There is something powerful and negative about rejection that, no matter how trained you are, it will affect you emotionally. However, these emotions are there to teach you something, to help you to improve, to guide you to grow as a person.
Therefore, when we talk about dealing with rejection, the purpose is not to stop you feeling the rejection entirely, but to feel it only as much or as little as necessary to learn what you need to learn from it and then to move on.
Dogs don’t care about being rejected.
That is a bold statement and, if you have a dog, probably you’ve noticed that your dog does care about being rejected… for about 10 seconds.
My dog, Jack, taught me a lot about how to move on from being rejected and this is the experience I will share with you today: how to move on from rejection- the dog’s style (please, take this with a smile and hear me out before considering to reject this idea.)
Now, what is a dog doing when being rejected?
Step 1. He is in pain for 10 seconds, looking rather helpless.
Almost breaks your heart and you almost give in. It is not the helplessness that makes you feel guilty, but the dog’s secret weapon. A secret weapon that all living thinking creatures have, including us, humans.
Step 2. Unleash the secret weapon.
Take a big breath in and breath out with a sigh at the end. Then, use the weapon: innocence. Make an innocent face.
This weapon is not only useful to make the other person a bit sorry for rejecting you, but also to free yourself from negative thoughts.
Why innocence? Because people can’t stay mad on an innocent living creature. Can you?
Plus, my dog is doing it every single time, and it is working. I don’t give in, but I can’t be annoyed with him either.
Step 3. Retreat in the arms of someone that loves you.
This step is meant to calm you down, to regroup; to receive a positive reinforcement that you are still loved, still appreciated, still valuable and to recognize the fact that, even though somebody hasn’t been too good to you, many others are.
Step 4. Design a new plan of action.
When you are rejected could feel like is the end of the world or that there is no point in trying again.
However, failure is not an option when you have other options as well. Failure is only the response to your action or behavior. It doesn’t define who you are or what you are capable of accomplishing.
Take the learning from the first try and make a new plan.
Step 5. Place yourself in the spot that gives you the best chance of success.
If you observe a dog how he is making the second attempt to get what he wants, you will notice how carefully he is choosing where to sit in the room.
- First, he wants to have his eyes on the price.
- Second, makes sure that you see him and that you can’t avoid him.
- Third, he is looking wistful directly into your eyes.
- Fourth, looks at the price again for a brief moment and sighs and then, looks back into your eyes.
- Fifth, he begs, adopting the innocence face.
I’m not suggesting to do exactly how the dog does; that could be a bit creepy, isn’t it? However, you can use the same principles when you ask for what you want.
- First, know what you want.
- Second, make yourself visible without invading the space of the other person. Choose your place so that you can’t be ignored.
- Third, look people in the eye when you speak. Be confident and, if possible, give reasons why they should give you what you’re asking.
- Fourth, let people know how much that something could mean to you, and how they can be a hero that day by helping you.
- Fifth, make the innocent face and smile.
Step 6. Try again following your new plan of action.
If you haven’t been successful yet, try again in a new way, and then another way and another way until you get what you want, or there are no other options left.
Step 7. Give up and move on.
When you have tried everything and nothing worked, it is time to give up and move on… at least until you find another way.
What a dog doesn’t do when he is rejected:
- Doesn’t take things personally.
- Doesn’t believe that you are mean for not giving in.
- Doesn’t believe that there is something wrong about him for being rejected: maybe is too much to ask, maybe is the approach, perhaps is the timing; whatever but not him!
- Doesn’t linger on feeling sorry for himself. There is no point in that when you can use your time and energy to find different ways to get what you want.
- Doesn’t stop at one person with the request. If one person refused him, he tries his fortune with the next person and then the next and then the next, until he finds the right person for him.
My dog is a happy dog. He knows how to ask and when he doesn’t get it, he quickly regroups and moves on. Tomorrow is another day!