Rejection Therapy Day 1 – 5

Day 1: Ask someone to borrow $20

I asked with my friend, Jessica Cox. She clearly picked the right person, because I knew this woman was going to hold on to her money like a snapping turtle  (which ironically is what her face reminded me of). I don’t dislike her, I lash out when I’m rejected. I’m going to iron this fear and insecurity out as I go.

She rejected me.


Day 2: Birthday Freebies

I went to Baskin Robbins and asked the old Asian man there if I could have a free icecream cone because it was my birthday. He asked me if I had a certificate and I said no. He rejected me.

What surprised me was that I continued to press. I asked him if it was ok since I have my ID with me. I showed him the I.D. with my birthdate on it and I said, “wouldn’t that be enough?” His face was as stern as a botox patient, and I shamefully exit.

But not really. What I’m starting to understand now is that people reject the proposed situation, not you. So the man did not look at me with disgust or condemnation, he was just stoic…. woo


Then Justin Fang and I went to Town & Country to ask for freebies. Justin actually asked Coldstone creamery for me. Not that I wanted him to, but we were waiting in line to ask and he got impatient. He just went in front of the crowd and asked. The icecream person also said no, followed by a “sorry, but Happy Birthday!” I would just go to shops to get these Happy Birthdays, at least in rejections, you know people are honest with you. If their interests align with their actions, you know they’re being honest, which I find very comforting the the war zone of rejection


Then we went to Kara’s cupcake’s to ask them if they would give me a free cupcake. The only girl who was there apologetically said “sorry.” But what was awesome was she quickly turned optimistic and filled the gap “but Happy Birthday!” It was so sweet of her. I don’t even feel bad for being rejected. What a nice girl. If I had just walked by the store and assumed she would reject me, I would not have found out she was a kindhearted person


Day 3: Photo with a Stranger

I asked a busy looking guy at the Apple store in Palo Alto. I only asked him because my friend Emma Sameroynina dared me to, apparently by his very introverted appearance. So I said, why not? And approached him.

He was on his iPhone when I interrupted him. “Hey,” I smiled. “can I get a photo with you?”

He face contorted in confusion “Why?”

“It’s for a scavenger hunt.” I blurted, a bit nervous.

“Uh…sure.” He said.




I guess I kind of pussied out by fibbing (Samson’s word of the day) a reason instead of being direct.


So I decided to ask another person. Thankfully this guy rejected me because he was busy. Otherwise I’m sure he would have said yes. What a close call.


Day 4: I forgot :(

I was going  to go out and interact with people, but I mostly stayed home and played Just Dance with Catherine and Justin Robinson

Day 5: Ask to Visit the Employee-Only Section of the Store and Ask If I Can Change the TV Channel at a Restaurant

I was at the Stanford Apple Store today waiting for my friend Emma to get her laptop fixed. The Apple store had a door that was practically sealed to the wall that was employees only. I wanted to see their stock of Apple products, and see what secrets lie behind the door.

So I asked an Apple employee if I could check out the employee’s only section of the store. I told that it would really make my day if I could go there. The person looked confused, but then replied, “Hmm…. I’m not sure. You should ask our manager.”

Then he guided Emma and I to the store manager of the store. The employee told the manager about my wish to visit the employee’s only section of the store.

“So you want to visit the employee’s only section of the store huh? Unfortunately, you don’t work for Apple anymore and rules are rules.” He said in the most sincere way that I didn’t even feel rejected. Wow.

“Can we please? It’s also his birthday today! Can you sing him happy birthday?” Emma interjected (also stealing my rejection therapy the day before).

“Oh really? Sweet! My birthday is this Saturday. Bro-fist Capricorn!” He bro-fisted me. I never felt so self-validated. Sweet, a bro-fist!

“Although I can’t let you see the back of the store, is there anything else I can help you with?” He asked.

I declined. We made some smalltalk about birthday plans before he had head off to help other customers. I thought he’s the nicest guy I met all day.


Later the night, we went out to eat dinner at a peaceful Japanese restaurant. There weren’t that many patrons but there was a sushi bar with televisions hung around the restaurant. It was playing ESPN, but I am not a big fan of sports. I wanted to watch Cartoon Network instead. Adventure Time all the way! So when the waitress walked past, I waved her down and asked her if she could change the channel of the television.

She apologetically said no, that they always keep the television on the same channel. I said that’s ok, like I’m forgiving her.

She seems to become friendlier as the meal went on, especially since she obliged my friend for an extra lemon (so we could have a lemon eating contest). She did protest a bit though.

“You need two lemons? One lemon isn’t enough?”

“Yeah. I need two.” Emma sternly said.

At least the waitress rejected me.


Lessons Learned:

  1. Like I’ve said before. Most people reject the situation, not the person. Unless if you’re patronizing or condescending, they won’t hate you for asking for things.
  2. In fact, sometimes people will like you more. If you ask them as if they are a long time friend and ask like they are willing to oblige you, then they will like you more, whether or not they accepted or rejected your request. You interacted with them in a genuine and friendly way, and sometimes that’s all people ask for
  3. Sometimes people are apologetic to rejecting you. They feel bad for rejecting you because they think they are hurting your feelings. You could use this to your benefit, like for instance the waitress giving us an extra lemon when she felt bad for not letting me change the television channel. But other times they try to make it up to you by being extra nice to you, like the Apple Store manager who gave me a bro-fist after rejecting me.

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