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Rejection Therapy is a social self-help game created by Jason Comely where being rejected by another person or group is the sole winning condition. The player can attempt any kind of social rejection, or try a suggestion from one of the Rejection Therapy suggestion cards available. The game can be played for any length of time, although many undertake the 30 Day Challenge.
The purpose of playing the game is to overcome the fear of rejection through controlled, forced exposure. By this means, players hope to adapt physically to the stresses of rejection.
There is only one official rule to Rejection Therapy, which is to be rejected by another person at least once, every day. There are also stipulations as to what counts as a rejection and what does not:
- A rejection counts if you are out of your comfort zone
- A rejection counts if your request is denied
- At the time of rejection, the player, not the respondent, should be in a position of vulnerability. The player should be sensitive to the feelings of the person being asked.
Some players develop strategies and coping mechanisms for managing the fear before a rejection attempt, such as mindfulness or using the three second rule. New players are advised to start with small rejections before graduating to more emotionally and socially meaningful rejections.
Rejection Therapy is an example of a psychotherapeutic technique called Flooding, in which actual exposure to the feared stimulus, in this case rejection, induces an adrenaline and fear response which over time minimizes until the person realizes it is not something to be afraid of. Flooding is known to be fairly effective.
- "By Making A Game Out Of Rejection, A Man Conquers Fear". NPR : National Public Radio.
- "Fear Hack: Short-Circuit Fear With The 3 Second Rule Rejection Therapy". rejectiontherapy.com (via Internet Archive). Archived from the original on 2011-02-19.