July 27, 2023
How to Manage Rejection Part 1
Rejection is a life skill. This week, Jess and Brandon revisit a previous conversation about how to deal with someone who pulls away without explanation. They share their own experiences, and weigh in on how to manage the “in-between” when you’re not together but haven’t quite split up.
Big thanks to our sponsors AdamandEve.com — use code DRJESS to save!
This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.
How to Manage Rejection Part 1
[00:00:00] Jess O’Reilly: Hey, hey, we are running a repeat podcast today on the topic of rejection because it’s, it’s a week of rejection emails.
[00:00:10] Brandon Ware: If you’re going to rejection, that’s my jam. I’m totally like, let’s go. Let’s do this.
[00:00:14] Jess O’Reilly: It’s your specialty, receiving rejection or rejecting others.
[00:00:17] Brandon Ware: Both.
[00:00:18] Jess O’Reilly: Oh, really? Okay. Uh, anyhow, we received so many questions about dealing with rejection this week.
[00:00:23] Jess O’Reilly: Sometimes these things come in waves and themes and questions about rejection in and out of the bedroom. And a while back, we covered this topic. So we’re going to do it again. And I’m going to share that episode with you, which is perfect for me because we are down at my family reunion. Over 60 of us, Chinese Jamaicans, Changs.
[00:00:40] Brandon Ware: This is where the rejection came in. I tried so hard to talk to people, but they just kept rejecting and not listening to me.
[00:00:46] Jess O’Reilly: Well, my family’s on transmit, not receive. We talk more than we listen. Anyhow, we’re down here. Lots of distractions, lots of food, so much chaos. So much love and I’m happy to get to enjoy it.
[00:00:57] Jess O’Reilly: So without further ado, we’ll throw it back to I think March 2022. Here you go.
[00:01:07] Jess O’Reilly: You’re listening to the sex with Dr. Jess podcast, sex and relationship advice you can use tonight.
[00:01:16] Brandon Ware: Welcome to sex with Dr. Jess podcast. I’m your cohost, Brandon Ware here with my lovely other Dr. Jess.
[00:01:25] Jess O’Reilly: Hello. I’m glad you’ve stopped making those ASMR sounds. I can do it again for everyone. It’s really creepy, your tongue ASMR sounds.
[00:01:36] Jess O’Reilly: I like the sound. There you go. It’s the look of your tongue coming out of your mouth I don’t like. That’s not the point. Ah, well tonight… We’re having a quickie. It’s the way I like it. I know. Cool brag. Cool, cool brag, bro. We’re going to be talking about dating and what to do when someone pulls away. So not when they ghost you, but when they kind of back out out of nowhere.
[00:01:57] Jess O’Reilly: So I did this interview. And people had sent [00:02:00] in this hodgepodge of questions. Hodgepodge? You’re 90. Smorgasbord of questions about what to do when a love interest pulls back out of nowhere. So they said, for example, you’re hitting it off and then all of a sudden things change. Text messages are sparser.
[00:02:15] Jess O’Reilly: They used to text every day. They don’t initiate contact like they used to, but they still respond to you or they’re answering with like one word. Whereas they used to call and, you know, send essays, or they’re saying that they’re busy all of a sudden and don’t have as much time, but then they come back and they’re messaging you.
[00:02:31] Jess O’Reilly: So basically, they’re not communicating that they want to end things, but they’re sort of dragging you along so you feel rejected, but also confused. Okay. That’s a lot. Right?
[00:02:41] Brandon Ware: One word answers. Okay. Don’t you know when somebody texts you back? Okay. Okay.
[00:02:46] Jess O’Reilly: Oh, I hate when I write like a whole bunch of messages and then I just get cool.
[00:02:49] Brandon Ware: And then I give you a thumbs up.
[00:02:51] Jess O’Reilly: Although I kind of like when I do that to other people, especially like work things.
[00:02:55] Brandon Ware: Double tap.
[00:02:55] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah, exactly. So we’re going to be talking about this. I think it’s kind of interesting. Uh, before we dive into, I guess, our thoughts and our insights and of course acknowledging that there is no one size fits all that with it, you know, you can’t really be an.
[00:03:08] Jess O’Reilly: expert in these things. I’ve just kind of heard from other people what works and what doesn’t work. Before we go there, I want to shout out adamandeve. com because if you are in the market for something that vibrates, something latex, something sexy, something lace, adamandeve. com is giving you 50% off, plus free shipping, plus a bunch of free goodies with code DRJESS.
[00:03:29] Jess O’Reilly: Please make sure you use that code because you’ll save the money and also they’ll know that you… You heard about them here, adamandeve. com.
[00:03:36] Brandon Ware: Yours is so, such an elegant way you just said that. I’d be like adamandeve. com because sometimes you need to get your pickle tickled.
