Whenever I read a story of how someone in the scene has overcome rejection, I see a lot of positive, supportive reactions. These stories, almost always from women, go something along the lines of:
"I was too scared so I didn't ask" or even "I was rejected so many times that I stopped asking"
I see everyone come forward and support these women and their stories and they should.
One of the posts about rejection I read was by someone who rejected me by ignoring an email that I'd written. It was polite and thoughtful. When I asked the recipient about ignoring it, she laughed and said "Well that's how it is for guys... get used to it!" and then three weeks later wrote about how awful being rejected is and how it makes her question her worth.
As a cis-het male, I'm expected to get rejected, again, and again... and again. Furthermore, I'm expected to treat each interaction as if it's first, with a smile and a positive, open attitude. I'm expected to accept rejection gracefully, showing no sign of disappointment or hurt, keep the conversation flowing and treat it as the most natural thing in the world. I've been taught strategies on handling rejection. I'm not supposed to feel rejection is about me. I know that rejection is a way of weeding people out and knowing where to spend my energy. I value these strategies and have found that over time, rejection hurts less and less. But make no mistake- it hurts.
I'm grateful for the lessons that I've learned in handling rejection. At the same time, ladies, when you do reject someone's advanced for play, or for a date, remember the celebratory attitude that you showed that nice girl with the poor self-esteem and remember the expectations placed on these guys.