My New Year’s resolution project is Rejection Therapy. A lot of adults’ problems in love and relationships originate from childhood traumas. My rejection therapy probably goes back to my childhood as well.
Growing up, my parents were both busy – for a few years, my dad was extremely busy and his attention to business led to our distance. Don’t get me wrong – my parents love me so much as they always support me and provide me with unconditional love and care. However, my dad wasn’t that communicative with me and he was very raw and blunt. He had bad tempers and he didn’t know how to communicate with me at all. As the neglected only child, I didn’t know how to communicate to him either. His absence of communications and caring led to my frustrations. I would cry, scream, rebel and rage as he snapped and hit me (back days in China, it was very common and acceptable for parents to hit the rebellious kids). As the only child, I don’t have any brothers. So the first and only male figure in my original family gave me the impressions of distance, fears, and nerves. So growing up, I have always had fears in cross-gender relationships, in friendships, social settings, career or romance. If I had a brother growing up, I would probably have been better at relationships with men. It took me 29 years to fix myself and start to appreciate male friendships and get rid of the fears from a social level. The relationship between my father and me in my childhood always affected my love life. I’m always attracted to someone like him – an alpha male with integrity and respect, but distant from me (not from my social group). And often, I would get overwhelmingly nervous around the man I truly like – because of my childhood.
Every adult’s insanity and craziness goes back to childhood. I spoke to father about it, and he told me,” I don’t understand.” As the man who loves me so much and gives me so much, I can’t blame him for anything. The only thing I can do is to fix myself and learn how to love as an adult.
As a female entrepreneur, I’m well aware that only 2% VC money goes into female-founded businesses, and part of the reason is that female founders often only network with females. Given my childhood story, it makes even more challenging for me to network with men. However, next time I see a group of 5 suited gentlemen standing in a closed circle, I will have to join the conversation and see how I’d get rejected.
I will make a list of things I always wanted to do but was afraid to be rejected. The list will be ethical, lawful and sane (well, I’m not sure about this one 😉 ). The list will not include things that I think I’m capable of making them happen – such as guest lecturing at FIT or Parsons. The list will not include big things but would not bother me either, such as getting on the cover of Vogue or interviewing Obama. This list will include things that really bother me in my life, and the uncertainty of my capability to make them happen. In other words, things I feel I may get rejected or I already got rejected in the past.
Because I have many things on the list, I decided to break them down into sessions. Each session probably will contain no more than 10 things, and each session will take one week or two.
1. Getting into Maria Jose’s advanced Argentine tango class on Saturday.
I have been trying to get into her class for more than a year, but I have not been accepted yet. I will keep trying and proving to her that I am a beautiful person.
2. Joining gentlemen’s conversations when they are suited and standing in a closed circle.
3. Dancing with Dirk at tango.
4. Dancing with Riccardo at tango.
5. Getting a public Chinese liquor brand as my marketing agency client.
6. Reaching out to an old friend with whom our relationship had rips because we worked together.
7. Reaching out to an organization that I work with after our relationship had rips because of a non-pleasant work episode.
8. Pitching 10 brands we want to work with for our branded content.
9. Dancing with Carlos at tango.
I will report back in a week or two.