[00:03:43] Jess O’Reilly: Mmm, that’s, that’s pretty good.
[00:03:44] Brandon Ware: I mean, straight to the point. Do you like If you have a penis.
[00:03:47] Jess O’Reilly: Do you like it tickled?
[00:03:48] Brandon Ware: No.
[00:03:48] Jess O’Reilly: Really?
[00:03:49] Brandon Ware: But some people do.
[00:03:50] Jess O’Reilly: Do you like it when I bat it around like a cat?
[00:03:51] Brandon Ware: I like it when you smack it real hard and I know some people do. I don’t.
[00:03:55] Jess O’Reilly: No disrespect. No yucking someone else’s self.
[00:03:57] Brandon Ware: No, I’m not yucking it.
[00:03:58] Brandon Ware: It’s just not my jam.
[00:03:59] Jess O’Reilly: I’m not smacking [00:04:00] your dick.
[00:04:01] Brandon Ware: Thank you for doing that. Thank you for not doing that.
[00:04:03] Jess O’Reilly: I think I told you I once had a woman in a class, like a blowjob class back when I first started who was like, should you paw it around like a cat does when it’s paused?
[00:04:11] Brandon Ware: Yeah, just let your nails grow out and then just give it a good, good scratch.
[00:04:16] Jess O’Reilly: Have you ever cut your penis?
[00:04:17] Brandon Ware: Uh, no, but I think I’ve told you I had somebody cut my penis.
[00:04:21] Jess O’Reilly: No.
[00:04:21] Brandon Ware: I think I’ve talked about it here.
[00:04:23] Jess O’Reilly: Oh, you know, I don’t listen. I,
[00:04:24] Brandon Ware: clearly.
[00:04:25] Jess O’Reilly: I don’t remember because I hear so many stories.
[00:04:27] Brandon Ware: There was a woman that I was dating and, and she pulled way too hard. Like she was pleasing me and she just yanked on it way too hard.
[00:04:37] Jess O’Reilly: She cut it?
[00:04:37] Brandon Ware: It like repeated friction burn.
[00:04:40] Jess O’Reilly: Oh, was there blood?
[00:04:42] Brandon Ware: There was. Soreness. I can’t remember if there was blood, but you know, you’re sitting there and I’m just happy that somebody was tickling my pickle.
[00:04:50] Jess O’Reilly: Were you though? Was that actually good?
[00:04:51] Brandon Ware: At the time I was like, this is great. Somebody’s touching my junk.
[00:04:54] Brandon Ware: And then after I was like, this is not fun. I was like, oh, it’s so good. Stop. Stop.
[00:05:01] Jess O’Reilly: Did you finish?
[00:05:02] Brandon Ware: No, I didn’t. I finished it, but I didn’t finish. No. What? I finished the, the exercise. I told her to stop. Oh, okay. You ended it. I was so good.
[00:05:14] Jess O’Reilly: So you didn’t orgasm? No. Oh, okay. Because that would have burned.
[00:05:17] Brandon Ware: While she was pulling my penis off.
[00:05:19] Jess O’Reilly: Did you put aloe vera on it after so it stunk?
[00:05:22] Brandon Ware: Yeah. That smell. I’ve got aloe vera on some of my penis.
[00:05:26] Jess O’Reilly: I don’t know what aloe tastes like but it doesn’t smell great.
[00:05:29] Brandon Ware: No, it does not smell great.
[00:05:31] Jess O’Reilly: Alright, enough about the aloe vera penises.
[00:05:34] Brandon Ware: Yeah.
[00:05:34] Jess O’Reilly: Let’s chat about this, this predicament, what to do when someone pulls away so they don’t fully break up with you and they seem to still want to make contact with you.
[00:05:43] Jess O’Reilly: What should you do? So they’re asking what should we do if this is happening to us? What should we keep in mind before taking action? And my first thought is don’t personalize the behavior. I think really like the way This person opts to communicate or act isn’t your fault, so don’t let it affect the way you [00:06:00] feel about yourself.
[00:06:00] Jess O’Reilly: Because I think sometimes when we find ourselves in these scenarios, we want to be validated. We want to, like, go to them and make them want us. We seek a reason that’s sort of rooted in self blame for other people’s behavior. Like, we think, like, oh, maybe I talk too much about my work, and maybe that’s why they’re not interested.
[00:06:16] Jess O’Reilly: But let me just tell you, other people’s poor behavior is not your fault. I think that’s a really important piece. And then. My thought also is, don’t spend too much time trying to, like, decode their behavior on your own. Um, maybe they’re really busy with work or family, and I think the only way to know is to go ahead and ask.
