Patrick Sallee may have found the secret to successful dating.
“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
One of my favorite quotes. You know what I would do? I’d ask out this woman at my gym. Yep, I’m dead serious. She is something else … or at least she seems to be…since I haven’t actually, ya know, spoken to her. Terrified.
The fear of rejection shuts us all down. I’m a pretty confident guy, not intimidated by much … but face to face with rejection, no thank you. So I picked up a book recently called Rejection Proof. The author, Jai Jiang went through a 100 day challenge to be rejected once a day. He came up with all sorts of crazy ideas for the challenge, to make requests of people, many that got declined.
The biggest surprise? Many were accepted. The most well-known was asking an associate at Krispy Kreme to make donuts in the shape of the Olympic rings. The video was shared millions of times online and speaks to how you can often get things you never imagined, just by asking.
I highly recommend the book, but these ideas stood out as ways to overcome the fear as it relates to asking a woman out.
1. We reject ourselves the most
Everyone has been rejected at one point and that feeling never leaves you. No matter how confident I’ve been that the woman I’m interested in will say yes, there is always this little bit of doubt that sneaks in to challenge me. What the hell are you doing? Who do you think you are that she will be interested? No way she says yes!
What makes it worse is these doubts can impact how you approach someone. One of the key messages from Rejection Proof is that when we are more confident, friendly, and open with people, the world will be more open and friendly in return. If I could learn to fear rejection less, approaching women I’m interested in with nothing to lose, I might be surprised what happens. I try to refer back to other times I’ve asked for things and had amazing results. You never know until you ask!
2. Rejection is less fact and more opinion.
The one truth I have learned about dating is that there are no standard truths. The opinion of one person I’m asking out could be based on their mood, their needs and circumstances at that moment, or their knowledge, experience, education, culture, and upbringing.
Recently I went out with a woman who lived in a different city. I thought, given the distance and interest in trying to get to know each other, I’ll give her a call. Bad idea. She took it very differently than I would have expected and wasn’t happy. A few unpleasant texts later, we moved on.
Literally, the very next woman I made plans with told me, “I can’t take you seriously, you haven’t called me.”
I mean, c’mon! Really?!
3. Rejection is human it often says more about the person doing the rejecting than the person asking.
We tend to take rejection, of any size, very personally. Regardless of how interested you are or how well you know the person, when she isn’t interested in seeing you … ever … that kind of stings. But really, its more about her, where she is in life. Maybe seeing someone else, maybe just out of a relationship, maybe she just doesn’t see the connection. Doesn’t really matter the reason, it says far more about how she views her life at the moment than it does about your value as a dating partner.
As Jia Jiang went through his 100 days of rejection, you could tell in the way he shares his stories that he became more and more comfortable with hearing “no” … almost as if he was looking for it. A mentor once told me: the sale doesn’t start until they say “no.” It is also true for how we look at rejection. The more times you hear no, the more comfortable with it you become. You can see that it isn’t about you personally and learn to tweak your approach looking for a better result. Just like anything else you want to get better at, practice, experience and expanding your comfort zone will make your next approach much easier.
My perspective has changed on what can be gained and lost by approaching the women I’m interested in. It is far less about “am I good enough” and more focused on a confident, open and friendly effort to get to know someone. I certainly haven’t perfected it, but with practice I plan to get more comfortable hearing no.