Tag Archives: Rejection

Desi Upbringing Prepares You For Rejection

Desi Talk – A column that works on embracing our brown background and unique identity using Coach Yashu’s helpful tips. Find her talking to IC Editor, Srishti Prabha on Instagram LIVE Tuesdays at 6pm PST/ 9pm EST!

Are you brave enough to face rejection?

Whether it’s a job, ideas with friends or co-workers, a romantic crush, or even your pet running away from you – we face rejection ALL THE TIME! My cat, Balasubramanyam never wants to cuddle with me. 

….But there is no rejection like your “amma” saying “NO” even before you finished asking your question.

Growing up Desi, sometimes, rejection feels like the NORM.

We eventually develop this fear and refrain from speaking up, sometimes even lying or hiding things from our families. And then the whole guilt trip after…oh boy. 

Oftentimes, the Desi family structure is very different from other cultures, which oftentimes contributes to the narratives we have in our homes. 

Desi family structures depend heavily on the concept of security.

Security includes financial stability, generational wealth, familial relationships and duties, religion, and education. Desi family decisions are based on these factors more than individualistic freedom.

The benefit of this choice is that you are guaranteed money, a long term partner, a home, and kids. Oftentimes I think to myself, if it was not for my father pushing me to pursue my Ph.D. in Engineering, I may not have the money to be independent.

But there can be downsides. In 1st grade, I wanted to do a science fair project on flowers but instead, I did a project on how a water wheel is used to generate electricity. It was a rejection of my idea and push towards something that I couldn’t take ownership of. The unhappy memory stayed with me for a lifetime. Without insight into my parent’s history, our relationship was strained by such experiences.

Things my parents did or said, just did not make sense.

Why couldn’t I have a sleepover like the other American kids?  Why couldn’t I date? Or have a boyfriend in high school? Or get permission to go to sex-ed class?

And now, 20 years later, I think I know why. Because it was the UNKNOWN.

Our parents did not grow up with that level of freedom and are, now, acting out of fear. That which is risky should be left alone. 

With the Desi upbringing, you get security at the expense of freedom, perhaps happiness. And straying away from that, you get freedom at the expense of uncertainty. But somewhere in the mix, I think there is a sweet spot, where you can have the best of both worlds. You can have security, happiness, and freedom. That all starts with effective communication

For parents, I think the key is to listen and then respond. Not react, but respond.

For the kids, let your parents know what you are feeling, but also be open to listening to what they have to say, cause it is most likely true. My mom always says, “I have been the age you are, so I DO know what it feels like.” Day by day, I’m starting to realize how true the statement – hindsight is always 20/20 – can be. 

So take a minute and appreciate your parents, for all the protective measures they took out of Love. By being engaged, possibly controlling, parents in our lives, they found a way to ensure that many of us were staying away from things that could be potentially problematic. I am grateful for my Desi upbringing and I am, also, proud of the choices I have made for myself. I still make mistakes and disagree with my parents, but I do not fear rejection anymore. 


Yashu Rao is the first South Indian-American plus-size model and doubles as a Confidence Coach. She is the Founder of #HappyYashu, a Confidence and Lifestyle Coaching Service specializing in desi family structures. She’s here breaking down stereotypes and beauty standards as well as inspiring and empowering people to lead a life with self-love, confidence, and genuine happiness. Find her on Instagram giving tips and modeling.

Dealing with Rejection from your Top College Choice

You’ve opened the letter, read the email, visited the portal. The response is not what you were hoping for. You’re disappointed, and this is a very fair reaction.

Applying for colleges is a long and hard process, one that takes up a lot of your time both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, a lot students feel that not getting in to the top college of their choice is embarrassing or a reflection on them as a person. We want to make sure you know right away:

That is not the case.

The number of students applying to colleges is skyrocketing. UCLA had a 5.7% increase in freshman fall 2018 applications this year, and those numbers are similar across many college admissions departments. Colleges have a very tough job selecting students to join to their campus, and the hard truth is that they will have to send rejection letters to thousands of very deserving students.

Do you know what the great news is?

You will get into plenty of other schools. You probably already have! You will get to open acceptance letters to some other truly great colleges and decide which of those is the best fit for you. It is important to remember that you still have some big decisions to make, and that come time to start at your new college, you will still feel just as excited stepping foot on to the campus you get to call home for the next little while.

For now, take some time to feel disappointed. Dealing with rejection is an important part of life as we grow up, and it is natural to feel sad when things don’t go the way you wanted. Give yourself a few days to feel those emotions, but make sure to talk it out with someone you trust (parents, siblings, friends or your guidance counselor are all great options).

Most importantly, don’t dwell.

After a few days, it is important that you get back on track. You will be getting acceptance news, and when you do you will need to decide how you want to make your acceptance decisions. This will be a wonderful time and one that you have earned with all your hard work, so enjoy it and treasure the moment!

Five Ways Men Can Get Over Fear of Rejection

No one likes feeling rejected by another person, it creates feelings of anxiety and sadness. For men, rejection can affect how they feel about themselves as men and could take a toll on their self-confidence. Therefore, many times men refuse to approach a woman they find attractive or want to get to know. This is unfortunate, since they may be missing out on a wonderful opportunity to create a loving and fulfilling relationship. That being said, there are ways men can mitigate this fear of rejection.

1) Tell yourself: It’s not you, it’s her.

She may not be interested in getting to know you for a variety of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you. For instance: she’s already seeing someone, not interested in dating anyone, or maybe she just had a horrible day at work. Whatever the reason, her turning down your attempt at flirting may have very little to do with you personally.

2) Fear is far worse than reality.

When you see a woman that you may be interested in dating, approach her immediately. If you wait too long, fear will set in and you’ll drum up all kinds of excuses to not approach her.

3) Rejection happens to every man.

You are not alone. Every man who has attempted flirting has been rejected at some point. It does not matter how handsome, wealthy, or witty he may be.

4) Don’t base your self-worth on others’ perceptions.

As much as rejection can hurt, keep in mind that this person doesn’t know the real you. When a woman is approached by a man, if she is interested in dating him she has to make a snap decision based on little information.

5) Learn to dread regret instead of rejection.

A powerful practice to adopt is to consider the risk of regret more so than the risk of rejection. Think to yourself: how much will I regret not talking to her later? We lose every shot we don’t take; and we tend to regret the actions we don’t have the courage to execure more than those that we do.

Don’t allow the fear of rejection to paralyze you. Have faith in the knowledge  that you’re worth getting to know.

Jasbina is the founder and president of Intersections Match, the only personalized matchmaking and dating coaching firm serving singles of South Asian descent in the United States. She is also the host of Intersections Talk Radio. Jasbina@intersectionsmatch.com.