Rejection sucks. People yelling at you on the phone suck. So when you need to face it fairly regularly it can be pretty stressful. That is until you start seeing it as a game and not taking it so seriously anymore. I know easier said than done.
At a job I used to have a couple of years ago I struggled because I was just not used to being exposed to jerks yelling at me for no good reason. Then a friend made a passing comment that changed everything
‘I see it as a game. I don’t take them seriously, it’s just all about turning those guys around. If we can solve the problem and they stop yelling I win. If they change their tone because my voice communicates to them that I can’t be intimidated I win too.’
Hmmm. I was hesitant at first because such childish games and this winner-loser mentality creates a lot of conflict and suffering for absolutely nothing. But then I decided to give it a go. After all I don’t have to treat everything as a competition, just these people who don’t seem to respond to more sophisticated forms of communication. Before I knew it I actually got pretty good at this game. After a while I told people to put the phone through to me if they were struggling. And guys previously yelling at the top of their lungs turned into tame ‘yes madam- no madam’ types.
I still refuse to see the world through a winner-loser lens. In almost all cases I am more interested in collaboration than competition. But seeing isolated tasks which otherwise suck as a game can really help.