Rethinking Rejection

Neil StraussNeil

I’ve had a massive turnaround on a subject, and I’m going to share it with you here so that you can benefit from it as well. If I had known this when I was in the learning stages, I believe it would have improved my results by twenty percent.

It’s about rejection.

My attitude used to be to avoid rejection at all costs. That’s why I developed things like the opinion opener, the time constraint, rooting, and the interactive value demonstration. They were designed to make those difficult first few minutes of an approach as flawless and rejection-free as possible.

But, through a number of recent successes, I had an epiphany: rejection is not a black-and-white concept. In other words, the game is not over if you are rejected. Nor does this even mean that you need to recover and are now in damage-control mode.

A rejection can actually be a planned part of the game.

Let me explain this in the form of a story: Recently, I was with a girl. She had read The Game, and knew all about the evolution phase-shift routine. She was also very high-energy, and difficult to get to slow down to do proper kino escalation.

However, I knew she was attracted. So what I decided to do is to get rejected in order to succeed. I purposely made an AFC attempt to kiss her, so that she pulled away. When that happened, I ignored it as if nothing had happened. Then, three minutes later, I moved in to kiss her, and we began making out passionately.

Why did this happen?

Because the first kiss attempt was actually a statement of intent. It informed her that I was interested in making this a physical relationship. Then, after I withdrew, it gave her time to think about whether she too was interested. And the answer, which she already knew, was yes.

Here’s another way to think about it: turning away from the kiss was an autopilot response. Once an autopilot response is triggered, and the context is changed, it doesn’t necessarily occur again. Not unlike one of those wooden mousetraps, once triggered, it doesn’t automatically reload.

Mostly out of curiosity, I tested this two other times in the following week. Both were successful. However, in all cases, attraction must be present (and the attempt must not make her uncomfortable or cross any lines of decency or respect). I discussed this with a close friend in the community, and he thought that it was necessary to punish after the rejection in order to encourage compliance. However, being unaffected and going neutral seemed to be enough to give her time to think.

The bigger idea is that this is perhaps more useful for approaching than making out. There were many times when I saw guys who got rejected initially on the approach stick with it or return, and then get accepted. In some cases, it was because the guy returned later after earning social proof through the attention of other women in the room. In other cases, it was because by returning or barreling through, the guy made it socially awkward for her to say no twice in addition to demonstrating his confidence and lack of fear.

At a stretch, another reason can be found in the book Influence, which states that if someone turns down a big request, he or she is more likely to accept a second, smaller request.

However, the bigger point to remember is this: a rejection is nothing to be afraid of. It is not a permanent no. It can be simply temporary, and your job is to be cool and charming enough to make her feel like she made a mistake the first time.