30 Days of Rejection Therapy
social life & social media | stress
To reduce his fear of uncomfortable social situations, Mark Moschel accepts a challenge by his friend to participate in what he called “Rejection Therapy.” Could he go thirty days with the goal of being rejected at least once per day? Watch this entertaining talk to hear what Mark learned by tracking his experiences.
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30 Days of Rejection Therapy
Hi guys, my name is Mark Moschel and I’m going to be talking about my experiment getting rejected 30 days in a row.
So this all started back in May when a friend of mine told me about a project he was doing called rejection therapy, and he told me the goal was to be rejected by another person every day. And I thought that was crazy, why would anyone want to do that. I’m naturally kind of a shy person, and the thought of putting myself into an uncomfortable situation was kind of scary.
But he started telling me his story. Some of them were really funny. Some were really inspirational and he said that it was having a really positive impact on his life and his startup, so I decided all right I’ll try it. I’ll commit to it for 30 days and just see how it goes.
So day one rolls around and I wake up and I start walking through the day looking for an opportunity to ask for something, and I keep passing up on opportunities because I was too scared. My heart was pounding like crazy, and finally at the end of the day I’m at Trader Joe’s and I see this guy working and I decided I have to do this now or I’ll never do it.
So I go to this guy and I say, ‘Excuse me. Can I buy a one pound grass fed organic cow brain?’ And he looks at me like, ‘Sorry we don’t even sell the non-organic kind’. And I was like thanks.
And I walk away and I’m so embarrassed and my face is bright red, but I realized that I’m still okay, like nothing really that bad happened. So after I settled down a little bit and I realized I could do this again.
So the next day I did it again. I looked around for an opportunity and it became a little bit easier, and I found myself actually looking for opportunities to ask for things that typically I wouldn’t, so it was a kind of an interesting change in perspective.
And then it started to become kind of fun, and it kind of became this game where every day I was asking for something a little bit more weirder than the day before and that made it more interesting for me. And every time I would ask for something there would be this kind of emotional spike of fear, anxiety and a little bit of excitement.
And what I learned is that right after I did it once it became a lot easier to then ask for multiple things right away afterwards which became very helpful at bars actually.
So another thing I learned was that some people are actually really friendly. So I called Chase and asked if I can have a free T-shirt, and the lady went out of her way to ask a couple of supervisors and then two weeks later she called me back unexpectedly to see if I had got my shirt. And it kind of just blew me away that this woman cared that much about such a silly request, and so I was shocked that people were that friendly.
And I also learned that sometimes you get the things that you asked for even if you don’t really want them. So I walked into a 7-Eleven and asked if I could get a couple of those free sausages that are always rolling, and the guy was like sure, and handed me four, and I had to throw them out because I didn’t want to eat them. But the next day I walked into a juice bar and asked for free strawberries. They didn’t have any but I walked out with a handful of oranges.
And so this kind of all cumulated in a free Withing’s scale. So I entered into a raffle and you can see I won it, but I was sleeping at the time when I could accept. And so typically I would have left it at that first message and you know just cut my losses, but since I was doing the thing called rejection therapy I thought I’ll press it and see what I can do. And so I sent this other message that started the conversation. I eventually went in and met with the guy and I ended up getting a free scale out of it.
So the biggest takeaway that I learned that you actually get sometimes the things that you ask for, and if you don’t ask you’re not going to get it.
So at the end of each rejection I ranked how difficult it felt for me and you can see the first day and the last day were actually the two hardest. But what’s interesting to note that my definition of what was difficult changed over time.
So the first day if you remember I was asking about cow brain as something silly and meaningless, and the last day I actually asked someone I really respected if he could make a new job for me at his new company, and it’s just interesting how it went from silly to meaningful over the course of 30 days.
Here you can kind of see this is a kind of a made up graph but over the course of the 30 days, confidence definitely went up very noticeably and it became a lot easier over time. But I actually stopped doing it over 30 days and I thought I would continue but I didn’t. and one thing that I noticed really quickly is that all that confidence I kind of gained kind of went away.
And what it taught me is that, for me at least this kind of requires an intentional daily practice in order to be good at it. And so it’s something I hope to pick up again maybe for another 30 days at the end of this year, but that was my experiment so thank you guys for listening.