How to Help Your Child Become “rejection-Proof”
Like most five-year-olds, Jia Jiang’s son Brian often hears no. But unlike most kids, who might see the word as an invitation to melt on the floor and scream, Brian sees this as an opportunity. Or at least that’s what his father teaches him.
Jiang is known as the “rejection guy”. Five years ago, he began posting videos on YouTube about his “100 Days of Rejection” experiment – a personal quest to overcome his deep fear of hearing the word “no.” For the aspiring entrepreneur, rejection shame was a constant trap, so he wanted to desensitize it. To do this, he deliberately sought rejection on a daily basis, making strange requests to strangers – he asked to “fill a burger” at Five Guys (no), cut hair at PetSmart (also not) and a sales lesson from a salesman in a car dealership (sorry, but no) … He got a lot of yes too – hi Jackie from Krispy Kreme, whograciously granted his request for an Olympic donut symbol – but the experiment really gave him fearlessness. Now, after hearing his popular TEDx talk about this experience and reading his book Proof of Rejection: How I Overcame Fear and Become Invincible after 100 Days of Rejection , people usually ask him what parents can do to help their kids better deal with rejection. , what is necessary? part of life?
Jiang has several ideas. Now that he has two children of his own, he believes we need to think about how we are trying to protect our children. “In upper middle class families, our goal is to make our children feel good,” he says. “We want them to feel happy. This is important, but I found that I needed to improve their comfort level. I need to tell them that it’s okay to be rejected. In fact, I’m going to say, “Why don’t you go out and keep trying to get no? I wish I had done it myself when I was 8, not 30. ”
Here’s what you can do to help your kids become more rejection-proof:
Let “No” be the starting point
“When I say no to my kids, I don’t say no, the end of the story.” I don’t want to hear you argue, ”Jiang says. “I say no. But give me an alternative proposal.” I don’t want them to see “no” as the end of the conversation, but as a starting point for negotiations. “
With his 5-year-old son Brian, negotiations are ongoing. “This guy is a little monster,” Jiang says, laughing. “The question always sounds in his head:“ How can I answer “yes”? “” One evening, Jiang says that Brian wanted a popsicle for dessert, but ice cream night falls on Wednesday and it was only Tuesday night, mango smoothie night. Brian is not very fond of mango smoothies, but he proposed to his father: if he could eat popsicle that night, he would drink more mango smoothies than usual the next day. Jiang said he wanted the child to have more fruit, so he accepted the offer.
Of course, no is often the final answer, and that’s okay too. “Sometimes, no matter what he says, I’m not going to say yes,” Jiang says. “The golden rule of sales is, ‘Don’t take no for an answer,’ but I think it’s okay to be rejected. We must give people the freedom to reject us if they need to. When we are less attached to results, it allows us to focus on our own efforts. “
Help Children Develop Muscles of Courage
Courage is a skill that takes practice that I often need to remind myself of. When Jiang went on his 100 days of rejection, he started small, like asking the cashier at Dominos if he could deliver them the next pizza, and then gradually increasing the difficulty of his tasks, going as far as asking for an interview with Barack Obama. Parents can help their children develop “muscles of courage” by asking them to ask for what they want.
On Thanksgiving, as Jiang’s family was about to disembark the plane in Orlando, he asked Brian, “Do you want to know what the cockpit looks like?” When Brian said yes, Jiang said, “Why don’t you ask the pilot to show you?” And so he did. “The pilot said: yes, come in!” Jiang says. “It was pretty cool.”
Jiang says it’s important to praise children for their courage, but how you do it matters. “It’s not about praising the fact that they got something, but praising them for their behavior. You don’t say, “Hey, great job, get this candy.” Instead, you can say, “I liked how you asked.”
Teach Them To Ask For Giving
Resistance to rejection is not only about asking for something for yourself, but also about asking for something to give to others. Help the children learn to jump and help: “Can I help you carry your bags?” “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” If they say no, that’s okay.
Children understand early on the depth of rejection. Jiang remembers well how his first grade teacher forced all the students to compliment each other, and he was one of the few who did not receive any compliments. Pain followed him all his life. But after his 100-day experiment, Jiang realized that refusal has nothing to do with our value – it is just that what we offer does not correspond to what the person wants or needs at the moment. He learned to be grateful that people would consider his proposal, and this helped him move forward. As parents, we can teach our children that no is not the end.