We often fear the idea and imagined consequences of rejection. This can change if you make a true decision to beat fear and overcome rejection.
Are You Looking at Me?
It was 2002 and a group of friends decided to go to Marbella. This was before it became known as ‘Marbs’ and TOWIE was a distant bad dream.
I was young, dumb and full of stupid financial decisions so the trip went on a credit card.
It was busy, with little air con and most of the drinks were so sugary you could feel the tartar building.
There was no Tinder and Facebook was still a couple of years away. If you wanted to meet someone you had to actually talk to them. Crazy, I know!
Although several years had passed, since Laser Quest, I was still painfully shy talking to girls.
Unless someone was coming on strong I was also poor at reading the signals. Better to avoid rejection if I’m not sure, right?
As I looked around the dance floor, my heart racing from all the sugar, someone caught my eye.
This girl was dancing, laughing and appeared to be having the time of her life.
She caught me staring at her, smiled and carried on dancing with her friend.
I knew her look and the smile was a good sign, I knew this, but my inner Laser Quest demons took over.
‘She was probably smiling to the guy behind me or next to me?’
‘She’s drunk’ ‘I’m guessing she is a happy person and smiles at everyone’
I went to the bar to order another drink, cursing myself for not having the courage to go over and talk to her.
I returned back to the dance floor and she was gone..
Water a Fool
Several nights passed and the memory of the girl started to fade.
Nothing ever came of holiday romances and even any that do tend to fizzle out quickly.
We had a few days of the holiday left. After a couple of nights rest we were ready to go again and make the most of the time we had left.
As we wandered past the row of bars on the marina front someone handed out a flyer for a club nearby.
Most of us were keen to make it a late one. So, flyer in hand (free shot once inside) we made our way around the corner to the club.
Inside was pretty quiet but the music was good and of course we had a free shot coming.
As we took in our surroundings I noticed a girl on the dance floor. It was the same girl from before, the one who had looked over and smiled. Was this a sign?
She was with the same friend as last time and a group of other people. One guy looked to be in a state and was showering the group with a bottle of water.
I did not know the guy and I had no idea if he was interested but I took an instant dislike to him.
The voices in my head were telling me to go over and speak to her. The other voice was telling me not to risk it – especially if she is with a group of friends. I felt like I was at school all over again.
As the voices continued, back and forth, the girl moved across the dance floor towards the toilet.
Now or Never
This is it, I told myself.
I will wait until she comes out of the toilet and then I will speak to her.
I know readers. Anywhere but outside the toilets, right?
In my mind I’m thinking ‘She is not with her friend (a possible blocker) and she is not with the group (less intimidating for me).
After a few minutes (which felt like hours) she opens the door of the toilets and walks back into the club.
I blurt something out.
I can’t remember exactly what I said. I’m think I told her about the voices in my head and the inner argument on whether to speak to her.
She must have taken pity on me because Jemma (she told me her name) and her friend agreed to move on to another club.
The rest of the night is a haze.
We spent the rest of the night talking, some of it in the club and the rest outside near the beach.
As we talked Jemma’s friend appeared out the water, wearing next to nothing, with a guy from Sweden. We just looked at each other and burst out laughing (in fact, it may well have been nothing).
The horizon was starting to show the first signs of light. It was time for us to go our separate ways.
Jemma gave me her number on a piece of paper (this was before Facebook) and I had not brought my phone out with me. I could never remember my number, so we agreed I would leave a message once I got back to the hotel.
I put the number in my pocket and realised I had no money.
I should have had at least twenty Euros to get me back to the hotel.
‘I’ve been robbed!’
I was always pretty careful about keeping the taxi money in another pocket. On a previous holiday a friend walked through the Cypriot countryside for three hours. This was enough for everyone to follow my method.
Her friend was shouting at Jemma to get in the taxi.
In fact, the shouting was aggressive. I don’t know if it was due to the booze or if it was because I had seen her naked.
‘Just get in the taxi, you are never going to see him again.’
How her face crumpled when Jemma explained my lack of cash.
Reluctantly she gave Jemma some money, so I could get back to the hotel.
Had she not done this it would have been at least a two hour walk, much of it along a motorway. So even though you seemed angry with me, thank you.
Jemma jumped in the taxi and was gone.
So, I had a choice. Call her and leave a message, knowing that most holiday romances fizzle out. Or throw the tel number away and be happy in the knowledge that I beat the fear of rejection?
Well, some fifteen years later we are still together.
We married in 2011 and our Daughter was born in 2012.
Jemma’s friend is still her friend and I don’t actually remember paying the money back (I’m sure I did).
The Learny Bit
So, how to tie everything together?
There are some simple points to remember when fear rises up and tries to take over:
Your history does not need to determine your future.
You can make a choice to act and think differently – you have to want to do it. Often if you want it enough, you will make the right decision.
Rejection is key in developing resilience – you can draw on your experience which helps the next time round.
Laser Quest is a bad idea for a first date. Always.
Thank you for checking out my 50th Blog.
I look forward to sharing the next 50 with you.