7 Things I Learned from My 8 Greatest Teachers


Yesterday was my 25th high school reunion. I wanted to go. I had a car key and I could’ve driven there. I was close to feeling like I was going to do it. But I was feeling somewhat shy. I didn’t like high school much.

When you are rejected so much you build a tough skin. My 8 greatest teachers in life were perhaps the many girls in high school who said “no” to me when I was so desperate to go out with them. Who knows what would’ve happened to me if everything was easy then. Maybe I would not have been able to handle when things became really hard later.

–          I liked a girl in my drawing class. Nadine Davis. But when I asked her out she quickly said, “No” and walked away. It was like one of those scenes in a movie, where she quickly “disappeared into the crowd” and everyone around me was sort of whispering and smirking. If she had asked, I probably would’ve paid her to go out with me.

–          I liked a girl who had thick curly orange hair. I forget her name now. Michelle? I played one of those games. I told her I knew someone who liked her. So for a week we kept up that intrigue and she was always smiling at me and wanting to know “Who?” And then when I told her it was me she turned the other way and wouldn’t look back at me. Finally one of the football players walked over to her and said, “do you need help?” She said, “I’m ok”. I walked away then.

–          There was another girl I liked who was sort of ditzy but she was smarter than she let on. I told a friend of mine that was friends with her that I liked her. The message was conveyed to the girl I liked and I got a message back.” Maybe in 100 years I would consider it.” Somehow I was encouraged by that. It wasn’t a solid “No!” It’s been almost 30 years now. 70 years to go but I’m happily married now and I can’t even remember her name.

–          There was a girl I liked who was a year older than me. We had a fun time talking and had a good mutual friend. The mutual friend told me “you have a chance here”. But then the girl I liked started going out with someone else and I think they’re even married now. Or dead. Who knows?

–          There was a girl I had a massive lust-crush on who lived around the corner from me and she was even in my Hebrew school carpool when we were younger. Her mom was always screaming at her as she rushed out the door in the morning, usually 5 minutes late so the bus would sit there and wait while she and her mom finished their yelling.  My friend Robert also liked her and they used to ride bikes together. But maybe she was a “beard” because it turned out later that Robert was gay. Maybe he’s dead now. I can’t find him on facebook or anywhere and we were best friends for 12 years.

(maybe girls like chess)

–          I finally got a girl to go out with me. I was in 12th grade and she was in 11th  grade. I had not only been accepted to college but I had just won New Jersey’s Junior chess championship. So even though no chessplayer should ever have the right to feel confident with girls, this time I felt confident and she said yes. The day we were supposed to go out it was snowing so my dad wouldn’t let me drive the car. I was supposed to pick her up at school. There were no cell phones then so all I can do is picture that she stood out there in the deepening snow waiting for me while I sat home begging and crying with my dad despite the fact that I was the 18 year old New Jersey Junior Chess Champ. Relegated to crying like a little baby so I could drive a car. A month later, without any snow on the ground, I got in my first car accident.

–          I liked the girl with the paper route next to mine in 10th grade. I, of course, asked her out and she said  “yes”. And I was like “really?” and I was very happy. But the next day her brother came over to me to tell me she was just saying that so as not to disappoint me. I walked straight out of the school and over to Steve Giacalona’s house where he was recovering with a broken leg. He had been run over by a friend of ours who had gone crazy and we never saw again. He was having regular sex at that point, even with his broken leg. I asked him if he thought any girl would ever like me. He told me the truth and said probably not but I should smile a lot.

–          There was the girl in English class. Debbie. I did the usual trick: became friends with her friend and had the message transmitted. They lost their friendship as a result. That’s how bad it was to say “I like James”. My first kiss had to wait until I was in college.

What I Learned

I learned how to handle “No”.

I learned how to Ask.

I learned that I had to be stand out in some way.

I learned to be polite to other people who found themselves rejected in various ways.

I learned how to better sell myself (a variation on “standing out”)

I learned to be persistent. That love (or anything) is a quantity game before whittling down to quality.

I also learned that time heals everything. Almost all of the above are facebook friends now. So, at the end of the day, every emotion gets watered down with age. And even a “No” forms an attachment through time.

Now I don’t have many friends that I see on a daily or even yearly basis. It’s so easy to lose track. But it’s also so easy to keep track. Now that we have social media.

Which is why I like Facebook. I’ve made friends through Facebook and can see what’s going on with old friends. Now with just a few clicks I can sit here in the dark, at three in the morning, and see that Joanne Arico, from elementary school, has made a new friend. Good for her. It’s nice to have new friends.


What’s your worst rejection in high school?

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  • http://www.parmcharm.com karen parmelee

    Great great story James! I love that what you recall and learned in High School is not a result of your favorite teachers, but through the eyes of your adult self recalling hardships. Cool!

  • http://www.parmcharm.com karen parmelee

    Worst Rejection: Well. I carried the unrequited torch for our HS Football Star! #44 for the Vikings. It was well known I had a thing for star player. Though he would flirt endlessly, he was in a well-known about relationship. Surprised when my History teacher, also the football coach, told me #44 said I should meet him in the History class after the game! I was there, bells on, when the coach walked by saying “Waiting for someone, Karen? Hahahaha!” Grrrr. Even teachers can’t be trusted with matters of the heart.

