when rejected, will a man quit or try harder?

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein1 Comment

[fblike style=”standard” showfaces=”false” width=”450″ verb=”like” font=”arial”] Calling all Men
Just wanted to jot this down and make some sense of it while it’s top of mind. I was directed to a Psychology Today article about research performed, where the resulting conclusion was this:

“Bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.” Hence, women are often too hard on themselves and “prematurely conclude that they don’t have what it takes to succeed in a particular arena, and give up way too soon.”

Ballin' in the Summer
This stands out to me because of research on rejection, and the differences between men and women. I might get some of the details wrong, as I came upon this information years ago (Williams and Sommer; Interpersonal Rejection), but it went a little something like this: in a study where a woman was ignored at first, then given a second interaction opportunity, the woman made twice the effort to be accepted, trying again. Whereas when a man was in the identical situation, after his first brush with rejection (being ignored), he called it quits. When another opportunity presented itself for him to interact again, he turned off to it, fiddling with his wallet or phone instead. She doubles her effort, and he gives up straight away.

Interesting that women try to socially compensate, believing they can “fix” things, work hard to be liked, yet they’ll give up if new material seems tricky.

Surprising that an initial rejection doesn’t make the man try harder. He’d rather quit. This seems counter-intuitive, given the whole “men love the chase” thing. Though perhaps they only like the chase once the game has begun, once they’ve determined that it’s something they want. I think that’s the key right there.

And, now, I’m off to read more psychology. Is it just me or does this stuff fascinate everyone?


  1. No I have lost hours in the Pschology today archives myself. I go to see one thing and stay longer than I expected. It’s interesting.

    This post made me laugh. I JUST talked about this to my husband. I see you as super social too, you seem to make an effort to make plans and hang out with different types of people, etc. I just don’t so much. Maybe I feel my free time is limited and I want to spend most of it on the weekend with my kids. They are still small and it goes too fast. I also have dealt with TOTAL weirdness this past year with friends- mostly female friends. Not the old friends from home but the new friends I have met- even ones who reached out to make plans, etc. They just fizzle out or get…’weird’. Nothing dramatic but worse yet- they just get a little stiff. What do you do when this happens?
    I thought this was SO a SK topic to post about sometime. So there it is. Why do some women do this? My husband says men never do but women ruminate about this subtle ‘weirdness’ that happens. I failed to explain it to him of course. It happened all at once this past year it seemed. Totally off putting. When I see aloof behavior or this perceived rejection I just cease calling or texting. And I have acted like the ‘man’ according to this study. Life is short- much too short to worry about why someone is acting strangely.

    OFF TOPIC: PLEASE, see ‘Top of The Lake!’ It’s so…strange. But good. I think you would love it and I would appreciate your take on the whole series. Seven episodes (and I was totally distracted by how much Elisabeth Moss looks like Walter Mondale. Dead ringer. Good sctress) Filmed in an eerie spot in New Zealand it is so stunning you could watch it without the sound. But one character in there was SO interesting and neat. Holly Hunter played ‘G.J’ a strange, intense tactiturn unwilling guru. Her laconic delivery, hilarious detached demeanor and bland disregard for emotional drama made for some amazing quotes. Check it out. You would SO appreciate it and it’s very thought provoking. And of course, feel free to write about it here. Also saw the movie Mammoth (why does Michelle Williams always pick interesting movies) recommend as well. But ..TOP OF THE LAKE. You will watch all 7 at once maybe. Get some wine and enjoy.

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