Handling Rejection – Part II

Though in Part I I covered the main underlying methods of dealing with rejection, I figured I’d write this entry as a sort of supplement, talking about all the other thought and things that happened after the event.

In Part 1 I mostly talked about what NOT to do.  Most of that stuff, because I know it to be “bad basis”, didn’t even cross my mind.  After I figured out she wasn’t interested, I went for a long walk, and thought about all kinds of things, which though related, were also of a much different nature.

At first, I considered the letter itself that I sent her, through email.  I personally like to write things.  I write better than I speak. Though I do both just fine, I tend to have a sort of “engineerish” exactitude, and wish to leave nothing out, and writing is more conducive to that.  Anyways, I thought for a moment that I put too much detail into it that didn’t need to be there.  I also considered that I put too much emotional “flare” into it, when I talked about things.  It was all true though.  I made a resolution to resolve such errors next time with the next girl, if there ever is one.  Other than that, there hasn’t been any thought about it at all over the past few days.  That’s kind of how regret goes for me.  My philosphical views are very existential.  I’m like Jean Paul Sartre.  I believe I’m not who I am, but am what I am not.  I’m a free-will force which makes decisions.  My past is not who I am, so I do not keep it even in mind, unless it influences my present or future.  My past actions are not even what I am anymore, even if I made a decision only minutes ago.  I doubt I’ll ever reconsider the contents of that letter ever again, unless I try to psychoanalyze myself or something in the future, and find some hidden motive I’m not conscious of at the moment.

It seemed just moments after I had this short dive into re-examining the letter when I saw some children at a bus-stop as I was passing by on the sidewalk.  As I walked by, my thought immediately was directed toward them, and to my memories of doing the same thing.  In just a flash, I myself was 7 years old, out on that same bus-stop outside near the house, waiting for the bus.  It then crossed my mind how long ago that was.  18 years.  I almost gasped.  How could it have been so long, already?  18 years?  I then remembered being in Mrs. Simms 2nd grade class.  She spoke of us one day graduating.  I remember thinking, “That’s 10 years from now.  That’s forever!”   Well, I graduated, and that was eight years ago.  My 2nd grade convictions certainly were not correct.  It sure doesn’t feel like forever right now.  I don’t even feel like there’s been much, if any time at all.

It seems to me like I could just turn my head, and I’d be out there on the bus stop.  I then started thinking about some of the foolish aspects or romantic love.

Two vapors cling to themselves, and promise to be one another’s until death.  When I see 18 years go by that quick, another 60~70 won’t be too long from now.  Most couples find romance in, “Till death do us part.”  Might as well set the stop-watch, it’s coming up right around the bend.  Whatever suffering we live through, no matter how hard or difficult, is very short lived.  Very short.

I think time goes by even faster now for me than it did back then.  I’ve been reading Richard Feynman’s lectures on Physics here recently.  I can read out of that set all day long, and lose complete track of time.  Sometimes I’ll read all day long, only to look up and see that I’ve been reading 10 hours.  Sometimes I do this for a week straight, reading some history book, or a set on economics, or something, and weeks just fly by.  Combine this with business projects I have to work on and all my time is gone.

As I continued walking, passing the children, I came to an area where I used to play as a child, and saw it had been torn down, and low quality apartment buildings thrown up in its place.  Then I considered that all things a man builds and stores up here on Earth, will not go with him wherever he may go at death.  Life is so short, the last thing I want to spend my life doing is trying to “possess” objects, whatever “possession” may mean.

I can’t understand possession.  The “owner” of these apartment buildings.  What does that even mean?  The owner is never there.  Other people are always staying in the places themselves.  Whoever spends time with something, and has access to use it, is who “owns” it.  It doesn’t matter who has to government papers.  That’s just a piece of paper which says the force of the military is there to back up and protect it.  That’s really all there is to it.