[00:06:34] Jess O’Reilly: To go ahead and send them a text message. If they keep saying they’re busy, say, Okay, I see you’re busy right now. Do you want to hang or do you want to take a break? Maybe reach out when you have more time. And kind of leave the ball in their court, yeah. Yeah, or you could say, like, you know, I, I like you, I want to hang, but if you don’t feel the same, I get it, let me know what’s up, so I know whether or not we’re on the same page.
[00:06:54] Jess O’Reilly: Like, I think there’s sort of a calling in of that type of behavior, because maybe they’re going to say, yeah, you know what, I’m struggling with Some mental health stuff right now, or I’ve got these responsibilities with my elderly parents and I, you know, maybe they don’t feel close enough with you yet to divulge.
[00:07:08] Jess O’Reilly: But I think if you kind of come from a place of vulnerability that says, you know, I’ve, I’ve got a thing for you, but if you don’t have that same thing for me, let me know. And hopefully. They’ll be honest.
[00:07:17] Brandon Ware: I mean, it’s hard to put yourself out there like that, but I, I think if you do, you know, the other person is probably going to hopefully approach in a way that will, you know, at least make you feel better, make, make, make, just make everything a little bit more understandable perhaps.
[00:07:29] Brandon Ware: Like just to piggyback off what you’re saying. I think when somebody, to me, it’s about sparking a conversation, it’s just like, what’s going on? Like, can you communicate with me? Because I don’t like feeling left in the dark,
[00:07:38] Jess O’Reilly: right? Instead of kind of going to your friends and saying, Oh, he did this. What does it mean?
[00:07:42] Jess O’Reilly: She said this. What does it mean? Because. When I say something versus when you say something versus when someone else acts the same way or says the same thing, it might be coming from a different place. So I think we gotta just kind of go straight to the point and ask what’s up.
[00:07:56] Brandon Ware: I also like the idea of throwing the ball back into their court.
[00:07:59] Brandon Ware: Just being like, I’d [00:08:00] like to hang out. You’re expressing what you want. And if you’d like the same, please let me know when you’re ready. Because I think about that if, you know, if we were dating and you were, and you said that to me, but like, okay, cool, let’s hang. You know what I mean? Even if I had been not ghosting you, if I’d been pulling back, it could have been for work, it could have been family, could have been all those reasons that you just mentioned.
[00:08:19] Brandon Ware: And then it’s, you’re, you’re like, you’re reminding me, Hey, I’m here. I’d like to spend time with you, but I’m not going to chase you until, you know, you respond. I’m giving you the baton. Let me know.
[00:08:29] Jess O’Reilly: Right. And I think that’s why that first piece around not blaming yourself is so important because when you feel like, Oh, I’ve fallen short, I have some sort of a deficit that has resulted in their behavior.
[00:08:39] Jess O’Reilly: Then you, you try, I don’t want to say you try too hard, but you’re almost willing to do more than that. That person who is semi ghosting you deserves. And so the next question I received along the same vein is they want to know why do people do this? And I do, I think there are many reasons why people pull back instead of just communicating.
[00:08:55] Jess O’Reilly: I think that number one, there is a cohort of people out there who have been taught that they ought to play games like, Oh, you’ll be more attractive if you’re less available. I got to hate that so much. It really is. And so I think that’s why we nip it in the bud, hopefully, and you find out if they are game players, because people don’t like to be called out on their stuff, or called in, or whatever we want to call it.
[00:09:15] Jess O’Reilly: So I do think that there’s a small percentage of people who are playing games. And then I think the other side is that I don’t think many of us have learned how to communicate our needs clearly. So rather than setting a verbal boundary and saying like, hey, I actually do like hanging out with you, but I just…
[00:09:30] Jess O’Reilly: Don’t want to chat every day. Or, you know what, I am seeing other people as well and I need more space. We communicate through withdrawal. And honestly, like, I think we’re all guilty of this. I can think about times in my life, so many times, where I wish I had been more straightforward with people. And it may have seemed like I was playing games, and let me be clear, it’s my responsibility.
[00:09:50] Jess O’Reilly: And I feel badly for, you know, anytime that I was unclear with somebody or hurt feelings. And people, when there is some sort of a break off, even if it’s not a break up, because you weren’t [00:10:00] together together, there’s still a sense of rejection. And so the more clear you are with someone, the more they can get some closure.
[00:10:06] Brandon Ware: Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve all done it, like you just said. I mean, I’ve been guilty of it. And it goes back to, for me, it goes back to communication. It goes back to having what’s, what you think are going to be uncomfortable conversations. And I think once you put it out there, I’ve always, I’ve found very often that that uncomfortable conversation feels so much better when it’s done.
