Rejection & Revenge

“There’s not a lot of money in revenge” – Inigo Montoya

Either directly or indirectly, I talk a lot about rejection here. Usually this is due to rejection, and the fear of it, being the root cause of so very many mental schemas, behaviors, rationales, etc. for guys. My thread Buffers outlines many of these rationales or conventions used to deaden the effect of rejection, but it’s rejection and how one accepts it that makes for a healthy or unhealthy response to it.

Recently I’ve been considering the principle of rejection and I think the, now proverbial, Pook had it right – Rejection is Better than Regret. However, for all the wisdom in that simple truth, applying it, learning from rejections and accepting rejection is what primarily trips men up.

I use men exclusively in this context because, as a Man, based on gender alone, you will experience rejection far more than any woman ever will. If that sounds like a bold statement let me clarify that, you should experience rejection more than any woman. In sports, in career, in education, in personal relations, and with the opposite sex, you will statistically experience more rejection than a woman. That understanding isn’t intended to wave the male power banner, or make Men the champions of virtue. Neither is it to presume women don’t experience rejection themselves; it is a simple observance of fact that rejection is an integral aspect of being male. Get used to it.

So, rejection is preferable to regret, we get that. What we don’t get is how to accept and deal with that rejection. I’m not going to type away here and pretend that I have it figured out yet, however I can tell you how men, boys, AFCs, Symps, and even PUAs will refuse to accept and/or deal with that rejection. Go look at Buffers, Buffers are how men prevent rejection not how they deal with it once they’re experiencing it. But just as men (and women) employ rationales and conventions to prevent or blunt a potential rejection, so too have they developed coping strategies, rationales and techniques that afford them the least amount of discomfort when they have been rejected – or in the case of women, when they are delivering that rejection.

Remember, rejection isn’t limited to just inter-gender instances. In fact that’s almost a more interesting aspect; your reaction to being rejected for a potential job will be far more measured than if you were rejected for intimacy with a woman. One reason we go to such great lengths to buffer ourselves against rejection is the fear of having to experience it, but often the fear of it is more debilitating than the actual experience.


I mention this in particular because it’s easily the most common, and potentially the most damaging reaction men have with rejection. This can be from enacting something petty and annoying to the actual murder of the rejecting woman. This is the “how can I get back at her” response, and while it may seem satisfying to ‘teach her a lesson’ trust that this lesson will never be taught by revenge, no matter how justified or deserving she is.

Indifference speaks volumes. The very consideration of revenge is a waste of your time, a waste of your effort, that would be better spent learning and bettering yourself from that rejection. I can personally relate a story of a young man who was just released from prison. He killed the boyfriend who his ‘soulmate’ replaced him with when he was 16 by stabbing him 32 times. That was his revenge. If he’d been 2 years older he would’ve been put to death or served a life sentence. You may not be that extreme in pursuing a course of revenge, but the consequences are similar. For so long as you consider revenge, no matter how petty, you’ll still be attached to the emotions of that rejection. Accept the rejection, move on, rejection is better than regret – literally in this case.

Men aren’t being prepared, aren’t being raised to be Men. We constantly belabor this to the point that we make it a matter of personal pride and duty to instruct our fellow men less fortunate to realize it. Dealing with rejection is the lynchpin to this. When I read posts from Men I’d otherwise consider enlightened (to the Matrix or what have you) contemplate how best to enact their ‘revenge’ upon a woman who refused his approach, or in retaliation to a woman’s infidelity, I wonder if they are as enlightened as I gave them credit. In facing rejection, you have no choice but to accept it. How you’ll do so is a matter of your character. It’s important to cultivate an almost third-person approach to accepting rejection. For a lot of people, particularly those unaccustomed or new to deep personal rejection this is a tough order. We get emotionally invested and that’s never conducive to making good decisions, particularly for men who’d do better to rely on rationality and pragmatism. We’re particularly susceptible when we’re adolescents and young adults.

It’s part of the human condition to desire what we think is justice. It’s our nature to make comparisons, and in the instance of inequality, to see them corrected. And although we rarely consider the ultimate consequences of our actions, this isn’t the reason we should temper a desire for revenge. The thing we ought to consider is the overall efforts and resources necessary in order to exact revenge and weigh them against the things we might achieve for our own betterment by redirecting them to our own purposes. Even the efforts required for a slight revenge are better spent with concerns of our own.

