A post at Sarah’s Daughter’s blog about how to help boys overcome the fear of rejection reminded me of this classic comedy bit from the 80s by Robert Townsend. (Warning: some salty language.) The whole thing is good, but the part I’m talking about starts at 5 minutes in. He’s exactly right: when you get turned down, it feels like it’s happening in slow motion, and everyone in the vicinity is watching.
Of course, that’s silly. Not only is it not that big a deal, but how often is a girl mean about it? I don’t know if I’ve ever been told anything as mean as, “Not with you,” even if that’s what they were thinking. Most of the time it was, “No thanks,” or, “Thanks, but I have a boyfriend,” or some other reason/dodge. And most of the time I felt good about myself afterwards, because at least I tried.
But the fear is real, and just as bad as he describes. I don’t know where it comes from either; I can’t help thinking it’s natural, because I don’t think anyone taught it to me. There’s just something about seeing a girl and wanting her, and then not acting quickly enough on it, so the wanting becomes too important to fail, and then you’re screwed. Lesson learned: don’t put off the approach, and use the Bratty Little Sister Frame to remind yourself that she’s just a silly girl with whom you’re now going to have fun interacting. The worst she can do is yell, “Nooooooo, not with youuuuuuuu! Get awaaaaaaaaay!” in which case you’ll have a good story for later.