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  • Hayley Ablott

Day 4: Ask a stranger to tie my shoelaces

Rejection #5 Edward asks a stranger to tie his shoelaces

Dear reader,

It's getting late but I need some groceries for dinner so I walk into the supermarket and start gathering what I need. It's quite late so there aren't many people around. I now have everything I need (you can't get rejected with an empty basket in hand) and decide it's time. I bend down and untie my shoe laces. Before I become a trip hazard to myself, I see a guy up ahead. Perfect. I walk up to him and ask if he could tie my laces for me. He was only slightly hesitant but goes ahead and ties them. What a gentleman! He obliged.

That was too easy, so I try again, but this time with a couple. I wonder if the dynamics will be different. But here I go. This time the guy questions me, why? I tell him I can't reach. How could you say no to that? Exactly. He didn't.

What did I learn?

Failed rejections or acceptance (the person does what is asked) isn't entirely the point here. It's having the courage to ask such a thing in the first place. Hayley and I have both come to realise that it is more about the act of doing than it is about the response. So even a yes is a win.

I am also learning that the likelihood of a yes is proportional to the justification as to why. If you have a good reason, the yes response increases. So if you have a question you're sitting on but you're too afraid to ask, think about the response you would like and work backwards. If you have solid justification for your argument, the fear starts to alleviate because now you have included reason. The question becomes reasonable.

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