    I think one reason I’ve always hated rejection is because of my parents. Both of them have bad tempers, especially my father. He’s never hit me or any of my siblings but I’m also surprised the neighbors have never called the cops when they hear him screaming. So basically growing up saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing would be like setting off a bomb, and since I haven’t found a job that pays well enough for me to move out I basically try to say or do as little as possible to avoid setting them off. So I think subconsciously I think there’s a chance I experience the same kind of trauma from a girl not liking my advances.

    • Hamster on September 20, 2016

      Hey JC, a late reply is better than nothing.

      You should read up on attachment theory in children and in adults. It will explain a lot of things for you I beleive.

  6. Brian Leppez on August 18, 2014

    Hey Nick,

    Great article. Getting rejected many, many times makes rejection feel trivial after a while. It boosts your confidence and you’ll find other people saying YES to things you never thought ANYONE would say yes to.

    Your article reminded me of this video:

    Great Read

  7. Victor on August 18, 2014

    I’m having trouble being rejected. Every Saturday I have an average of 2~4 rejections, even if I am somewhat good looking and my aims are of 5 points. Each rejection makes me more unconfident and nervous. I have trouble connecting girls…

  8. Daniel on January 14, 2015

    Hey Nick,

    I am 14 years old and (unfortunately) go to an all-boy’s high school. I have lots of girl friends (platonic friends) from my old school but I’ve never had an actual girlfriend since I’m pretty shy. I really want to change that.
    The problem is, I only get to see any girls twice a week at track & field practices. I was planning on doing cold approach and talking to as many girls as I can, but whenever I ask one of my girl friends how they feel about that, they think it’s weird/creepy to do that as a freshman in high school.
    When you’re older girls may be more open to getting hit on or having guys suddenly talking to them, but in freshman year of high school, I don’t imagine girls get much of that at all. It seems that the majority of girls would just be creeped out.
    I’m totally expecting to have people thinking I’m a creep, but is it really worth it if it’s everybody? I’ll have a 100% rejection and 0% success rate– at least some success and most rejection would keep me going, but is it really reasonable?

    How else can I get better at talking to girls? My girl friends don’t have many friends that they can introduce me to that I haven’t already met, and it’s really hard to find time to do that.

    Thanks Nick.

  9. VC (18) on August 7, 2015

    “You feel insecure -> You build a wall to protect yourself -> You refuse to put yourself in vulnerable situations that challenge your insecurities (such as being rejected) -> You take chances rarely and when they don’t work out, your entire wall comes crumbling down -> You become angry, frustrated, or depressed”

    I cannot believe how spot on you were! I am normally negative about women considering when I open up I end up getting rejected. Today was my first time reading all your posts and I really enjoy them its like you just get people, and that’s awesome! I probably sound weird but like thanks for helping people, and hopefully I can break this cycle of negativity.

  10. Isaac on November 1, 2016

    Hey Nick. I got rejected because I am in the friend zone. How do I get out?

  11. Arthur on February 6, 2017

    Nick – thanks for this article. Unfortunately some of us are just beyond help – and know it. I’ve never tried because no woman has ever shown the slightest interest in me. I’m really physically ugly (nobody has ever told me that – I just know) and will never embarrass a woman by approaching her. I’m not happy with this, but several counsellors over the past 10 years have not helped me at all – so I consider myself fundamentally and permanently unlovable. Any thoughts on how to cope with this fact?


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