Different Reactions to Rejection

Posted: June 22, 2014 in Real Life
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


When you read this, it will have been almost a month since the Santa Barbara tragedy.  I had an idea for a post, and as soon as I read about this incident, I decided to combine the two.

I’ve never really been good with the ladies.  In 4th grade I had to start wearing glasses.  I also had a gap in my front teeth before such a thing was cool. (That’s cool now, right Mike Tyson?)  My hair was oily, and I didn’t have a very cool haircut.  I’d venture to say that girls probably found me pretty repulsive.  Maybe repulsive is too strong of a word.  Anyway, you get the point.

I liked different girls, but they didn’t feel the same about me.  At least I’m pretty sure they didn’t.  I don’t recall ever making a move in my “formative” years.  Unlike some people who are able to be confident because they’re somewhat oblivious about how they’re perceived, I was all too aware of what I saw in the mirror.  I decided to beat rejection at its game by avoiding it altogether.

In 11th grade, I finally got contacts and a short haircut. I looked much better, but the awkwardness had already set in.  Not having confidence was the norm for me.  I’m sure I missed some opportunities by not making a move.  I’d wait for a girl to notice me, and while I’m over here in the corner playing the nice guy, she’s getting swept off her feet by someone who was willing to make a move.

How did I deal with my rejection (or perceived rejection)?  There were 3 main songs that I would listen to over and over again: Jon Secada’s “Just Another Day,” Mr. Big’s “To Be With You,” and Go West’s “King of Wishful Thinking.”  Fast forward a little over 10 years, and for the last girl I let get to me, I ended up listening to Metallica’s “Saint Anger” album and began exploring the discography of Slayer.  (Wow, my music tastes have really changed!)

I cried. I sulked. I was depressed.  I was melancholy. I was angry. Frustrated.  But in all of the range of emotions, I never once considered taking a gun to school or church or work and blowing everyone away.  Of course, my high school years were pre-Columbine, so when I was growing up mass shootings were not as commonplace as they have sadly become.  Even so, I didn’t wish anyone dead.  Partly, because I continued to hope that one day I might still have a chance.  But beyond that, music was (and still is to this day) my emotional outlet.

I’m honestly at a loss.  I can’t relate to someone who would do such a thing.  I suppose that’s good.  I guess I would just encourage all the “rejects” out there to be patient.  I’m not saying it will get better.  Hopefully it will, but even if it doesn’t, maybe you can find your path and it be one that doesn’t end lives needlessly, yours included.

How does that make you feel?

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