What do you feel when others reject your ideas, your ‘sales pitch,’ your requests? Are you devastated? Do you wonder “why do I bother?” Do you give up? Or are you driven to find an alternative way to accomplish what you desire?
People who choose the last alternative are the confident ones. They not only possess a great deal of confidence, their desire to achieve their goals is so strong that they will not be denied.
Just as importantly, they don’t view others’ denials as rejection. Instead they see them as learning opportunities. These people realize that:
- They don’t know everything and that the reason for the denial is that the other person knows something they don’t know.
- Not everyone wants the same things. The denial may simply be an indication that there is no alignment of values or interests between the two parties. Consequently, the denial is a blessing that will save them time and energy in the pursuit of their goal.
- There may be a better way to get what they want and the denial opens the door for them to learn what that alternative is.
- The other person cares enough about them to say ‘no.’ All too often others will avoid being candid in an attempt to avoid confrontation or delivering ‘bad news’ when the real kindness is being honest about what they feel.
- The vast majority of the time a denial isn’t personal. The other person may very well like you, but not be interested in what you’re proposing.
When you consistently recognize these possibilities in your dealings with others, you avoid all of the negative emotions normally associated with a denial. Instead you see opportunities to learn and grow.
Thats when some really good things happen:
- Others view you as an open, confident person with whom they can be candid without fear of reprisal.
- The tone of their denial softens and is presented to you in a more caring way.
- Even though what you want isn’t aligned with what they want, they’re more likely to help you get what you want…but from someone else.
Contrast that with how others feel when you press them to come around to your way of thinking. The more you press, the more defensive and stubborn they become. And the less likely they are to help you achieve what you want.
How do you learn to avoid experiencing rejection?
When others reject your ideas, sales pitch or requests, ask exploratory questions. Tell them that they can help you immensely if they help you understand why this won’t work for them.
People naturally want to help others, it makes them feel good about themselves. This simple approach will typically elicit information that you can use to either tailor your approach to fit the other person’s needs or determine quickly that this person is not a good fit for what you want to achieve.
For our kids
As you see your kids despondent over a ‘rejection’ use the lists above to help them develop a new attitude toward others’ denials. They’ll not only become more confident, they’ll enjoy greater success in all of their pursuits.
Finally, live the message. Kids pick up a lot from merely observing how we live and the results we get from living that way.