We’ve all been there.

No. No thanks. No thank you, your services are not needed. No, not YOU. Sorry, not today. I can’t make it to see you, I’ve got something else on. I don’t want to hang out doing your thing, I’m doing something else today. I’ve got other plans. We’re going to someone else’s party.

It hurts.

No matter how grown-up we are.

That feeling of, “Oh. I am not quite good enough. Hm.”

I remember the first time I was rejected, in love; I can only have been about 11. This boy friend-of-a-friend and I were getting on OK, (in fact I read the signs as more than okay); it was all harmless laughter and we were having fun in the summer holidays. Now I’m not one to take chances or ask guys out, I need to see some real physical proof or evidence present before there is even the slightest chance of me saying something. I am not a risk-taker. I am a wait-and-see-er. So on this one occasion, I thought I had read the signs. There was fun, there was a bit of harmless almost-flirting. There was silly eyes and smiles. There was body contact! I’m sure we’d even hugged. I decided to take a chance; to ramp it up a bit, to ask. I was almost certain the answer would be an unequivocal YES. I got a friend to ask the lad in question, “Will you be her boyfriend?”

The answer came back. It was not what I had anticipated, at all. 

“No, not really, I don’t really fancy her. Let’s just be friends.”

Argghhhhhhh……. [stuffs fist in mouth]…. 



The sense of deflation from what I ‘assumed’ was a given was quite crushing, to my undeveloped naive little snowflake self.

Some say that formative ‘gamble’ I tried out that summer may have shaped my views on this and put me off taking a romantic gamble for the rest of my life. There is a certain truth in that. Remember the saying – ‘Once bitten, twice shy’. Better to admire from afar – (and to do so with relish) – than to risk it all to actually have.

From then on, I saw, based on my limited experience of gambling, that it did not pay off to ask someone out – even if you had substantial proof. My future decision-making was based wholly on a past 100% rejection rate. They might – indeed they probably would – say NO. A big fat rejection. A non-acceptance of one’s self. From that first experience, my benchmark was set for what I expected from the ghastly world of romantic love. It was rather low and unassuming.

The next few years of teenage frenzy were riddled with self-doubt and peppered with unattainable, unrequited secret love. It was just far easier all round. To admire, and retain some element of dignity, was far better than to approach, and risk almost certain humility. Not only was it easier (as in, less risky); it was also more enjoyable, in an intellectual way. I didn’t have to know the object of my desire, I only had to watch them, fantasise about them, and imagine untold, splendiferous things about them, which fuelled my creative cells. It became a way of better understanding reading, interpreting literature, understanding ideas, history and science. Who doesn’t want to become better informed when they become smitten? Desire is a potent force: it acts quite quickly to highlight all your deficiencies and shine a floodlight on them.

> Therefore,

In the allegorical sense, IF I am now relatively smart about something, anything, it is because of some perceived weakness or imbalance in my Self.


Later, rejection, if not romantic, can be of the social type.

No, sorry, I can’t let you in. You are not cool enough for this nightclub. – Argh! The failure. 

Sorry, I cannot serve you a drink. You are too drunk for in here. – Argh!

Sorry, I’m afraid we have to leave your party. We have to go home early. (i.e. it’s not enjoyable enough) – Argh! 

Either way, you are left with a bitter taste in your mouth (a bilious, lachrymose one), like a kid just pulled your hair in the school playground, and you wonder:



THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD is acceptance. That, in stark opposition to the cases I have demonstrated above, is where you and some mate that turns out to be a great mate get along like a house on fire, they come to your party, they stay by your side all day and all night, they get drunk but are still funny and interesting, they want to party in your house till the end of the night, and then some. They never stop laughing with you, they never want to kill the conversation. They want to keep talking and playing all night long. Who cares who has a better invitation to be elsewhere? They want to stay with you in the present, for as long as you both can go. They are the first-to-arrive-last-to-leave type persons in your life, and YOU NEED TO HOLD ONTO THEM.


Either way, rejection is about that clanging realisation that What You So Desire is oblivious to You. What You Are Dependent Upon is rather non-dependent upon you. You are not so Necessary. I could be staring right at [you] thinking the world of [you] and seeing whole constellations of green infinity in [your sparkling eyes] and imagining how amazing [your conversation] is, while you could be staring right through me vaguely looking at your watch and wondering when it’s time to go home. There’s a horrendous mismatch of anticipation. It judders through the manifolds of time and jars at your throat.


And yet rejection is a fact of life. The sooner we learn to deal with its losses the better we can move on and rise to new challenges.

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