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Fists clenched, hidden iPhone filming from his shirt pocket, Jia Jiang stands in a glossy-tiled shopping mall in east Texas. And, as if tugged by a magnet, he ambles towards a seated security guard. With beads of sweat gathering at his temples, Jia plants his feet. The guard glances up. Jia swallows. “Can I have a hundred dollars?” This is Jia Jiang’s first foray into the world of deliberate rejection. And he will continue deliberately seeking rejection for one hundred days.
Have you ever walked up to ask someone for something, and been terrified of the response? Maybe it was asking for a raise. Maybe a bank loan. Maybe it was asking someone on a date. You feel your chest tighten, heart rate increase. And all of a sudden your little request starts looking more like Everest the closer you get. The fact is, the fear of rejection paralyzes us all.