rejection therapy day 12 -december 10th
Today, I am pretty pleased to say, was another cracker of a day…so unfortunately you have a long post on your hands.
First off, I am finding that the Street Portrait Project is yielding very few rejections (by that, I mean none). Everyone is far too nice and welcoming, willing to take a couple of minutes out of their lives to chat and have their photos taken. I have also started to give out little notes to the kind people who have allowed me to take their portraits, giving the address for this blog and my Flickr.
Since I am only posting a single photo a day that obviously means not everyone’s portrait I have taken will get posted, so I will name check each of them and let them rest easy knowing their picture will be posted up one day and they are welcome to request any photos I have taken on them.
Here are today’s friendly victims:
For more information about today’s Street Portrait, please read the blurb about Brendan just above his photo below.
After successfully taking some photos of strangers I sauntered over to the place to get the best coffee in Birmingham, The Urban Coffee Company. While chatting with one of the friendly and skilled Urbanistas (UCC name for a Barista) who knew I had a trial shift on Monday, I asked whether he could talk me through making a latte and give me some tips, which he did! Failed Rejection Check out this Urbanista’s latte art.
I then went to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training session, but I was a little agitated that it was coming to late evening and I had not yet got a rejection. I thought I would push the boat out and be a little mischievous and ask one of the instructor/managers of the gym called Norbi, who is a good friend but renowned for being strict to everyone about everything, if I could have a bottle of water for free. He rolled his eyes and I took that as a rejection… this story continues and gets a lot more interesting, so just bare with it.
After I had finished training with a different instructor to the aforementioned stricter Norbi, I offered my two training partners a lift home, even though they both live in completely opposite directions to where I was heading and I had never done so before. The thing I found odd about this is that I did not have rejection therapy on my mind when I asked this. I was just being more forward and open than I have been previously. It was only until I was driving home that I realised I had got my rejection. Rejected
Now the bottle of water story continues, hope you’re still paying attention. While walking back to my car I realised I was a bit dehydrated, so I went back into the gym and asked Dave, one of the guys who works behind the desk, how much bottle of waters were. He didn’t know so he called out to Norbi. A “£1” shouted back in return without Norbi looking up. Just as I was handing over the pound there was a further shout, “Don’t worry about it.” We both looked over to Norbi and he carried on “Don’t worry about it, this ones on me.” Myself and Dave stood there confused and I slowly put the bottle into my bag. Failed Rejection
What I take from today is the importance of kindness. There is just nothing quite like it. Whether it is Norbi giving me the water bottle or the thanks I got for simply offering a lift home to my training friends, kindness just feels good whether you are giving or receiving. Rejection Therapy can seem quite selfish, asking for things you want and depending on other people’s kindness, but I have found that the more I have asked for from people the more I have felt good in giving back.
These thoughts are definitely connected to my reading of magician and illusionist Derren Brown’s latest book, ‘Confessions of a Conjurer ” where he spends pretty much a whole chapter on the importance of kindness. It really cannot be understated and it is infectious. By pure coincidence, after the training session today a few of us sat round and chatted about road rage, but we all shared the idea that when someone is kind to you on the road you are more helpful to others; letting people in at junctions etc. I think if you have this in your mind in Rejection Therapy, rather than seeing it in a businesslike/sales manner of simply personal gain, it can set you on a path to feeling happy, and you can’t say better than that.
Slight addition, I have also started offering my portrait photos to everyone who allows me to take their photo. On the slip I give them it has my email address and hopefully they can get some pleasure out my photography too.
Street Portrait Project #3
Brendan was walking along with a young lady, Katie his daughter, and when I stopped them they both seemed highly amused at the thought of someone taking their photo. It turns out Brendan is a photographer and Katie had studied photography…rather intimidating since I am a self taught amateur. Still, after some gentle jibbing at the kit I used and joking about my knowledge, they could not have been more friendly and spent a minutes discussing this practice and the importance of meeting people.
Thanks again Brendan and hope your critical eye isn’t too harsh on this photo, I’m doing this all to learn!
For an explanation of Rejection Therapy see this post
For an explanation of Street Portrait Project see this post