On working with rejection

mechanicHow much rejection is a lot?

Obviously being famous is likely to bring on more of it. Taking stands is too. Being a clod or a jerk increases our rejection rate, I assume. I am probably an example of both.

I consider my rejection rate to be fairly high, and most of them come from women. One of the puzzles to me is that validation and encouragement, even affection, also come to me from women, and this has been consistent over time.

What I would like is a way to share perspectives on rejection. I read an interesting piece from Psychology Today by Frederic Neuman. He covers the topic well, but it is not the same thing as a conversation.

The real experts in rejection are, of course, writers. I have belonged to various writers’ groups over the years, and, although they were clever, often witty, people who were capable of having a good time in each other’s company, it was like being part of a group of people endlessly trying to climb up a muddy hill together and watching each other slide back down again to the bottom.—Frederic Neuman

One rejection came to me in a phone call. My former friend said that if she told me my offense I would respond with an offer to provide a remedy. “But you can’t fix it,” she assured me. Not knowing my offense, I could not pursue the subject.

My first wife informed me over the salad course at a restaurant that I was moving out. We have no regrets. Parting was sweet sorrow for both of us. I have been with my present wife more than 30 years. I have lost my fear of salads.

I feel rejection as author of this blog, and almost all of it comes in the form of silence. I write it for its therapeutic value, such as it is. Dan Plumer recommended that I read The Magic of Rapport. It’s an excellent book. Author Jerry Richardson assures readers that rejection is an integral step toward success. Rejection means that we are making an effort. That I am.

If I could be somebody else I would be E. B. White. He wrote this:

In a free country it is the duty of writers to pay no attention to duty.—Salt Water Farm

I do what I can to honor his advice even when it requires me to accept rejection.

Your thoughts?




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