[00:10:25] Jess O’Reilly: I know. And I honestly, I mean, there’s There are still conversations in my life, and there probably will be for the rest of my life, that I continue to avoid, right? That I kind of skirt around, so, you know, yes, some people are playing games, and some people are struggling, and I’m not saying it’s okay, and it doesn’t negate your feelings, which obviously, I’m are, are valid and real when you’re feeling uncertain and like half rejected I think for some people can feel worse than reject because you’re still hoping you still have that glimmer of hope that they’re going to come back or they’re going to watch you and so then there were more questions coming in around.
[00:10:58] Jess O’Reilly: What is the healthiest way to approach it? Like, what can we do? And again, I think it’s about asking for clarification directly and also not playing games in response, even if they’re playing games. Because some of us, listen, we’ve all got ego to protect. And so when somebody plays a game with us, we might be inclined to kind of fight fire with fire.
[00:11:18] Jess O’Reilly: So again, language like, hey, do you still want to hang? No pressure. Let me know either way so I can make plans.
[00:11:25] Brandon Ware: I remember dating a woman. And she totally played games and I was, and she said that I was playing games. And in retrospect, I was like, I realized that I have ghosted you or not that I ghosted. I was just very busy with work and with school because I was in a university at the time.
[00:11:42] Brandon Ware: And, you know, two weeks went by and we hadn’t really communicated to too much. And then I finally was like, Hey, I. You know, I’m sorry, where are you? And she kept dodging my calls and she, I remember her saying now, yeah, no, really, no, seriously, like this is pre cell phone. And then when I finally did get ahold of her, she’s like, well, now you know how I feel.
[00:11:59] Brandon Ware: And I was [00:12:00] so surprised because I was remember thinking to myself, I wasn’t trying to make you feel any way. And then if she had just communicated that to me from the onset, like I’d like to hang out with you, I’d like to spend more time with you, whatever I would have been, I can, I just can’t right now because I’ve got exams and I’ve got work and I’ve got, you know, volunteering or whatever it was that I was doing, but I didn’t know.
[00:12:18] Brandon Ware: And then she, you know, the playing the game in return was such a surprise to me when I found out I was like, yeah, this is not cool. And actually made me think even less of the relationship.
[00:12:28] Jess O’Reilly: Do you think you bore some of the brunt of responsibility there where you could have said from the onset because I remember when I met you that you worked like three jobs in university, plus you’re in school full time.
[00:12:37] Jess O’Reilly: Do you think you could have let her know?
[00:12:39] Brandon Ware: Yeah, I definitely and I’m completely responsible for that. I wasn’t clear with maybe what my existing responsibilities were and more importantly, also probably wasn’t being very flexible with. fitting the relationship into my life. And I think I just didn’t know.
[00:12:56] Brandon Ware: So it was okay. I’m going about what I did before. Now I’m seeing somebody and I just didn’t have a lot of time. And had I just expressed that from the onset, well, this is my schedule. I’ll do my absolute best because I do, you know, it is important. I do want to see you. I really love spending time with you.
[00:13:10] Jess O’Reilly: Did you?
[00:13:10] Brandon Ware: No.
[00:13:11] Jess O’Reilly: Well, you don’t want to say things that aren’t true, right?
[00:13:15] Brandon Ware: Well, no. And I’m just saying if I did enjoy spending time and honestly, maybe I wasn’t. Spending time for purposefully,
[00:13:21] Jess O’Reilly: right? So you weren’t prioritizing.
[00:13:23] Brandon Ware: No, but I mean, this is also 20 some odd years ago
[00:13:26] Jess O’Reilly: Absolutely, and I’ve like there’s no judgment for me.
[00:13:28] Jess O’Reilly: I’ve done worse more recently Like I really do struggle with being totally straightforward with people and it has for me personally and everybody’s different It’s a fear of disappointing. It’s a fear of upsetting It’s a response where I want to avoid conflict and so I have to be really, really thoughtful and intentional about, you know, when I say yes to things and how I say yes and how I let people down.
[00:13:51] Jess O’Reilly: And, you know, I catch myself all the time still saying yes to things and then regretting it. And I was supposed to have, I think we talked about this. I was supposed to have a pause on [00:14:00] yeses for the first few months of the year. I failed. I failed. I got, I got to talk to Carla, my therapist, about this and tell her I let her down.
[00:14:09] Brandon Ware: I’m not trying to highlight your failures, but like, that was an epic failure.
[00:14:12] Jess O’Reilly: I suck.
[00:14:13] Brandon Ware: You were supposed to like. Not take things on and you took on so much.
[00:14:17] Jess O’Reilly: I know I know and some of it’s been really fun
[00:14:20] Brandon Ware: Yeah,
[00:14:20] Jess O’Reilly: it’s been really fun. So so I just think okay, so the healthiest way to approach it ask for clarification again That language of like hey, do you still want to hang?
