Rejection is a roadblock to relationships, but it can be overcome, even if you're super shy. Despite attempts to be friendly, complimentary, conversational, even witty, do you still find yourself dealing with dating rejection?
Rejection is a fact of life, and fear of rejection can quickly become a roadblock to future relationship success. While we have no control over the choices of others, we do control how we respond to situations. Yes, even devastating situations.
"When you deal positively with rejection, you learn, grow and become stronger. You gain the courage needed to face risks again in the future," explains Terry Heggy, author of "The Shy Man's Guide to Success with Women: A Handbook for Overcoming Fears and Learning Skills for Success in Dating and Relationships" (Performance Press, $12.95 at www.ShyPerson.com).
In his book Heggy shares these tips on how to handle rejection effectively:
1) MAINTAIN EFFECTIVE ATTITUDES
Be prepared. When you take a risk, anticipate all the possibilities. When you prepare yourself to react to any outcome, you'll be able to move on when rejection rears its ugly head. "Affirmations, visualization and planning are the best tools to help with preparation," says Heggy.
If a woman declines your invitation to go out, it doesn't do any good to get upset. It doesn't help to feel sorry for yourself. In fact, you should be pleased that she was honest with you. If she went out with you even though she didn't want to, you'd have wasted energy, time and money on something that wasn't going to work out anyway. Your time is better spent simply figuring out what to do differently next time.
2) ANALYZE REJECTION
There's a big difference between "I don't want to go out with you this weekend" and "I don't want to go out with you ever." If she is busy this weekend, ask her out again. If she never wants to see you again, spend some time analyzing the situation, then move on.
Ask yourself questions about what happened. Why did she react that way? Does her reaction give you information you can use to improve yourself? Can you change your approach or your appearance to become more successful? Brief analysis often provides valuable information, but don't get stuck in extensive analysis. Decide what to do next and do it.
3) MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE
Rejection represents one person's opinion. It is not a definition of your value as a person. Your value as a person is based on what you are inside. As Heggy puts it, "A rejection is more a statement of how little the other person knows about you than it is a reflection of your value or quality."
Recognize that one rejection represents one lost opportunity. Perhaps it is a date that won't happen or a conversation that won't occur. There will be other dates and other conversations. You control your choices, and you can choose to move past rejection and pursue other opportunities.
4) GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT
Taking a risk proves you have courage. You faced the possibility of rejection and did what you wanted to do. You obtained information you didn't previously have. You practiced important skills. You gained experience that will pay off for you in the future. Give yourself credit for these accomplishments.
5) GET ON WITH IT
Rejection hurts. You can't and shouldn't try to deny the painful feelings. But you can control how you respond. Spend some time feeling those painful feelings, then move on. "Everyone is rejected at some time or another," Heggy shares, "Our ultimate success depends on how we come back from these disappointments."
Develop ideas for future actions. Do you want to change anything about your approach? Who are the other women you'd like to meet? Who do you want to ask out next?
Now that you've learned how to handle dating rejection, you're ready to enjoy greater dating success. So go for it!
Editor's Note: A once hopelessly nerdish shy guy, Terry A. Heggy, author of "The Shy Man's Guide to Success with Women," teaches tried and true techniques to transform the dreadful dating experience. Visit www.ShyPerson.com for a copy of his book and a free report, "The ABC Plan for Becoming a Great Conversationalist."
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