I began to wonder what it means to “possess” a girl.  Even if this girl would not have rejected me, would I ever really “have” her?  I don’t really think so.  Possession seems like an antiquated concept to me.  Especially when applied to another person.  I sometimes wonder what life is like in a woman’s body.  I hear so much about their emotional cycles, which us men lack.  Who knows what’s that’s like.  I don’t know if I want to know.

I always wonder about the sceptics position – do we ever really know someone?  What does it mean to know?  I don’t know, what it even means to know.  Even if I’m right next to this girl, does she see what I see?  Is blue blue for her?  Is green green?  No way of knowing.

When two people eat the same food dish, one person loves it, another hates it.  If both are experiencing the same flavor, then they would both like it.  But obviously they are not experiencing the same thing, because one likes it, the other does not.  So even sharing food dishes is impossible.  Same applies to paintings, and various things we see.  If we both don’t like it, we’re not seeing the same thing, or at least, not experiencing the same thing (if you want to be technical, and include the entire sensory and emotional experience combined).

One person likes this smell, another dislikes it.  Same problem.

So who can say if we ever experience the same thing.  Maybe when I eat fish, I’m actually tasking what chicken tastes like to her.  Who knows.  *shrugs*

So we can’t know if she feels the same way, can’t know if she sees the same thing, can’t know if we taste the same thing… She’s her own creature, and I’m me.  No way around it.  We’re stuck with our own bodies, living our own lives.  Hard to say what “sharing life together” even means when you think about it.

Thinking on this topic brings up attraction, which is something I thought of while walking.  People oftentimes advocate that we have free will.  They say we can eat any food we want to.  We can set the thermostat to whatever temperature we want.  We can work whatever job we like.  Uh huh, unfortunately, we can’t choose what foods we find tasty.  We can’t choose which temperatures we find comfortable, and we can’t choose which jobs we find fulfilling.  (well maybe – hard to say on that one).  And since these things are what REALLY drive us to do what we do, then what are we to say about this evanescent free will they speak of?

Free will is complicated.  I have a post on the site if you want to see my views on that.  No use covering it again.

It’s easy to get upset and let down when a girl doesn’t like you the way you like her.  As for myself, I find it irrational to get angry at her.  Can she even choose who she likes and dislikes?  Hard to even say.  I’m not even sure if she’s much involved that decision. I think such decisions are very limited.  Who we find physically attractive certainly isn’t much up for decision.  Mental aspects seem more controllable, but it’s hard to disconnect the mind from our passions, because our mind seems to be more of a tool to lead us to happiness, but in itself, it is pure apathy.  Some rational computer processer, needing input and some program to run, but in itself nothing if disconnected from its purpose.

I don’t know if men ever see truth as it is.  We always tend to humanize it.  Some things are interesting to us, and others are not.  A lot of that has to do with the form we exist in currently.  I doubt aliens (if they exist) think about things we think of.  Religious concepts are always anthropomorphized.  God is pictured as man (hard to believe that one), and all the things we fear magically find solutions.  Hatred is resolved with universal “justice” upon death, and furthermore fully made manifest in hell’s flames.  We have such love for each other.  Of all the wishes we could have for one another upon death, we invent that one.

I think for love to make sense to the mind, it will have to be a very pure form of love, which would encompass timeless principles applicable to all generations.  It wouldn’t die when any particular person dies.  Truth never dies.  If we want the truth as to what love is, I doubt it can be too tied up in humanity.  Newton’s law of universal gravitation still mathematically patterns the planets today, and will continue to a looonggggg way into the future.  It’s a near timeless principle.  It’s certainly an imperfect approximation, but it’s close to patterning something which exists.

Pure love like that isn’t applicable to any one person.  It would extend to everybody.  As for romantic love, some sort of chemical cocktail swirling about the body.