This might seem like a longwinded way of saying “Living well is the best revenge”, and to a degree I think that’s true, but beware the ‘Well-lived’ life spent in pursuit of revenge. Revenge should never be the motivation for success. Even the time and mental effort needed to consider some appropriate way of making her aware of how she made you feel are resources better spent on meeting new prospective women who will reciprocate your interest. The root of confidence is developing, recognizing and acknowledging as many personal options as possible. Any effort you’d expend on revenge is a wasted opportunity to better yourself. Indifference to detractors and personal success are a far better revenge than any one sided injury you could inflict on them in return.

Law 36: Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them is the Best Revenge
By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.

3 Stories

One of my favorite ways of helping young men understand how unimportant their immediate concerns are over rejection is to put things into a larger perspective. When you’re in the moment and unable to see the forest for the trees, rejections seems so crushing. It’s when you look at things in terms of how they play out in the course of time you realize that instead of some horrible soul-destroying rejection you really dodged a bullet that would’ve radically altered the progression of the better person you become.

When I was 15 or 16 I was in total love (teenage lust) with this girl named Sarah. I did everything in the AFC handbook to get with this girl – played friend after a LJBF rejection, wrote to her, called her all the time, etc. I got “I’m not ready for a relationship now” line right before she got the hot monkey sex from one of my best friends. He was the Alpha Bad Boy and she couldn’t get enough of him even after he’d dumped her, and I of course played right along. Flash forward to when I was 22. I had gotten my shit together, I was in the gym religiously, I played in a very popular band in the area and I was walking through the outdoor halls of the college I attended when I hear some girl’s voice say “Rollo, hey!” I looked around and literally looked right past her at first wondering who was calling for me. Then she says, “Hey it’s me Sarah.” I look down, and sitting on this bench is this 300+lbs land monster with the barely recognizable face of this girl I’d obsessed over about 6 years earlier. I was floored. Apparently she’d gone through rehab for cocaine and ballooned after it because she replaced the drug with food. For the first time in my life I was speechless.

My second story was about this one girl Bridgette who I also had a major AFC crush on in high school and I lacked even the confidence to really approach – I self-rejected. Again, flash forward to about 22 and I pull this exact same girl in a club (who actually still looked pretty good), only now I can’t keep her off of me. I ended up turning her into a fantastic booty call. This girl would literally knock on my window and climb in through it to fuck me in the morning before I left for class. However, it got to the point where I dumped her, because she insisted on never taking birth control while assuring me she was and I had a close call with her, and I was tapping 4 or 5 other girls at the time that I thought were better plates to spin (even though I didn’t know what plate theory was then). What I couldn’t get in high school ended up my left-overs just 5 years later.

Lastly, I had my first ‘real’ girlfriend look me up online once. This was the girl I first had sex with at 17 and I ended up moving to the college town she was enrolling into so I could keep fucking her. I basically altered the course of my life for 2 years to accommodate her life decisions, only to have her cheat on me and break up with me after I’d moved. She was my ‘first’ so naturally I assumed she was the ONE and the better I “supported” her the more she’d appreciate me (i.e. fuck me), so I took it pretty hard. I had still tapped her once or twice after all this, but she dropped off my world over 20 years ago. I get this email from her and I guess she’d looked me up. I checked out pictures of her on a vanity site she has (not FaceBook), and I can’t say time has been kind to her. At 37 she looks about 55, makes about $32K tutoring kids how to read (after that terrific degree I moved to ‘help’ her get), she’s “married” to another woman (an open marriage so to speak). It was kind of an eerie feeling just barely being able to make out the girl I’d known at 17, now at 37.

In all of these situation, but particularly this one (after 20 years), it’s hard not to feel more than a little self-satisfied and think karma’s a bitch, but I wonder how many women I’d been rejected by who are doing better now after the years. I’d also like to think that men tend to do better with age, but I know this isn’t always the case. Though I’m aware that living well is the best revenge, I think that living well in order to exact that revenge is misguided. Thing’s like this will happen regardless so long as you put the emphasis on your own betterment.

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

24 comments on “Rejection & Revenge

  1. Men do better with age, but males who don’t define as men do not.

    My doctor is about 83 this year. He’s on his 4th wife (and every time he was married, he was specific about it being a 7-10 year marriage), he plays raquetball, spends plenty of time in the ocean, sprints and lifts weights. His sex drive is reasonably high, and he’s sharp as a tack.

