I was having lunch with two friends. After lunch, I opened my purse, took out a pack of gum, and offered them a piece.
Both of them said, “no thank you.”
I popped a stick in my mouth and didn’t think about it again.
I like to use this as an example of how not to take things personally.
When someone says no to you for any reason at all, imagine yourself offering them a stick of gum, them politely declining, and you go on your merry way.
Whatever the reason for the “no,” it usually isn’t about you. In fact, it probably has nothing to do with you.
They are most likely not hungry or thirsty.
Maybe they are already busy with other plans.
They could be tired or overwhelmed.
Or they don’t have the money or the time or the desire.
When someone tells you no, they have a reason. Stop thinking it has anything to do with you at all. Almost 100% of the time, it’s just not the case.
But we tell ourselves a story and make ourselves crazy anyway.
Circle back to the gum.
Have you ever offered someone a stick of gum, been told no, and stayed up all night rewinding the scenario in your head, wondering what you could have done differently so that person would have wanted your gum?
I hope you’re laughing. Because it’s silly, isn’t it?
We take rejection personally. We cast ourselves as the main character and allow our imagination to run wild.
It’s just a stick of gum. Go on and worry about something else.