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Final in the series

Rejection 9:  Good or bad?

Your relationships has an expiration date

Harlan Jacobsen Copyright © 2003


               To understand rejection, think of it this way:  Heat is something, cold is nothing.  Light is something, darkness is nothing.  Cold is merely the absence of heat.  Dark is the absence of light.  There is partially hot and partially cold.  There is sort of lukewarm.

               What is total hot - —212, 1000 degrees?  5000 degrees?  What is total ab-sence of heat?  There is a minus or absolute zero figure, or the absolute absence of heat.

               Acceptance and approval are like heat and light.  They are something.  Rejec-tion or non-approval is like cold or dark.  They are nothing or the absence of something.  Rejection is  ‘nothing,’  merely the absence of approval.

               Cold is the lack of heat.  No heat yet.  Rejection is no approval.  Have not accepted you yet.  300 million people have not accepted you yet.  When people accept you, they hope you accept them.

               You too can accept and maintain only a very few relationships.  What do you think of someone who sends out 300 Christmas cards?  Do they really have 300 friends, 300 people that were once friends, acquaintances, what?  If you’re normal, you can accept and maintain only a few people as friends and others can really accept only a few.  So rejection is nothing.

               Acceptance by you of only a few of the 300 million is normal.  You cannot be rejected by anyone who has not accepted you.  300 million people have not accepted you.  They cannot accept you til they know you.  So there is still non-acceptance.  You cannot be rejected because you have never been accepted.  They can only continue not to accept you.

               It is like the salesman who is afraid to call on a prospect because he might lose the sale.  The sale is already lost.  He can only save the sale, by calling on the prospect.  He cannot lose it.

               You cannot  lose acceptance be-cause you never had it.  How can you lose something you never had?  You never had acceptance—you cannot lose acceptance.  You had only the possibility of acceptance (the salesman only had the possibility of a sale) and you have not lost that.  You still have the possibility of acceptance later.

               Research shows that 80% of big relationships had no initial attraction.  Most people that do not accept you right off don’t mean they will never accept you.  How can they accept you when they don’t know you?  How can you accept someone you don’t know?  A friend of mine manages a depart-ment store.  The store was held up and the chain manager asked,  ‘How come you didn’t recognize this guy right off as a hold-up man?’   He said,  ‘What does a hold-up man look like?’   What does a per-son you accept look like?  You can’t al-ways tell.

               How can you really totally accept new people when you are overstocked?  You have to accept only those that seem poten-tially better than your present stock.

               You didn’t accept them because you didn’t have enough information or input to accept them.  They do not accept you because they don’t have enough infor-mation or input about you to accept you.  Learn to let others know you more quickly.  If you are a three-call person, get where you have a chance for them to get to know you.

               Most will still not accept you.  Most people you are interested in:

               1.  Have no burners on their stove empty right now.  They are not currently in the market for new friends or relationships.

               2.  You seem nice, or about the same as everyone else I know, but I don’t think I am so impressed with you that I am going to push somebody else off a burner to make room for you.

               3.  To them you seem uptight, not open about how things really are with you.

               4.  They may assume you have a sign on that tells them,  ‘You will not be accepted and will be humiliated if you approach me.’

               Spending a lot of money on the outside helps some people get more accept-ance.  It not only improves the package but improves how they feel about themselves.  Fixing up the inside is the main part and helps more than the outside, and makes things last.

               But how do you want, or do you want, them all to accept you?  You don’t.  There are many degrees of acceptance.  Cold is the absence of heat.  Rejection is the absence of acceptance.  Little is com-pletely cold (absolute zero) and failing to accept you is not absolute lack of acceptance. 

               There is such a thing as partial acceptance.  But you can’t say,  ‘I accept you 40%.’   You say in effect,  ‘I don’t accept you at all.’   You can’t say,  ‘I’m over-booked now; try me next week..’   You don’t say,  ‘I’m afraid of you; I might like you so much I’d get involved and I’m scared of that.’   You can’t say,  ‘You look so super that if I’d accept you, you probably wouldn’t accept poor slob me.’ 