    He’s a man.

    One of my investors is 66. He’s on his 3rd divorce (and every time he married, he thought she was the One), he sits on the couch and then tells me about the latest episode of Mad Men or Breaking Bad the next day, he hasn’t seen a weight heavier than a box of donuts. I doubt he’s had sex in years, and his mental energy is lacking.

    He’s a male.

    I get Facebook friend requests at least once a month from women who denied me in high school or my early 20s. They all, to the last, look terrible.

    I am Facebook friends with some of my better ex-lovers, most of who aged relatively well. 2 years ago I hooked up with one gal (she was 39, older than me) who I had hooked up with when I was 22 (she: 24). She might possibly look BETTER now (boob lift, not expansion, Botox, not surgery) and she’s still a spark in my life who loves my part in her life as much as she did 15 years ago.

  2. I learned to handle rejection much better once I realized one simple truth. No matter how awesome you may be, there are still some people with whom you will not click. You can put 20 amazing men and 20 amazing women in a room together, and only have 2 or 4 of them actually click with each other.

    I think Roosh described it best in Bang, or maybe it’s on his site, when he talks about how she may hate blondes, or prefers guys with swimmer’s builds, or just had a shitty day and hates men that evening. So, if you do get rejected, you just learn what you can from it and move on to the next.

    Remembering that there’s no “one true love” out there helps too.

  3. My facebook is a wasteland of my discarded, depreciating leftovers.

    My first girlfriend looked me up awhile back on facebook, 20 years and 40lbs later.

    Another past g/f looked me up a few years ago. She was the “low maintenance” type when I dated her (and I don’t say that in a good way), but since then she has transformed into absolutely, positively, the ugliest woman I know. She’s in her 30’s but looks like a 68 year old lesbian cat lady.

    A chick I dated a few years ago left me for a dude she reconnected with (read- started fucking while she was dating me) at her high school reunion. Come to find out, she would have preferred to be with me but her clock needed silencing and I wasn’t “stepping up to the plate” so she grabbed ahold of the first guy who wanted to play house. Now, three years later, she is married, has a kid, and is looking more and more like the Michelin Man every day.

    Only two women I can think of who has gotten better looking since I banged them and they are both early to mid 20’s chicks who put down the twinkies and lost a few pounds. Where will these girls be in a few years?

  4. Yep, ignoring them is the best revenge. Best to put as little effort forward in that process.

    My high-school AFC transformation story: I had a mad-crush on a high school cheerleader who was a couple of grades below me, but one of the school hotties. I did all the AFC shit–calling all the time, took her out for dinner, let her drive my car, only to get friend-zoned, and not with much kindness, either. Of course she went for bad-boys, and not just a few. She had that ‘ho’ rep in school, which of course I overlooked because I “saw who she really was.”

    Fast forward about 6 years, no contact with her. I had been travelling all over the country, working at ski areas, mountain biking, hiking, mountaineering, and generally improving my mind and body. I was fit, healthy, optimistic and doing cool stuff. I ran into her during a visit to my hometown. She still looked good, and surprise, surprise, she was interested. I got her digits, talked with her once, during which time I acted interested (I sort of was, but deep down still hurt from her treatment of me back at age 16-17). So we made plans–and then I purposefully flaked, and never returned her calls or pleading messages. It felt good, it felt right, it felt like… I was an agent of righteous karma, to borrow a phrase, and I had returned the favor to her.

    After that, and after learning some game, I never got the urge to do the same again. I learned to embody the abundance mindset, and let it roll off me, learn from it, and move on.

    1. Victory. There is no money to be made in revenge, but sometimes you can do it just for the shit’s and grins. It makes a good story, if nothing else.

  5. ‘Hell hath no fury like a women scorned’.
    Men certainly are rejected much more than women, but when it does happen to them, they can become quite unhinged and surprised.
    I once did a preemptive break-up with a girl because I knew she was going to break-up with me. And even though she fully intended not to be with me, she was furious that I bailed out first.
    Rejection is not pleasant to think about. So I’m especially glad Rollo is bringing it to our attention so we can learn to deal with it.