[00:14:28] Jess O’Reilly: No pressure? Let me know so I can make plans and then I also think knowing what you want is Important and then asking for it because for example, what is it you want from them? Right? Like you’re, you’re saying you don’t want, I don’t know, to always have to initiate, but are you looking for a serious relationship?
[00:14:43] Jess O’Reilly: Like if you’re going to ask them about their level of commitment and they express a desire to continue with this relationship or situationship, let them know what you want from them specifically. For example, do you want them to text you to make plans so that the onus doesn’t fall solely on you? If so, say so.
[00:15:00] Jess O’Reilly: Do you want them to let you know when they’re busy so you can plan accordingly? Then speak up and say that. Do you want to get a better idea? Of what the future holds for an actual relationship, again, make the space to talk about it in a way that works for both of you. I think one of the challenges for people who feel they’re strong at communicating or, you know, who have done it, for example, a lot of self development and learning is that we can have a tendency to expect people to do things the way we do them.
[00:15:26] Jess O’Reilly: Right? And just because we want to communicate in a certain way, I have to catch myself all the time with that. Like, just because there’s a strategy that works for me doesn’t mean it works for other people. And in fact, because of some of my neuro atypical stuff, what I love is what everybody hates and what feels normal.
[00:15:43] Jess O’Reilly: But you and I know this, but we somehow we make it work. And then I think the other piece is In response to this, you have to learn to work through your own feelings, right? You’re going to feel rejected and ignored at times. And these are, these are universal experiences and you, you can’t avoid or eradicate them entirely because even in really [00:16:00] happy, loving relationships, we all deal with rejection.
[00:16:03] Jess O’Reilly: So we have to make space for other people to say no and learn to deal with our own stuff. You know, what does it feel like in your body when someone sets a boundary that doesn’t feel good for you? Right? What hot thoughts come up when you feel rejected? How can you self soothe? What sources of support can you seek?
[00:16:21] Jess O’Reilly: Like, for example, from friends. And what other coping strategies can you use? Whether it’s distraction, or meditation, or exercise. So I think that’s a really important piece for anything we struggle with. But especially around rejecting, rejection. Really knowing, what does it feel like in your body? What are the hot thoughts?
[00:16:38] Jess O’Reilly: How do you self soothe? What are your support systems? And what are your coping strategies? And those are things, I think, questions or prompts that so many of us haven’t really worked through. Because rejection isn’t something we do a lot of talking about.
[00:16:49] Brandon Ware: Oh, are we talking about rejection? That’s my jam.
[00:16:53] Jess O’Reilly: Why?
[00:16:53] Brandon Ware: I’m in, I’m in sales.
[00:16:55] Jess O’Reilly: Okay.
[00:16:55] Brandon Ware: I know what rejection’s all about.
[00:16:57] Jess O’Reilly: Okay.
[00:16:57] Brandon Ware: It sucks.
[00:16:59] Jess O’Reilly: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.
[00:16:59] Brandon Ware: Don’t feel good. Is that, is that my technical definition?
[00:17:02] Jess O’Reilly: So when you get rejected at work, like you lose a client or something like that, how is that different than if, for example, I make you feel rejected?
[00:17:11] Brandon Ware: There’s more at stake in this relationship. So it seems a lot more serious. Um, when, you know, the rejection happens within the relationship than when it does with the client. With a client, I think I’ve been, I’ve learned to compartmentalize where it’s, you know, there are a number of different reasons as to why that person might reject you.
[00:17:26] Brandon Ware: It could be, they don’t like you, it could be that, you know, it could be something related to finance. It could be something related to experience. It could be a number of things. Whereas in the relationship, there’s this vulnerability where you’ve rejected me and you know me. You, you know who I am, and I’ve disappointed you in some way.
[00:17:43] Brandon Ware: So for me, there’s a level of severity. There’s a much more consequential level of, of involvement in the relationship when I’m rejected.
[00:17:52] Jess O’Reilly: If, if I reject you, you said something like, I know you. Oh, you said that you’ve disappointed me. Do you think that all rejection is rooted in [00:18:00] disappointment?
[00:18:00] Brandon Ware: Well, we’re getting into the therapy side of things here.
[00:18:03] Jess O’Reilly: I’m just curious.
[00:18:04] Brandon Ware: I haven’t given it enough thought. I think that. Yeah, I think a part of it, yeah.
[00:18:08] Jess O’Reilly: So for example, let’s take a really simple rejection like, I don’t want to have sex with you one night. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. What are you making fun of me? Because I always want to have sex with you. Screw you. Go ahead.
[00:18:19] Brandon Ware: No, no, no. Let’s play this out. Let’s play this out.
