Social Rejection

Rejection today doesn't come in the form of fights in the pouring rain, with slamming doors and running mascara. Rejection today comes in the form of read receipts and the dreaded "k" text. 

Social media makes rejecting the people you need to reject easier. It's a lot less awkward to delete someone on Facebook than it is to announce you're deleting him from your life. Both techniques communicate the same point; one's just better for the non–confrontational ones out there (cough, me). 

Face it: lots of guys suck. You can be the most bomb bitch in the universe/literally Beyoncé and he won't treat you like the gem you are. Instead of wallowing in self–pity, I block these rude gents on social media. I do this without apology and—for the most part— without regret. 

If you feel like a walking trashcan after spending time with someone, it's time to let that person go. Social media is a great place to start. Unfriend him on Facebook, unfollow his Instagram, delete his number and don't even think about keeping him on Snapchat. His face may visually assault you on Locust, but at least you won't see it all over the Internet. While "ghosting" is a little rude, it guarantees you won't fall Alice–in–Wonderland style into the pit of social media stalking. 

Last Saturday night my friend chased me across a bar, yelling "delete his number" while I ducked behind corners trying to text He Who Shall Not Be Named. If I had been a responsible human and deleted his contact information, would this have happened? NO. If you have poor impulse control like me, removing temptation is key. That means if your ex–lover wants to reach you he has no choice but to use a carrier pigeon. If shit hits the fan and your phone is lying at the bottom of the Schuylkill, you can hold your head high knowing you didn't contact the boy. 

I've only been blocked once that I know of. It was by a guy I had just met, and it was because my drunk Alaskan friend texted him a photo of a sea turtle. (Ed. Note: Neither of us is sorry.)

Professional Rejection

Unless you got into Penn Early Decision and your aunt happens to be the queen of J.P. Morgan, you have probably experienced professional and/or academic rejection at some point in your life. But if you haven't, don't worry—OCR is coming for you. 

I was at the Wharton Women Annual Dinner and the keynote speaker pulled out a stack of rejection letters from employers that she had saved over the years, saying that each rejection letter fueled her ambitions. I haven't been through OCR, and after that presentation, I probably never will. But it got me thinking—I can't recall the last time I heard of rejection coming in physical form. 

It's much less tangible now. You can just delete an email and pretend you never saw it. You can't physically burn your rejection emails (unless you're looking to upgrade to a new laptop or smartphone). You certainly can't burn non–response. (Ed. note: In March I sent out 72 applications and emails. This yielded two responses and both were rejections. I hate technology.)

Here are some possible coping mechanisms to deal with rejection:

  • Delete the email and act like nothing happened. You never heard back, that's weird. Maybe your application didn't go through. Ugh, technology is so unreliable.
  • Write an email back accepting the job. Live in denial, ignorance is bliss. But make sure you get your parents to pay your bills. Write a rejection email to the employer. Point out the flaws in their business model. Predict losses for the coming year. Compare benefits from other employers. Tell them the office coffee sucks. This is called cognitive reappraisal, I learned about it in PSYCH 170, so I'm pretty much an expert.
  • Work out because the only thing worse than being unemployed is being fat and unemployed. 
  • Eat Chick–fil–A in bed, drink Pinot Grigio and think about Syria to remind yourself that your problems are insignificant.
  • Download Tinder. Get matches and remind yourself that even though you don't need external validation because you have a lot of self–worth, it's still nice to know that you're hot as hell.

If you're unfortunate enough to receive a rejection via phone call, here are some alternate options:

  • In the middle of the phone call, ask them to hold while you take another call, then stay on the line and pretend to accept a job offer from Goldman Sachs. 
  • Start singing "Gives You Hell" by the All–American Rejects. They'll regret this one day. 
  • Mumble submissively and silently plot to egg the nearest office.

The good news is, rejection means you're trying and you can act holier–than–thou towards the people who are slightly more privileged than you.


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