Seeking rejection for 30 days

Nov 10, 2010, 2:51 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

There’s only one rule with a game that’s caught my attention on Facebook. You must be rejected by another person, at least once, every single day for a month.

Isn’t life hard enough with a normal work day? Why would anyone set themselves up for rejection?

The game Rejection Therapy was Jason Comely’s idea. After you learn a little bit about him, you’ll understand where this concept came from. He’s a tech entrepreneur. He’s a computer guy. He’s a geek, and I mean that in a loving way.

“I’m an introverted person. I have social anxiety disorder, so around certain people I get really uncomfortable,” he says. “It’s usually attractive women that I have trouble with and actually I can’t breathe.”

So, you get the idea. He hasn’t had a lot of dates or relationships. But he says he also realized he “was being a big wuss” by staying at home on his computer and not going out to meet new people.

What does a smart guy do when he has a problem?

“I needed some way to incentivize being rejected so that the worst possible outcome would actually become the desired outcome,” Comely says.

RejectionThat’s when he came up with Rejection Therapy, which includes cards that suggest what you might do to seek out rejection.

For example, if you’re buying something at a clothing store, ask for a discount before you purchase it. Ask someone out on a date. As a total stranger to be your friend on Facebook.

Some of the ideas seem simple. If you have a large comfort zone, you might have to do something a little more extreme – but not dangerous. He heard from one guy who asked another customer at a restaurant for a bite of her croissant.

I couldn’t do that, but I was tempted to ask someone I had lunch with yesterday for a taste of his soup. He was too nice, though, I know he would have said yes.

While it seems like it would be easy to get rejected, Comely says he was surprised at how helpful people were when he asked for something.

“People were a lot more willing to give me what I was asking for than I even imagined,” he says. “And here I was fictionalizing outcomes, imagining things would be a lot worse than they would be. I was really stopping myself from having opportunities.”

We are all stopping ourselves from great opportunities when we’re too afraid to ask for what we want. That’s the point of this 30-day experiment for him. It’s something he’ll continue doing every day of his life, he says, because when you face rejection and you get past whatever it was you were afraid of and you open yourself up to new possibilities.

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Seeking rejection for 30 days