Romantic love was difficult for Sartre to consider, and probably is for me too, because I’ve read Being and Nothingness.  Learn so much, yet at the same time, it plagues you for life.  Sometimes I wonder if I get so twisted up in things I miss out on some simple concept which makes all the technical garboil goop worthless.  The thing is though, if you don’t try to figure it out, you never will.  I’d still rather be confused, than be a mindless zombie.  At least I’m trying.

Look at me, I can’t even think about love for 10 minutes.  I’m talking about mindless zombies.  This is how my walks go.  I’m thinking about zombies, wondering how my body is made of billions of atoms swirling about, connected by strings and membranes, big bangs, wondering what it is that makes a decision happen, and why electro-magnetic waves carry the space-time continuum in the strangest fashion.  *shrugs*

9 thoughts on “Handling Rejection – Part II”

  1. “Sometimes I wonder if I get so twisted up in things I miss out on some simple concept which makes all the technical garboil goop worthless.”

    Yep. It happened to me too, but I’m trying to move past it and embrace the facticity of being a human being living on planet Earth.

    Sounds funny, but when I say that I’m not being sarcastic at all. Totally serious.

    You and I talked about “time” one time and finding some kind of universal measurement of time, instead of some faulty “earth-based” one. Then you said something like, “well Greg, we do live on Earth, so I guess Earth-based time is serving us pretty good”…

    You’re right. Why try to rise above the fact we live on Earth? And by the same token, why try to deny the chemical cocktail that is romantic love?

    I can act like it doesn’t exist all I want, but when it comes right down to it, these chemicals are going to kick in on me whenever they want and I really have little control over it all. I’m 26 years old, for heaven’s sake. These insatiable genes are working overtime, flowing these chemicals like rapids in a river, trying their hardest to make sure I get some girl pregnant.

    I can deny it. I can try to compare it to one of Newton’s laws, and scream “bad basis” until my lungs burst.

    But at the end of the day, I still wanna get laid. 🙂

  2. I still have trouble with a much bigger question – You say that “you” want to get laid, but it seems more to me that “it” wants to get laid. This is really what I was talking about… A zombie chemical cocktail. Your comment earlier on the 1st part of this entry talked about generating attraction. What a good way to put it. Attraction and magnetism. When iron filings come near a magnet, they move in their nice little pattern. Depending on the charge you get attraction or you get a tension where the objects wish to repel.

    If a person is just a sort of inner “spirit”, “free-will”, “divine-spark”, behind the body, then love is so difficult to define – if you define it as the cocktail, you run into deterministic positions. People do not think much of love when cupid shoots a person with an arrow, but if it’s a chemical cocktail, then what else are we to think?

    Most of the time with this girl, we talk via chat, and for a very long period I had never seen her, nor heard her voice. It was just two people interested in each other’s lives, talking. The affections I built for her were a universal admiration for greater principles I found in her, of overall caring about my life, listening to things that mattered to me, and other ways that she conducts herself. I admired something much closer to the real her, and when I told her in the letter that I had fallen in “love” with her, I meant something much deeper than the cocktail.

    I suppose with her, I admire how I’ve seen her grow over the years, and how she’s been letting go of herself, and overall thinking of other things, such as helping others, and being a positive influence on the world. Even what she does for her job makes the goodness in her shine like a brilliant ray of light. Her job is that of a servant. If she isn’t already, she’s going to become someone first-rate. She’s on that road, and later in life, if I ever run into her, she’ll be 1000x the woman she is now.

    That sort of love does not sound appealing to most, because most love is simply the rationalizing of the zombie cocktail. As I vaguely alluded to, greater truths are filtered out by a much more shallow rationalized instinct.

    Your strategy for building relationships with girls in the 1st section, I admitted it was probably the best strategy for getting the girl, as most girls live by the cocktail, but I do not believe it’s the best way to live. Little girls like glitter, imitation gold flakes, but the good women find genuine gold, and ornament themselves with it in their character.

    Those are universal principles, of a much higher order. They can be looked upon by future generations, and even they see the value in them. Cheap thrills and joyrides go like the weather, as do relationships rooted in cocktails.

