Thanks for sharing this. No’s can be hugely painful.
I can’t speak for your first VC meeting but for me, even if it might be a bit painful, I would much prefer a VC take the time and effort to thoroughly tear my pitch down. They don’t have to, they could easily just shrug and say “it’s not for us” or “we’d love to talk for your Series A”. It’s faster and gets you out of the room more quickly so they can get onto the next opportunity.
What you learn from dress-downs, especially if you get several of them and can start to see patterns, can be very valuable.