To this day I cannot understand the advice people give me about not taking things personal. When I say “things,” I am mainly talking about rejection.
Here’s an example: I met a woman for coffee a few months ago. We hung out for about two hours. Our conversation was very relaxed, intelligent and fun. There were no awkward pauses of any kind. At the end she paid for my coffee AND initiated a hug good bye.
A few days later I emailed her and said I’d like to hang out, stressing it was just as friends with no pressure of worrying whether or not it would turn romantic. She said, “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t think we’d make good friends.”
Um, excuse me? Come again? Did I miss something? We had a great time! So what happened? Well, I didn’t bother asking her for two reasons: (1) her mind was made up, and (2) the answer would probably just upset me. So why bother?
Now I ask you: how am I NOT supposed to take that personally when MY friendship was being rejected?
And to be honest, I feel the rejection of friendship is more hurtful than the rejection of romance. That I can understand because you are basically saying to the person, “I like you, so…do you want to sleep together someday?” But with friends you aren’t doing that, so I don’t see what the problem was. And not to be arrogant, but I am a pretty cool guy to have as a friend. I’m funny, smart, full of odd bits of knowledge and interesting things to say. Not only that, but I am an incredibly LOYAL person too. So who wouldn’t want to have a friend like that?
Well, I know of one person: the lady from the coffee date!