    I honestly never plan to try to generate attraction with being “charming”, because if her mind is that shallow that all she values is a feeling I can generate in her, then I don’t really care to be with her anyways. Her mind is so absorbed in self that she can’t even see me anyways, only a feeling generated within her.

    It’s when she rises above feelings generated within her, and loves something outside of herself through empathy, then she truly has learned love, and will be able to love me. When she can see other ways of life, and even deal with people who live differently than how she thinks they should live.

    This girl never judges anyone, nor any walk of life. I’ve never heard her speak ill of anyone. She always talks about respect, and showing it to others. She glows with respect for others, and for that, I can’t help but stand back amazed. She’s been through a lot, and doesn’t complain. She’s not someone who runs from difficult situations. I’m quite certain she’s going to rise above every trial she’s facing.

    With time, she’s aligning herself with principles greater than herself, and in the future she’s going to soar far beyond what most people ever live, or comprehend.

    She’s a budding flower, and I suppose when I asked her if she would like to have something between us, I was more so asking if I could have permission to watch her bloom.

  3. True, but I wouldn’t lump the lifestyle of being charming to everyone in with being shallow and false ideals.

    Naturally displaying the best of your personality to everyone makes you the improver of lives, the bringer of happiness. And when you are the bringer of happiness, everyone wants to be around you, know you, and introduce you to their hot friends. 🙂

    The mindset is: “And why not? Aren’t I worth it? Of course I am. I know I’m valuable but not everyone else does, which is why I have to display it. They’re not psychic. Why shouldn’t everyone want to meet me? Why shouldn’t everyone adore me? I’m awesome. My friends know it, I know it, and now these new people will know it.”

    That’s a vague description of the internal thinking. Not perfect but you get the idea. (don’t necessarily take the word “everyone” literally)

    With this mindset, attraction builds in a variety of people (instead of just those who you are trying to “get somewhere” with), which allows you to “take your pick” of them once THEY have proven themselves to YOU (i.e. a girl of extraordinary worth)

    I’m beginning to shift over to this “bringer of goodness” mindset with some amazing preliminary results.

  4. My primary concern for your point of view is that it is heading down the road of self. I think it will make you miserable, and if the girl thinks the same way, it will only hinder things. I believe in a complete loss of self. I don’t really comprehend what it means to say a person is “valuable”. A free-will cannot be valuable, or not valuable. All men and women are equal. We simply make decisions, and modify the world around us. I think we’re all on a journey to experience this world, and learn about others, not glorify ourselves. I think telling yourself you’re “valuable” is bad basis.

    Though I don’t think that’s really the situation here. Your internal thinking sounds to me that you have a conflict. You think people are judging you and have thoughts toward you, and initially there was a frame of mind that these judgments were negative. Now you’re combating that thinking with another mindset, which tells yourself, “Don’t worry, they like me.” If you let go of the self, you’d simply only see them, and wouldn’t be wondering if they’re judging you or not. You’d completely exist in the moment, and have no self-consciousness. You don’t have to wonder whether they do or do not like you. You simply do not even think the thought, and only exist in the conversation, and once the conversation ends, you’re thinking about whatever is next.

    Also, value, if it exists with people, is relative. You can’t control what’s valuable to the girl. How does being valuable help in this situation? Valuable to who? You may like yourself, but that doesn’t mean she’ll like you as well. Whether you think you’re valuable is not going to influence what the girl finds valuable. The reason your mindset has been successful is probably because you are not condemning yourself internally during the events, thinking she doesn’t like you.

