So there you are at the deli counter getting a ham sandwich, when that person you’re attracted to comes and stands next to you at the counter to order a turkey sandwich. You’ve seen them over and over again at the store, and you finally have the guts to turn and smile at them . . . and they do NOTHING in return. They just look at you almost like you’re not even there. They almost look right through you like you don’t exist.

So you grab your ham sandwich and run out of there as quickly as you possibly can, saying to yourself “I will NEVER do that again. This doesn’t work. The next time I go back there I am just not going to smile anymore.” Is this the best way to deal with rejection? How do you personally deal with rejection? More importantly, are you someone who believes that if you become “good” at dating that you will no longer get rejected?

The truth is that being able to deal with rejection is the key to being successful at going out and meeting people. It’s also not the ultra-significant event so many make it out to be. So here are 5 essential tips on how to handle rejection which you need to embrace if you are going to have a full and successful dating life:

1. Change Your Expectations. One of the first and most important things you need to understand is that no matter what you do, not everybody is going to respond positively to you. Not everyone you smile at will smile back at you. Not everyone you say hello to is going to say hello back to you. Not everyone you make any sort of gesture to is going to respond to you positively (and in some cases won’t respond to you at all). This happens, and it will always happen at one time or another. You need to stop expecting a positive response 100% of the time. What you have to realize is that just because somebody did not smile back at you, does not mean that you’re not an attractive person or that you made a mistake by smiling at people. The only thing it means is that it did not work with that ONE person.

2. Life Is All About Rejection. Think about everything that you do in life. Everything in life has rejection involved in it. If you’re a sales person who makes ten sales calls, you may only get one or two of those people to say yes. In baseball, a player whose batting average is around 300 will likely end up in the Hall of Fame. In football, if a quarterback can complete 55% of his passes then he is doing pretty well. You get the idea. If you go to a store to buy a pair of jeans, you may have to try on five pairs before you find the perfect pair. Everything in life is about percentages. In any area of your life other than your dating life, you wouldn’t just quit simply because you experienced some rejection. Think if quit looking for work after your very first interview didn’t result you getting hired. That would, of course, be ridiculous. So remember that you also need to keep going in your dating life when you’re rejected, because you want to keep increasing your odds of success in that area of your life.

3. Focus On Increasing Your Odds: When you feel like you are getting more than your fair share of rejections, instead of focusing on those rejections you need to focus on increasing your odds of success. The fact is that by playing the percentages as I mentioned above, that you WILL be successful. The reason is that every time you take action – every time you smile, say hello or walk over and initiate a conversation – you get better at it. If you’re going to go out there and only talk to one person a day, and that’s it, then your chances of success are not going to be great. If you are this person, you need to increase your odds every single day and in everything you’re doing. You need to understand that if you approach someone and get rejected, it’s not a reflection on you. It doesn’t mean you did it wrong or shouldn’t have done it at all. It in fact could mean a million different things. Maybe the person was having a bad day. Maybe they have just lost every cent they have in the stock market. You’ll never know . . . and it doesn’t matter.

4. Keep Things In Perspective: I hear some version of this from clients of mine all the time: “David, what if I approach somebody, get rejected, and someone sees me? I’ll never be able to go in that store again (or that gym, that donut store, that Starbucks or wherever) and I’ll have to drive to the next town to do all my shopping!” You need to get a little perspective here. Let me tell you something – you’re not front page news! When you’re rejected, you need to just get over it. I promise that if you’re rejected by the deli counter at your grocery store, that the next day you will not see on Yahoo’s homepage or the front page of your local paper this headline “John Smith of Memphis, Tennessee was seen yesterday getting rejected at the deli counter of the local Whole Foods market … details on pg. 6 …” No one is talking about you. People are concerned about themselves and what is going on in their own lives, just as you are focused on what’s going on in yours. So the fact that you get rejected in front of other people at the market, at the gym, or anywhere else is not a big deal to anyone else but you. You need to keep this in it’s proper perspective: No one is going to be talking or thinking about you getting rejected except you.

5. Don’t Overreact: The other thing I most commonly hear from clients who have been rejected is some version of this: “I’m NEVER going to talk to that person ever again now that I was rejected by them.” This reaction is not only a total overreaction, but it is also absolutely the wrong thing to do. So you tried to talk (or smile or look) at someone, and they didn’t respond. As I mentioned above, there are a million possible reasons why that person did not respond to you. Maybe that person was simply having a bad day. Think about how many times you have been having a bad day and someone smiles at you, but you are just not in the mood to interact with others. So you have to realize that just like you have days when you just aren’t in the mood to talk to anyone, so might that person who didn’t respond to your hello at the deli counter. It doesn’t necessarily mean that person wouldn’t want to talk to you another time. If I smile at a woman and she doesn’t respond, I don’t play hide-and-go-seek the next time I see her. What I do is be equally friendly to her the next time I see her, because you never know what will happen that second time. You never know how someone will respond the second time. You never know what’s in their head or what they’re feeling. It’s a different day. Put the last time behind you.

These are some ways to help you get over rejection. You have to realize that in order to get good at interacting with the opposite sex, you are going to get rejected. In fact, you WANT to get rejected every single day, because if you’re not then it means that you’re not trying.

So ask yourselves this: Did you get rejected today, and how can you go out tomorrow and make it an even better day than today? Learn to not only handle, but indeed to embrace, rejection and you, too, will meet great new people and have an amazing social life.