Would it be wrong to take the meta-contrarian position on this one? Rejection, like death, kind of sucks.
And yet, rejection usually consists of a simple and benign "no".
Why are we so sensitive to the word no? Can this be healthy, that we would hide in the shadows all our lives than ask for what we want and need?
The amazing thing about Rejection Therapy is that people are more likely to give you what you ask for than you can imagine. The world is yours for the taking, but you have to create opportunities and ask.
I agree with Thomas S. Monson when he said "In reality, we are all travelers - even explorers of mortality", and taking risks where rejection is a real possibility is necessary to personal exploration and conquest.
I'd even say it's not about being hardened by rejection, but rather standing up for yourself. Speak up. Dare to ask something. Dare to want something. Then learning that taking risks increase your chances of getting a "yes". The famous "you lose 100% of the shots you don't make" :)
Edit: Another anecdote that pops into my mind is Edison needing 10,000 tries to make the light-bulb. This means he failed 99,999 times. But we remember him for the success he had. (Queue pedants correcting the details of this anecdote ;))
Crash 'n' Burn is the practice of trying impossible sets (ie. girls) with the assumption of being rejected. If you are sure you will blow it big time, you can as well do and learn something from it.
Another tangentially related technique against rejection angst is the Three Seconds Rule which mandates you talk to some stranger before thinking for too long (which is really a different, short-term approach to the Rejection Therapy game).
* Ask a random person for their phone number without introducing yourself, explaining why, or anything.
* Ask someone to give you their seat in some public area (e.g. bus, restaurant). (Note: what if they actually give it to you? o_o)
* Be a beggar. Ask people for money.
* Ask someone of your preferred gender out.
* Ask someone not of your preferred gender out.
* Ask some store employee if it's alright for you to explore some employee-only area of the store, e.g. their back room, or behind a door marked "authorized personnel only".
* In general, go somewhere you're not supposed to be where someone is likely to discover you and kick you out.
* Go in to a store and ask to buy something they clearly don't sell (e.g. try to buy a slice of pizza from the cashier in a computer store).
* When you're leaving Point A for Point B, ask a stranger at Point A out of the blue if they'd like to travel to Point B with you.
* Go to an area where live music is being played. Ask the musicians to turn down their volume.
* Ask a store employee if they can turn off the music in the store while you're in the store.
* Apply for some sort of grant or scholarship that you are clearly not going to get.
* Mail a famous person a copy of a book they wrote with a request that they sign it and mail it back to you.
* Email the support team on a site like Ebay or Yahoo Answers asking for more karma. (NOT HN; I don't want PG to hate me (and you probably don't either!))
* Email me ([my username] at gmail dot com) asking for anything and I will reject you. (Unless you are feeling clever and ask not to be informed of my credit card number or something like that.)
* Ask people to upvote you on HN
* Volunteer for some organization like Greenpeace that collects donations in the streets. "Do you have a minute to talk about [insert issue]?" Save some time by inventing your own issue.
* Go to a massage place and ask for a free massage.
* Contact the maintainer of an open-source project you use and personally request that some feature be implemented.
* Ask someone on the street if you can have your picture taken with them.
* Make a "free hugs" sign and get rejected by all the people who ignore your sign.
* This is a bit off the wall, but I actually saw a guy doing this. Get a couple empty water bottles, put them up on your nipples and ask people to "milk" you by squeezing the water bottles.
* Sell something like paper cranes on the street. Say "thank you" to all the people who hear your pitch and don't buy a crane (like a creep).
* If you don't know how to fold a paper crane, stand on the street asking passerby if they can teach you how to fold them. (It'd be pretty funny to see someone asking for lessons on how to fold paper cranes one day and selling them on the next day.)
* Contact someone prominent, such as a professor who teaches a subject you're learning about. Ask them if you can buy them lunch (e.g. to pick the professor's brain about said subject).
* Come to some sort of event. Ask if you can give a quick presentation on something before the main event.
* Knock on random doors and say "please insult me". Pretty sure receiving insults is a form of rejection.
* Ask if you can bring a trojan horse inside an embassy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs3SfNANtig
* Ask for directions to somewhere insanely far away--e.g. if you're in NY, ask how you can get from where you're standing to Tokyo.
I think it's important to separate the phase of thinking up rejection ideas from the phase of actually executing them. If you think about actually executing the ideas as you're thinking them up, your brain might sort of freeze up and refuse to produce more.
Please upvote this comment because it could potentially save a lot of people $16--in other words, perhaps 1 in 10 people who read this thread would have been willing to pay $16 to read it (and that's not even counting all the consumer surplus generated for those who value the deck of rejection ideas at less than $16). How many other HN comments would a significant number of readers value at $16?
Some additional ideas:
* Ask for a raise
* Ask your employer to send you to a conference
* Ask the conference holder for free admission to the conference
* Ask for a neck massage (even better if you don't know or just met the person)
* Offer to buy lunch for somebody you admire but have never met
* Ask a friend to do your laundry
* Create a reddit post saying it won't make it to the front page :)
* Leave your wallet at home one day. Ask starbucks for a free coffee, ask a coworker to loan you the cash for lunch, etc.
* Got any debt? Call your debtors and ask for it to be lowered.
Update: Looks like the parent comment has been updating their suggestions as I was typing, so there's some unintentional dups here.
There was a famous sociology experiment by Milgram that had students doing this on the metro.
> People were surprisingly compliant—a total of 68 percent either got up or moved over in the "no justification" condition. The more justification that was offered, however, the less likely people were to stand up. Curiously, Blass notes, the most striking thing for many of the participants was just how difficult it was to ask for the seat ("I actually felt as if I were going to perish," recalled Milgram). It's not hard to imagine why; asking for help on a subway exposes one to both the risk of a certain stigma—and to the possibility of rejection.
see the sample card - and let's start the game !!
"Before purchasing something, ask for discount" :-)
So yes, the suggestions on the cards will be made available without purchase, via the podcast.
Thanks for the valuable input Zach!
I promise not to post them in this thread, and if you do I will reply to your comment saying thank you. You could think of it as a publicity stunt.
Rejection isn't so bad, is it?
Seriously though, I'll do you one better. Email me a mailing address and I'll send you a physical copy of the suggestion cards absolutely free.
I can only do this for you though (I'm broke).