The Power of Rejection Therapy

I not long ago learned of Rejection Therapy.

Rejection Therapy is a simple game developed by Jason Comely, a guy from Cambridge, Ontario. The game was inspired by a defining moment in Jason’s life. One of those moments that clearly marks a before and after. I’ll let him tell the story:

She [Jason’s wife] … found someone that was taller than I was — had more money than I had. … So, yeah.”

Jason’s wife left him.

And he fell into a dark place. While hanging out there for awhile, he came to the realization he feared rejection. With this awareness, he set out to overcome his fear. How?

By getting rejected.

Jason’s plan: to get rejected by a person every single day at least once and in effect desensitize himself from the Mother of All Inhibitors. Thus, Rejection Therapy was born.

The game is beautiful in its simplicity, elegance, and power. And I love it.

Who can think of a better game where you LOSE by NOT failing? Instead of rejection being something to avoid, it’s something to seek out! Rejection Therapy completely flips rejection on its head. If you don’t get rejected in the day, it means you’re not done playing. It means that the stakes probably aren’t high enough. That you’re probably not challenging yourself enough. That there are opportunities you’re leaving on the table!

A cool thing happens the more you play. Yes, it’s cool you start to become familiar with the physical feelings of rejection. This familiarity gives you a leg up on rejection. Rejection becomes something more tangible and easier to grab and discard. But that’s not the cool thing I had mind. The cool thing is: SOMETIMES YOU DON’T GET REJECTED!

On my flight back to the States from Bogotá, I was still hungry after shoveling United’s complementary meal into my face. In an effort to pad profits, airlines have become quite frugal when it comes to in-flight amenities like food and entertainment. A complementary meal, which United reserves only for international flights, is something to praise the high heavens for. While grateful, it wasn’t enough for me. So I asked the flight attendant: “Is there a little something extra to nosh on?,” fully expecting to be rejected or have to pay. To my amazement, there was! And I noshed. For free.

In another example, I got a cute girl’s number sitting on a park bench in Bogotá.

In another, I got a cute girl’s number in a bar.

In another, I got a free workout at a local gym.

I didn’t singularly want these things (except the food, which I would have paid for because I was damn hungry). I wanted to be rejected. That my wanting to be rejected sometimes resulted in my attaining something I didn’t have was a welcome by-product.

But make no mistake, I’m not a bad player of this game. I’m good and I think on my way to great. I’m getting rejected a lot. Which means I’m winning.


Tags: rejection therapy, rejection, fear

Originally published at on February 19, 2016.