[00:18:21] Jess O’Reilly: No. Let’s say I say no. How does that feel for you? Imagine,
[00:18:25] Brandon Ware: imagine in the world somebody doesn’t want you. I never picture that. I couldn’t, I’m just kidding. . Oh, believe me, you have no idea. I’ve been rejected, but I think most of my failures are on my own doing.
[00:18:35] Brandon Ware: Um,
[00:18:36] Jess O’Reilly: so when I say no to sex, if I were to say no to sex,
[00:18:39] Brandon Ware: that to me, because it’s in, there’s a physical, like, like again, I don’t take it, I don’t take that as personally. Mm-hmm. , whereas, If the rejection or if, if the, yeah, I think a lot of it is rooted in disappointment when I think about it, but when it’s the rejection involves something else because for sex to me, I feel like it could be that you’re not feeling great right now.
[00:18:57] Brandon Ware: It could be, you know, your mind is, you’re distracted. Perhaps you’re just, you’re not in the mood or whatever. I don’t, I don’t take that personally. Whereas if it was a rejection that had to do with something, maybe a little bit more. where I’m just, there’s more vulnerability. I feel like it would, it would cut a little deeper.
[00:19:11] Jess O’Reilly: So that’s really interesting. So you’re comfortable with sexual rejection with me and it sounds to me, if I understand correctly, it’s because you don’t personalize it. It’s not about you. When do you feel rejected? In this relationship or just in general? No, I’m interested in this relationship.
[00:19:27] Brandon Ware: I don’t feel rejected.
[00:19:29] Brandon Ware: I mean, I can’t think of anything that comes to mind right off the top of my head. I think the rejection, I don’t, I can think of when I feel like I’ve rejected you, but when you’ve rejected me, honestly, it’s so rare. I can’t even think of anything.
[00:19:41] Jess O’Reilly: No, the reason I ask, there’s got to be something like, it’s not like I never reject you.
[00:19:45] Brandon Ware: No, no, no, not at all. Of course, all of those things. I’m just like put on the spot. I can’t think of an example on the spot.
[00:19:51] Jess O’Reilly: I just, I’m interested because you said it means I’ve disappointed you. Mm hmm. So you attach rejection and disappointment. I do attach the two, yeah, for sure I do. When do you feel you’ve disappointed [00:20:00] me?
[00:20:00] Brandon Ware: Whoo, um, I feel like I’ve disappointed you when there’s something like a core belief that’s been violated. Hmm. Um, you know, you know, that we talk a lot about, I mean, we talk a lot about patriarchy, race, you know, some of these things and, and I screw up and when I feel like I’ve done something to hurt you in that respect, it’s that white fragility, man, it’ll come out and like the disappointment.
[00:20:27] Brandon Ware: is really hard to deal with. So
[00:20:30] Jess O’Reilly: you feel disappointed in yourself. You think I’m just, is that rejection to you?
[00:20:33] Brandon Ware: No, I mean, again, I think we’re getting a little bit off topic. I’m just speaking off the cuff. No, it’s perfect. But, um, it’s, uh, I do, I do tie the two together. I think that rejection.
[00:20:43] Brandon Ware: Disappointment. It goes back to when you, at the beginning, you were talking about, you know, people ghosting people. And sometimes I wonder too, is there an element of people pleasing that comes into the, that comes into play, right? Where you don’t want to, you don’t want to respond to someone because you always want to please people.
[00:20:57] Brandon Ware: And maybe you have to disappoint somebody by saying, you know, I really like you, but I’m not.
[00:21:02] Jess O’Reilly: Well, I struggle with that in work, like saying no to brands and saying no to different deals. There’s this idea, of course, in business, you have to do everything. But there are a lot of things that aren’t a fit for me for one reason or another.
[00:21:11] Jess O’Reilly: And sometimes it actually is about the brand. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it’s about my schedule. Sometimes it’s just not in alignment financially or whatever it may be. But every time I have to say no, I find it really, really hard. And it’s, I was just thinking about how you’re very comfortable with sexual rejection, because you have so much practice.
[00:21:29] Brandon Ware: I’ve had so much… I’ve had… I
[00:21:33] Jess O’Reilly: joke about never rejecting you, but that’s, I’m sure that’s not the case. I just feel like, you know, if you have the energy, I’m like, Oh, I’m going to, I’m going to rally, especially cause you don’t make me do much. So, I’m, I’m thinking about your comfort with sexual rejection and how that can be parlayed into these other areas.
[00:21:50] Jess O’Reilly: So for example, if you feel you’ve let me down, what skills or tools or self talk that you’ve used to manage sexual [00:22:00] rejection can be parlayed over to that area? Like with sexual rejection, you’re like, it’s not about me. Um, she may not just be in the mood. Perhaps this isn’t an indication that she doesn’t want to feel connected to me.