               YES, YOU CAN.  YOU CAN SAY ALL THESE THINGS.  You can say,  ‘You seem so sophisticated and adjusted to be-ing single that I feel very vulnerable and uncomfortable with you because this going out is all new to me.’  You can say,  ‘I am still in the process of adjusting to the loss of my last relationship and I am not ready for dating yet but I really do need friends.’  You can say,  ‘You seem really interesting and a nice person but I am sure we don’t have any real chemistry going here and I would like to have you just as a good


               We would like life to have no ending; most act like they have 200 years.  But whether you like it or not, you have an expiration date.  In time rejection, where we have been partially accepted for a while, we are later rejected.  Every relationship has an expiration date.  You see somebody who looks super across the dance floor.  You go over, you dance.  It was not what you thought.  You accepted them to dance but never ask again.  All relationships have an expiration date.  You develop a relationship that starts out with unlimited potential.  You date six months.  Turns out to be mutual poison — you make each other unhappy, hassle, hassle, so you get out.  All relationships have an expiration date. 

               There is a Piano Story about the gal who meets this great concert pianist.  He is the greatest, she says.  His music really sends her; it is heaven.  After living with him three months, she says,  ‘His piano playing is getting to me, 8 hours a day.  After six months, I can’t stand any more.  All he’s interested in is that damn piano.’  After 1 year,  ‘I’ve had it.  I never want to hear or see another piano.  There just has got to be more to life than this.’   So she divorces him.  All relationships have an expiration date.

               You had a big romance in high school.  You thought at the time it would last forever.  Thinking back you had sev-eral like that and they all ended.  Every relationship has an expiration date.  You got married and you thought it was forever.  It wasn’t.  But all relationships have an expiration date.

               Speaking to a high school, I said,

‘Everything is temporary and all relationships are temporary.’   A cute little gal stood up and said, ‘If it didn’t last a life-time then it wasn’t true love.  It was phoney.  If it had been true love, it would have lasted.’   Two out of three young marrieds will be divorced.  Of those married now over half will probably be married more than twice.  Half will get divorced.  All relationships have an expiration date.  Of the other half, 80% will be ended but stay together anyway.  The five out of 100 who stay together a lifetime are happy.  But one or the other dies and one will be alone an average of 15 years, because all relationships have an expiration date.

               One of the three  ‘natural’  programming things we have is giving and getting affection.  We all need relationships.  The greatest joys and strengths of our lives come from relationships.  The thing we look forward to most is being together.  Joy shared is doubled, pain shared is halved.  Relationships are a great thing but only a few people accept us.  We can accept only a few.

               We are programmed that relationships and true love are sup-posed to be forever.  WRONG!  All rela-tionships have an expiration date.  We are told —use my method, try harder, learn to communicate better.  Then it will last and last and last.  Now that I have learned to com-municate better I am able to tell you why I am leaving.  It is an undo-able job.  Statistically 95 out of 100 won’t last.  Look at your past.  Yet you still cling to the idea, living a myth, faulty programming, G.I.G.O (gar-bage in, —garbage out— computer term) that:

               1.  If it doesn’t last, I failed.  Even Ann Landers  ‘failed.’

               2.  If it didn’t last, it wasn’t any good.  Or it isn’t going to last, I don’t want in.  It has to last or I am let down.

               3.  I am angry at my partner for not making it last and last.

               4.  I am constantly let down when a relationship expires.

               I was rejected, therefore I am no good.  Your worth was erroneously tied up in the continuity of a relationship.

               Accept that fact that you will be accepted but all with expirations:

               1.  Dropped 5 minutes later.

               2.  Asked for a date, then dropped.

               3.  Someone goes to bed with you and that ends it.

               4.  Dated you for 7 months, then dropped.

               5.  Married, and then dropped.

               THAT’S OKAY.  People grow, people graduate, you can’t keep ‘em in high school forever.  Some people are in a stage where they need you tremendously.  You are afraid to let them get attached to your filling their need.  Don’t worry; they will outgrow you and move on.

               You can only accept so many.  They can only accept so many.  It’s O.K. for relationships to end.  You always move on to bigger and better things, though at the time it doesn’t seem like it.  Love, satisfaction, joy, worthwhileness  have nothing to do with the duration of the relationship. 

               Take for example jobs.  If you stay over two years on a job and it has not gotten better, you move on.  It is the same with relationships.  If they are not getting better, not growing, then move on.  It is hard to change jobs.  It is hard to change relationships.  You could still be sweeping up at the corner grocery.  You could still be dating that freckle faced kid that you used to date way back when. 

               But that’s not the way it is.  You move on.  It’s not sad.  It’s good.  You move on to bigger and better, get on with life.

               Your attitude about rejection can either add to your life or diminish what

there is of it.    


Rejection Article  

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