  6. Great stuff man.

    I think when a man reaches the point where rejection doesn’t bother him much, is a turning point. In general, there’s no reason to take it personally. Sometimes people just aren’t into you. It helps to realize how many women you’re not interested in that you see on a daily basis. If they came up to hit on you and you weren’t into it, you’d hope they wouldn’t take it personally. It goes both ways. The other aspect is simply having a solid enough foundation that not much is riding on whether or not a girl is into you. Once you’re there, things are much easier. There’s less anxiety because it truly doesn’t matter how it goes. It’s not that you don’t want the girl, it’s just that you don’t need her. Revenge is futile and only makes you feel worse. If you’re after revenge, you aren’t free.

    And ps, love the Princess Bride quote. Anybody want a peanut?

  7. Pingback: The Rush «
  8. As far as rejection by women and revenge, I can speak from personal experience..I gained approximately 120 pounds in about a year, going from a 180-90 pound fit soldier who could crank out 100+ pushups, to a 290 pound website developer sitting in front of a computer 8 – 10 hours + a day..The modern version of a couch potato ( computer chair potato ? ) .
    Anyways, I was fat and unlike when I was in shape..I didn’t exist for women and when I did, I received the cold treatment ( I’m now down to 254 and look and feel much better..). I don’t mean to brag and sound like a douche, but I use to get more women by accident than most men get on purpose. Now that I’m about half way to my goal of 200 pounds, I’m actually getting some “love” ( the smiles, googoo eyes, nice…etc ) from the same women that were, a couple of months ago, completely ignoring me or/and treating me like crap.

    The cashier at the supermarket that use to treat me with a really serious demeanor and throw the change on the counter, without even saying “thank you”..” have a nice day”..etc is now completely different ( it’s actually quite creepy..). She’s so polite, happy face, puts the money on my hand and says “thank you, have a nice day”..The chicks at the gym, when I go out for a couple of beers with my buddies..etc those chicks that would ignore me or simply didn’t even know or cared I was there, are now so different, interested, noticing me…

    And how do I feel after almost a year of being the fat hump back computer geek for these women? (((( I WANT REVENGE ))))) . I’m not losing weight, getting back in shape for them or to “get back”, I’m doing it for me, to feel good again, to be healthy..I was diagnosed with severe hypertension ( 170 over 115 ) , pre-diabetes, sleep apnea / couldn’t sleep..Now much of that is gone..I’m doing this for me, but I’m definitely going to shatter a few female egos and hump / dump a few of them.

  9. I’ve learned to live by this: “If you don’t like me, the next woman will…NEXT!”

  10. Thank you for the nicely written story. I used to be an AFC. Now I’m 28 and looking around I’ve noticed that many women use their beauty to get what they want from men, but often when they turn 25 to 30 and become older the magic gradualy starts to fade. If they haven’t developed their personality they simply suck.

    Many Alpha guys that had great looks and where popular turn out to be beerbelly losers when they hit 30. The partying and football in highschool was fun, but as they turn older they actually haven’t made much of themselves because they never had to work that hard for it, they had it thrown into their lap because they where the popular kids.

    I, as a former AFC, an having many rejections, dedicated to become something greater, and I did because I didn’t wan’t to be a loser anymore. Revenge was definately the motivation that kept me going. So revenge isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a psychological trait the human kind passed on and developed to it’s current form in order to survive. The people throughout history that didn’t strive to become better after rejections probalby didn’t have children as well. If revenge was always a bad thing and harming to yourself, it would probalby have been extinct. So evolution did decide it was good for something. just don’t use revenge in a harmfull way for yourself or another so that when they do meet you again, they will feel sorry for letting you go. ”I’ll show them” is the spririt.

  11. This is still a thorn in my side with the red pill…

    Going from self rejection to social rejection to self accepting and being ok with everything is a hard transition. I’m getting their but boy how I really on buffers.

  12. I am a woman and want to share a thought for guys in general. I have just been through a situation where a guy “thought” I rejected him so played out his revenge on me. Only thing is I never rejected and never would have, because I liked him. He had talked to me a few times and I thought he was just being friendly. The first I knew he was romantically interested was when he was aggressive towards me because I didn’t join him for a drink because he didn’t ask me. If he had asked me I would have gone in a heartbeat. Looking back this has happened with a few guys. Sometimes if a girl can’t make one date she is not rejecting you, she just has plans she can’t get out of, so don’t be put off too soon. The girl you like might actually like you too.

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