[00:22:09] Jess O’Reilly: This isn’t an indication that she doesn’t love me. And I wonder if some of that. Language could be helpful for managing or kind of attenuating the, uh, the effects of rejection and other arenas with me. Just a thought.
[00:22:21] Brandon Ware: I mean, I think always reflecting on my own, like my own involvement in the, in the discussion and the rejection and whatever it is, it’s like, I’m thinking about your response to me, but I’m also thinking about the underlying issue.
[00:22:32] Brandon Ware: Like, is it something where I should feel disappointed where I should feel like I’ve, you know, disappointed you, I should feel rejected. I should feel any of those things. So I’m just been learning. Before I respond, try to take a beat and think about things and maybe analyze them on your own, because I’m really quick.
[00:22:49] Brandon Ware: I think a lot of people were very quick to respond back, fire back. I mean, it’s like you need to defend your position. That’s the first thing you need to do as opposed to, I need to take a minute and just think about things. It doesn’t have to be a minute. I need to take five seconds and just not fire my mouth and say something back.
[00:23:06] Brandon Ware: It’s like, just think about it. Is there validity to this your own thoughts or maybe what somebody else is saying and then analyze for just a moment and then Move forward.
[00:23:17] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah, and maybe it’s an opportunity for growth right rather than self criticism or the idea that you’ve let yourself down Maybe it is an opportunity for growth.
[00:23:24] Jess O’Reilly: I mean, I’ll admit I I obviously hate rejection We’re hardwired not to like rejection right when we think of humans yeah, and survival and the fact that we’ve always depended on one another any experience of rejection can send you into a state of fear where you feel like, you know, that old reptilian brain is thinking, I’m not going to be able to survive without the support of these people.
[00:23:44] Jess O’Reilly: And so that’s why even little things, you know, actually it was, I went to, to a restaurant today, a restaurant at my corner that I go to all the time and I’m a huge fan of. And, uh, the host was really, really rude to me. Really? Yes. And you know which place I’m talking about. They’re always super nice. Um, one host [00:24:00] was about to seat me and this other host shook her head and said, no.
[00:24:03] Jess O’Reilly: No space. And he said, yeah, there is. And she said no. And she wouldn’t even, she didn’t acknowledge me. She didn’t make eye contact. And I felt like this rush in my body. And I know what that is. It’s the sense of rejection. And then I’ll just finish the story. This other waitress that I love came over and took me up the back stairs to give me a table.
[00:24:21] Jess O’Reilly: And I don’t, I imagine it wasn’t about me, but it may have been about me, right? It may. And especially, you know, when You know, I’m maybe the only person of color walking into that restaurant. Definitely I start to think, like, is it they don’t want my people here, right? And then my other friend came in who’s also Chinese.
[00:24:36] Jess O’Reilly: She doesn’t want to seat us, right? And then we got saved by the lovely waitress who gave us the table.
[00:24:41] Brandon Ware: Was it the one, the one that we normally?
[00:24:42] Jess O’Reilly: Uh, no, that was not another one. There’s two that you and I normally have. Anyhow. Not to make this about me, but I did, my podcast. Uh, she, that, that sense of rejection, like I felt it in my body.
[00:24:54] Jess O’Reilly: And then with you, yeah, I’m, I feel a lot of pressure. Listen, I’m a sexologist. I’m supposed to like be able to seduce you and take care of you. And quite frankly, I know how. And I know what to do, but sometimes I can’t push myself through the discomfort to do it. And actually, in the future, I’d like to do the seduction interview with you.
[00:25:13] Jess O’Reilly: I was thinking of doing it today, but it’s really long and we have to do a quickie version, but maybe we’ll split it in two. But I was thinking about, you know, what holds me back from seducing you? What holds me back from initiating? And we know that in… relationships where people have happy sex lives, there tends to be shared initiation.
[00:25:30] Jess O’Reilly: There are, of course, exceptions, like some people love to only initiate and some people love to only receive. I mean, I definitely hear from more people who like to be on the receiving end, because it feels good to be wanted. But to go back to rejection, I think we have to remember that rejection can be difficult rejecter and the rejectee.
[00:25:47] Jess O’Reilly: And we need to practice rejection with grace. And, uh, you know, sometimes your desires won’t align with somebody else’s. Sometimes your feelings will be hurt. And we can’t avoid all hurt feelings. And I think if we go back [00:26:00] to this situationship where they’re partly ghosting you. I think the longer you drag it out and string someone along, the more intense the rejection can feel.
[00:26:08] Jess O’Reilly: Yeah, I agree with that. So if we can try and kind of be honest from the onset, we’re better off. And I also think it’s important to remember that the longevity of a relationship doesn’t determine its quality. It’s also okay. to have short term relationships, but they require this honesty and vulnerability and grace.