    I suppose in conclusion, you only need to believe yourself valuable if you have issues with self-confidence, otherwise it’s a non-issue and not even thought about. And to try to be valuable in her eyes makes you conform to others, and you lose your individuality. It’s always shallow watching people run around, trying to impress one another. Herd dynamics are created when people are self-conscious, and want to “fit-in”. People wear this type of clothing, because they think it makes them look this way, they talk about these subjects because this is the “intelligent” subject to talk about, and they eat foods and judge each other based on stupid rules of etiquette, because somehow it makes them feel a false sense of superiority over others, and tells them they’re something they are not. This whole concept of “value” doesn’t really add anything to the whole dynamic, and seems to only take away.

    As for bringer of goodness, let her judge what’s “good” for her. What’s “good” for you, may not be “good” for her. Just be whoever you’re comfortable being, because even if you get a girl where you have to put on all these airs to keep her, why are you putting yourself through all that? Nobody else can live for you.

  5. I think the misunderstanding we have here comes from the fact that I did not fully explain every statement I made in the comment. It was just meant to be a comment and not a full-blown blog article 🙂

    There’s also some assumptions we’re both making (on different bases) thats adding to the confusion a little more.

    I should write about it sometime and do a full treatment, then it’d probably make more sense.

  6. Really interesting post. Thank you Jason. You made me think. You describe a woman who seems to have similar qualities to a man I fell in love with. He won’t formally ‘reject’ me. He values me enough that he wants me to remain im his life forever. I’m really struggling with this.

    I just turned 40. I’ve been married and divorced and had other relationships. But I never met anyone like this man. What’s hard is that I wish he hadn’t been so kind to me and I wish he hadn’t shared so much about his life with me. It would have been easier to let go.

    I can’t help but feel empty. Very empty. Really remarkable people who have good intentions, want to heal the world, don’t speak ill of others, live life with gratitude, etc, just don’t walk into one’s life often. He always spoke so highly of me, would tell me how smart and caring I am. He would even say things like “I’m glad I found you”. I felt good. But he never fell in love with me. So I feel rejected now.

    I know I got attached to him. I know that I projected some of my future and ability to be happy on him. I’ve been feeling for the last 15 years that I need an amazing relationship to make my life perfect. At some logical level, I understand that I have to stop waiting for a relationship as a condition to be happy. I need to fill my soul first without a man in order to find love and be ready to accept love. I can’t wait for someone else to make me feel good enough. Maybe the universe is telling me to heal myself first.

    I’ve been heartbroken before. I felt this time it was different because this man didn’t act like a jerk like the others. He does respect me. So I had such high hopes to make a life with him.

    It’s just so hard. I just feel too old to find that special relationship. I don’t want to be alone. I’m terrified to be alone. I think if I had been more secure this man may have come around. I am kicking myself because I feel I scared him off. I tried not to be needy and ask for much. But I’m sure my insecurity seeped through at times and scared him.

    Anyway, I wish it didn’t hurt so much. I wish I wasn’t terrified that I’ll be alone forever. I’m confused as to whether I should accept his offer of friendship or ask that he not contact me anymore but wish him well. The catch is that he’s saying there’s still potential and I’m afraid I will hang on to that hope. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. Mariam,

      I’m a rather awkward physicist who spends most of his time studying and doing research. I don’t feel I’m a great source of help in this area, but since you asked for my thoughts, after hearing your story, I can’t refuse to at least try to offer something. You’re acting as if you’re an old woman! Are you really that old? Forty? You’re not old!

      This may sound kind of cheesy, but I like to reflect on things on the largest scale, and then think of where I fit into that picture. The events of my life. How do they tie into that grand flow of the cosmos?

      Most of the atoms which make up both our bodies were made in supernova explosions around ten billion years ago. During those years they’ve floated about the cosmos, provided fuel for many generations of stars, congealed under the force of gravity into our planet, flowed through mosquitoes, dinosaurs, whales, and everything else. Matter has always been changing forms and we’re nature’s latest creation. We’re very old yet our awareness of this world is what is constantly being born anew. The body’s like a sort of lense through which our consciousness peeks through to experience the world. But it’s just a temporary stage. This human experience is short and fleeting. That isn’t to minimize the importance of our lives, it’s just to say that we’re a part of something a lot bigger. A flow. A development. The world is ever-changing and we’re all a part of that. If you realize this, I don’t think you’ll so bad about your age. You’ll realize we’re all VERY old, billions of years old, connected to a very large process for which no force imaginable could ever separate you.

