Man Law #71 – Embrace Rejection!
(Editorial Note: Check out this CNN article of rejection letters received by famous artist and musicians: “From Warhol to Hendrix to boy in love, Rejection Letters Revealed“)
These two words might be the most powerful two words in the entire blog. In my life, I’ve been very fortunate.
I’ve been rejected. A Lot.
Not just by women. Dogs. Cats. Even some trees.
Now, I’m not talking about the face slaps or the ice-in-your-face that you see in the movies type rejection. I’ve never seen that happen (but if this has happened to you, please send in your story to firstname.lastname@example.org). The type of rejection I’m speaking of is the one where you’ve wanted a situation to turn out one way and it turned out different; WAY different.
Earlier in the blog, I posted Man Law #6 which stated that flowers were the kiss of death early on in the courtship. I still believe that. This law wasn’t born out of thin air. While many women agreed that you shouldn’t send flowers too early, other women, particularly European women (i.e. born in Europe) disagreed. To the American women who stated they liked flowers, I THEN asked them “How many times have you actually gotten serious with a guy who gave you flowers prior to any romantic involvement?”
Now, here is the story that led to this Law. Realize that this was not one singular event but this was the culmination where I realized that all the Shakespeare, all the Dawsons Creek, all the Wonder Years, had lied to me. Flowers – Just Don’t Do It.
Almost five years ago, I took a weekend trip up to New York to visit a childhood friend of mine I had reconnected with through Facebook. She was now attending Law School and we had decided
to go to one of those “exclusive” Law School parties with students from Columbia and NYU. There were a ton of beautiful people there and one in particular was a young Dominican girl from Brooklyn. Now Lawyers and potential Lawyers are dangerous to begin with, but cute, attractive ones are downright deadly. One thing led to another, by Monday I was home and by that Wednesday, she was my girlfriend.
Pamela Anderson once said “Don’t Get Married on Vacation” and I had done just that. Needless to say, we parted on good terms, stayed in touch but I still had a thing or two for her. While we were still talking to each other, I ordered flowers through FTD.com to be delivered to her on Valentine’s Day (Also known by the term S.P.A.D, Single People Awareness Day.) There are hundreds of women that are shaking their heads while they read this because flowers on Valentine’s Day is quite possibly the worst, I repeat, the WORST, thing you can do with someone you are not exclusive with. Looking back, I really don’t have a clue what I was thinking since I wasn’t going to move to New York and she wasn’t going to drop out of Law School. But no one was there to tell me otherwise, and what followed is what they don’t show you in the movies.
I won’t get into details of the page long letter she sent me, but what I can tell you is that we have not spoken a WORD since.
Luckily, at that time of my life I had some experience with rejection and I stepped back, recalibrated and got back on my feet again. It took about a week. But there’s been times where it took close to a year before I really felt normal again. In Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, there is a pretty powerful scene where the father says to Bruce:
“Why do we fall down Bruce?”
“So we learn how to pick ourselves back up.”
And this is even more true with relationships. Getting rejected or hearing the lets just be friends hurts us all but don’t try to conquer it because its going to happen no matter what. The reason why I called this “Embrace Rejection” is because you have to accept that this will happen no matter what and timing and circumstances might be going AGAINST you and have nothing to do with who you are. There are so many reasons why someone might not be on the same page as you are that its pointless to analyze these. If you find yourself constantly rationalizing someones behavior to the positive, chances are you need to pick up your stuff, say “NEXT”, and move on. Don’t let Rejection get the best of you. Step back, Brush the dust off. And learn to get back up. Each time is quicker, faster, and you grow stronger.
Man Law #71 is a condition precedent to Man Law #72 for you 1Ls. Look for it next week!