[00:26:25] Jess O’Reilly: So if you are afraid to let someone know that you’re not interested, think about whatever was good in the relationship, right? Or a situationship or whatever. I mean, there’s all types of relationships, the connection and don’t feel like. You know, there’s any failure in ending it. And again, if you’re not interested, be upfront, let them know.
[00:26:42] Jess O’Reilly: And then on the receiving end, you have to accept that you won’t always get a full explanation. And that’s a hard thing with like ghosting, with closure. We often believe that closure is attached to having all of our questions answered and receiving detailed explanations about why a situation ship dissolved.
[00:26:58] Jess O’Reilly: But closure is actually tied to how we work through our own feelings. It’s something we can cultivate on our own without relying on an external source, to fill in. all the gaps because you’ll hear that all the time. Like I’ll hear people say, I just want closure. And ultimately you can’t send one more text or, you know, ask for one more phone call or ask for one more meetup.
[00:27:16] Jess O’Reilly: If this person has been clear that they’re done.
[00:27:18] Brandon Ware: I do think that again, I’m just going to pull back to my work. It does. Like I’ve learned over the years, it’s like closure. You’re not going to get all the answers. Like you just said, it’s like, you just have to be okay. Not knowing why somebody didn’t choose you.
[00:27:30] Brandon Ware: And you know what? That’s okay. Because just like, again, for me with work, there’s another opportunity out there. So there’s another person, there’s another relationship, there’s another whatever it is you’re looking for. You just have to move on. You know, like you said, learn from it. And then, you know, hopefully the next one is, is each one gets a little bit better.
[00:27:47] Jess O’Reilly: And hopefully people aren’t playing games, but I mean, no matter what rejection, it hurts. It sucks. And I think it’s good practice. Like I, I actually think about how throughout, I guess my childhood and my teen years and I probably my twenties, [00:28:00] maybe my thirties, um, there was a lot of avoidance of rejection for me.
[00:28:03] Jess O’Reilly: Like I didn’t do things that I wasn’t good at. I did the things that I was good at and stuck with them.
[00:28:08] Brandon Ware: I like to practice rejection because I feel like it would be a release, like cathartic, you know what I mean? It’s like somebody and then I would just be like, why don’t you go yourself?
[00:28:18] Jess O’Reilly: What? He loves me.
[00:28:19] Brandon Ware: Just practicing rejection. That’s how I would respond. Oh, like I tell you. Yeah, you reject me And then I’d be like tell you where to go
[00:28:26] Jess O’Reilly: I guess, I guess. I’m just kidding. Again, I just, I think, um, you really hit the nail on the head around sex, that it’s not about you. And so this is a big piece, is all of people’s behaviors, whether we call this like half ghosting or uh, there’s other words for it, like um, zombying, where they kind of disappear and come back.
[00:28:43] Jess O’Reilly: Houdini ing. That’s fully disappearing and still ghosting. That’s what I do at parties. It’s true. You do Houdini, but that, that’s a different thing. You, you show up the next morning, but I just, I think this is an important conversation. So I hope folks, um, think about it kind of on their end and maybe share it with friends who are struggling with what they might perceive as games in, in dating and relationships.
[00:29:05] Jess O’Reilly: And also think about how you practice rejection, again with those questions around what does it feel like in your body when someone sets a boundary that doesn’t feel good for you? Uh, what do you label rejection? Right? Is it disappointment? Is it attached to other feelings? What hot thoughts come up when you feel rejected?
[00:29:20] Jess O’Reilly: Like, for example, are you afraid you’re unlovable? Are you afraid you’re unworthy? Are you worried that they’re never going to come back to you? And then how can you self soothe? What are your sources of support? Like, what does your support network look like? And what other coping strategies really work for you?
[00:29:33] Jess O’Reilly: Like, for some people, it really is about distraction. For other people, it’s meditation or diving into your work or exercise. And any of those can work for, you know, for a period of time. Sounds good. All right. Well, thanks for sharing your rejection stuff with me, babe.
[00:29:47] Brandon Ware: No problem. And am I doing the outro?
[00:29:50] Jess O’Reilly: Ready? Ready.
[00:29:51] Brandon Ware: If you need your pickle tickled, go to adamandeve. com. Use code Dr. Jess. Is there, is there another one?
[00:29:59] Jess O’Reilly: For [00:30:00] 50% off. Almost any single item plus free shipping. And there goes our sponsors. Thanks, babe.
[00:30:08] Jess O’Reilly: Folks, wherever you’re at, have a good one. I’m going to go not tickle your pickle.
[00:30:13] Jess O’Reilly: You’re listening to the sex with Dr. Jess podcast, improve your sex life, improve your life.