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Rejection and failure are hard parts of adulthood, often leading to low self-esteem, disappointment, and even depression. But what if you could actually conquer that rejection in a way that makes you better and more awesome than you've ever been? Here are our 3 tips for doing just that! :D

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Created and Hosted by:
Emma Mills & T. Michael (Mike) Martin
Emma and Mike are also Young Adult novelists!
Check out Mike's debut novel, THE END GAMES, at all online booksellers, including
Amazon: (
Check out Emma's debut novel, FIRST & THEN, at all booksellers, including Amazon:

Directed by:
T. Michael Martin

Written by:
Thomas Frank (
& T. Michael Martin

Edited by:
Nathan Talbott

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green

Both: Hey!

Emma: Uplifting message time. As you navigate your way through the complicated maze of "What the?" we call life, you'll inevitably have to deal with all sorts of rejection.

Mike: Companies won't hire you, scholarship committees will turn you down, and you will be pushed away from people you find hubba-hubba, maybe because you keep saying hubba-hubba.

E: Whatever the case, rejection happens, so let's look at the best ways to deal with it.

M: Tip #1: Generally speaking, don't overgeneralize. Although you may be rejected from specific situations, in most cases, a single rejection can't keep you form your broader goals. For instance, let's say you wanted to write for The New York Times, so you apply, and they say no. At that point, you should ask yourself, "Why did I want to write for The New York Times?"

E: Certainly, there are specific aspects of that job that couldn't be found elsewhere, but most other aspects aren't unique. At its core, the job would entail doing research, writing, and reporting interesting things about the world to readers. And you could do that in other places: another newspaper, an online publication, even your own blog.

M: In fact, our friend Thomas, who co-wrote this script, started his own successful site and YouTube channel called collegeinfogeek after being rejected for a writing position at another blog. And here is the email to prove it. Blurred out, tactfully.

E: What's more, the experience you gain in another place might qualify you for your dream job further down the line. Once you figure out that rejection is often situational, it's easier to learn from your initial rejection, figure out what you could do to improve, and then put in the work.

M: Which takes us to, Tip #2: Ask why you were rejected. If you didn't get a job that you interviewed for, it's always a good idea to politely ask the interviewer why they might not have chosen you. Ask them what you could be working on in the future that might improve your chances later.

E: In some situations, you could even ask for a second chance, but of course, this is situational, too. It's totally okay to appeal a credit card rejection. It is not okay to keep asking if someone turns you down for a date.

M: And that leads us to the final part of our discussion today, which is how to deal with the pain of rejection, because, let's face it, rejection hurts. It can make you feel like you're inadequate, like you're not good enough.

E: And sometimes, that's actually correct! Part of becoming an adult is learning how to face uncomfortable truths head-on. Sometimes you aren't good enough for something, at least not yet. Maybe you don't have the right skills or experience. Although this is a painful problem, it's definitely a fixable one.

M: On the other hand, remember that rejection isn't always 100% your fault. There are often factors beyond your control that are influencing the outcome. For instance, a 2010 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that judges were more likely to grant parole requests right after they had eaten. The more time that had passed since a meal, the more likely they were to reject a request.

E: If hanger can influence a judge's decision, it (and many other factors) could influence an interviewer's decision, too. You can never control all the factors, so it's important to accept your lack of omnipotence and focus on the factors you can control. 

M: And finally, an oldie, but a truthy: Everyone gets rejected. No one is special or marked for greatness from birth. Maybe Harry Potter a little bit, we're not sure. But the point is, you can't let rejection stop you from going after what you want.

And that is all we've got for you today, but now we're gonna do something we used to do a lot and we're gonna talk over the credits. Emma.

E: Are they happening?

M: They're happening right now.

E: It's happening. They're happening right now!

M: It's a storm of letters. May I ask you, "Have you ever been rejected?"

E: Of course I have! Yes! The first thing that comes to mind is when I was trying to find an agent for my book, First & Then. I had looked for an agent for two years and I sent the book out to so many, so many agents and I got so many rejections. 

M: Two years?

E: Yeah.

M: Man, that's a... That takes some perseverance.

E: Yeah. Tons and tons and tons of rejections. But in them, some helpful thoughts and comments. Enough, you know, encouragement that I felt like I should continue and eventually somebody said yes!

M: Starred reviews, going on tour. It's awesome! Awesome! We talked about maybe if it's not as, you're not as good as you could be at a certain thing. One of the early parts of our relationship was...

E: Yeah! Well, we've gotta give props to Mike! Was that I had written, you write a query in publishing, which is like a pitch for your book, and I had been sending out a query that was not that great. Mike offered to look at my query and made it so much better! 

M: I applied to grad school twice to get an MFA in writing.

E: I didn't know that.

M: Yeah, yeah. Well perhaps I never told you because I got rejected both times.

E: OK, OK!

M: One time, actually, my writing samples... So I had like my GRE scores. I was in like the top percentile. I had recommendation letters from a National Book Award finalist, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and my writing sample was from a book I was working on called The Endgames. And yeah, I just, I got rejected and it was really tough, but you know what? At some point, I stopped getting really sad about getting rejected, and I just got angry. You know?

E: I felt a lot of the same thing, too. I'll be like, "No, this book is good!"

M: Yeah!

E: And then I would just be like, "I'm gonna keep sending it!"

M: Danny Elfman said one time, like, "Proving yourself is not just fuel, it's rocket fuel." And I've found that to be true.