      I find the ultimate contentment and peace in that thought. I’ve studied cosmology and how stars form. I’ve looked into the big bang, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. I’ve cranked equations modeling gravitation and the motions of the heavenly bodies floating up in space. I’ve learned how our planet formed, how the rocks flow, how and why the winds blow, why the rains pour, and why the seasons change. I’ve studied biology and pondered the inner workings of cells, how they duplicate, generate energy, and evolve into larger organisms. I’ve charted the evolution of humans from early simple swimming creatures in the ocean to us today. I’ve looked into history and how humans have formed the first civilizations. What led to our success? Where have we failed?

      Take some time and just fly down that time-line, billions and billions and billions of years. It just goes on and on and on and on. Watch the big bang. Watch the space expand, the radiation cool, and let the first atoms of Hydrogen, Helium, and bits of Lithium form. Watch gravity pull them into the first stars, shining bright and beautiful and then exploding in giant bursts of radiance. THe radiance is so powerful that new denser atoms are formed. The entire periodic table of elements explodes off into space. You’re being born. Nature’s at working making you! Now watch our sun form from a giant gas cloud. It’s twirling and spinning, faster, and faster, and faster, clumping into a smaller and smaller ball, and then BOOM. It lights up! Watch little chunks of rock and debris form into larger and larger clumps leading to the planets. Think of the oceans and lightning crashing down from the red sky and the first atoms coming together from the organic materials on the shoreline. They’re replicating, replicating, replicating. They start forming into groups, then larger groups, then larger groups. Life is evolving! Those organisms start to combine and form ecosystems. Trees, plants, and mushrooms. Watch them grow. Millions and millions and millions of years. How many generations of life have gone by, using the same materials on the Earth’s surface? Millions of generations. Our atoms have been every sort of tree, bug, and reptile. Now watch the first humans evolve in Africa. Watch them migrate out into Europe. Watch them build the pyramids and those fantastic temples. Watch them ponder the universe and their origins. Follow them and their search, all the way to today. Now look at yourself in the mirror. What are you? It’s taken a lot longer than forty years to make you and you’ll be around long after you’re dead!

      Love is a beautiful thing. We look into the dark pupil of one another’s eyes, unconsciously recognizing that vast depth of space where the outer world becomes the inner world. That circular aperture extends back into its own world, infinite in all directions. Such a small hole through which to look through, but a person’s eyes say so much. Consciousness is pretty mysterious. That man you love. Who or what is he? I’m baffled by the idea that other people see me when I’m looking into their eyes.

      I’ve never found love myself. Sometimes I don’t think I can quite wrap my head around it. It’s both wonderful and terrifying at the same time. Emotions are the most complicated aspect of human cognition. They include a deep interplay and flow between every aspect of the brain. The brain is the most sophisticated thing we know of in the universe, and emotions are its most complex form of thought. That makes love and our other emotions the most complicated processes known in the universe. My journey hasn’t gone very far past where I’ve taken you so far. Our timeline ends here. I wonder if love is really something that’s understood? Thought about? Considering you’ve been in several relationships, you know more about this than I would.

      The world has a strange way of leading you where you need to go, if you only follow the cues. You’ll find your way. It’s not over. It’s never over.

      – Jason

  7. I love the way your mind works! So pleased to come across someone who I find interesting and to whom I can relate. And so refreshing to come across thoughts that can distract me from the pop dating culture which I was starting to believe I must fathom and master in order to pull myself out of this heart torn rut. But you have set my mind free, and sent it back to the style of path upon which it usually walks. Thank you. Please keep it up. You have a new fan. 🙂

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