Earning a Super Power

I “stumbledupon” the site youarenotsosmart.com and listened to this podcast by David McRaney about rejection and its’ impact.

That impact includes paralyzing fear, tangible pain and diminished quality of life. The podcast features an interview with Jia Jiang, a man who approached his fear of rejection with “rejection therapy“.

He consciously set about to put himself in situations with potential for rejection in order to re-map his response to being rejected. Each rejection was celebrated as a success instead of an injury or perceived failure.

Fascinating topic. I wonder if I have enough grit to attempt something like this. Check out the podcast discussion.

I thought I’d mention that while watching Jia’s vlogs for each day of his 100 requests, I felt anxious. Meaning, my heart rate quickened, my throat became dry, and I had that fluttery feeling in my gut (that feeling of being about ready to jump out of my skin). I also felt awkward and embarrassed and sometimes nervous about his receiving an anger response.

This prompted me to ask myself what I would consider the most ‘frightening’ potential responses to making requests that are subject to rejection. They were, in order of escalation, with the first being the least fearful:

  1. Anger.
  2. Public shaming/humiliation.
  3. Physical threat.
  4. Mob attack (!!)

Yes, during that stream of conscious list making exercise, I came up with having the fear of being attacked by an angry mob intent on punishing me for making an unacceptable request!

That’s so crazy it must be revealing. What does it reveal?

Well, maybe it speaks to the root of the fear people have of rejection, which is being cast out of society, or, at the most basic level, the fear of dying. People are social animals. We are born dependent on others and remain that way for the duration of our lives to varying extent. But, the point being, that perhaps that idea of being fearful of the mob or group rejection was something of a Jungian moment, tapping into the collective conscious, as it were. (I don’t ordinarily concern myself with mob rule, much, unless the context is WoW or D&D. Oh, or the Black Sabbath album.)

I’d love to hear what other people think about the fear of rejection and the possible benefits of overcoming that fear by this direct approach.

If nothing else, definitely check out the youarenotsosmart.com and fearbuster.com websites.

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