    • zzen321

      I’m pretty amazed that a “teacher” could be such a d**k.

      • http://profiles.google.com/altucher james altucher

        I bet the teacher had a crush on her and was jealous. 

        • http://www.parmcharm.com karen parmelee

          Zen231 – the fact that it was a teacher to be so cruel made it hurt on unknown levels! James: I really like the way you think – somehow, that’s easier to handle.
          *I am not dyslexic – zzen321. What’s the extra z for?!

        • Pratcrat

          Or the teacher had a thing for #44.

    • Booker T

      I cant understand a goddam thing u just wrote

      • Parmcharm

        Thank you for sharing that with me! I’ll go ahead an assume that English is your first language and try again: High School History Teacher, who was also the football coach, told me in private that the star player on the team, who I had a crush on, wanted me to meet him after the game. I was there, after the game, when the History teacher/coach walked by and asked “Waiting for someone Karen?” THen laughed. He pranked me. I hope that clears up the confusion for which I failed to communicate clearly to you in the first posting.

  • Kepeneter

    It feels good to have you for comparison. 

  • http://twitter.com/ciaranmurphyads Ciaran Murphy

    Hi James,

    Like you I had the “She said yes but meant no” thing, but I had it many times! Unlike yours, I didn’t have any brothers to let me know the score. I just had to work it out for myself when they kept cancelling and putting off the dates. It happened many many times though, and the last time it happened was only a few years ago, in my final year at college. It’s not happened since though, so at least I can consider that it probably doesn’t happen much in adult life.

    I actually felt kinda proud of myself for asking though, each and every time. It’s a hard thing to do, to ask someone out. I liked feeling brave, and I liked not having to wonder if I’d missed an opportunity.

    The worst rejection in high school wasn’t any of those incidents, or even one specific incident. It was just a general feeling of rejection, feeling like “no girls like me”. It sucked. it dragged right into college, and I’m still dealing with those emotions now. But as the years go by, it feels less important. I think it probably speaks volumes that if I wrote a post like this I’d have a really hard time remembering names too, and it wasn’t nearly as long ago for me as it was for you.


  • http://twitter.com/ciaranmurphyads Ciaran Murphy

    Karen – I bet you that teacher couldn’t get a date in high school.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KPFINHLTQZP3425BTE3242WDM Andreas Moser

    Did you also notice that the hottest girls were often the dumbest?
    I think we’re lucky that we didn’t end up with any of them.

  • Mansal

    ” I liked a girl who had thick curly orange hair. I forget her name now. Michelle?”

    James, I did the same thing. Only problem – I whispered “you” in her ear and all the people in our band group (maybe 5) just kind of waited for her to tell them what I said. I actually do not remember what she said. I’m pretty sure she just kind of nodded and left it at that or something. I didn’t get the response I wanted so we just kind of forgot it happened and went about our business. I recently saw her at a restaurant and despite our never really being friends she was the first one to interupt me speaking with a friend to say “hello”.

  • http://lhealey7604.blogspot.com/ Leslie Healey

    Those girls all peaked in high school. I, however, did not, so though while  I was not rejected much, what I remember most is standing on the edge of groups trying to think of something to say that would not reveal my identity as a nerd with glasses, straight As and no figure (as if people would not automatically know). When I did talk, I distinctly remember that guys did not even register my voice. Over and over again. 
    What I learned from all of this was that it bothered me, but not much because I liked my friends and I actually liked school, and when we let go of our self-consciousness, we really had fun. So I learned to trust my instincts. College was better–more people there who knew who they were, and acted accordingly. Still don’t regret being me (though you could not pay me to be 17 again)

  • http://barrkel.blogspot.com/ barrkel

    I didn’t so much as come within 6 feet of a girl, much less speak to one, between the ages of 12 and 17. I went to an all-boys school, and was either reading or learning how to program, in the time I wasn’t in school. I was pretty safe from rejection; when I finally did get an opportunity to be rejected, in college, it sent me into quite a tailspin; but it wasn’t the rejection that was bad, it was my laborious recovery.

  • Caromusa

    So… why didn’t you go to the reunion then?

    I think in high school we are all shallow, and we like someone because they are pretty or popular, but later on we realize we would have never got along with that person. And those people -back then- were even more shallow than us, since they had all the attention, and of course they wouldn’t go out with someone who is not as pretty or popular as them.
    It’s all a matter of immaturity. Thank god we grow up.

  • Anonymous

    My high school reunion was last night too – 30 years. I was a cheerleader, a good student, had good friends. I wasn’t much interested in going but was interested enough to keep tabs on postings on Facebook last night and today. This afternoon I see a picture of four of my old best friends at the reunion. One of them and I have an unpleasant incident in our past that ended our friendship abruptly. She has blocked me on Facebook. One of them, I thought I had simply lost touch with after we both got married and had moved on with our lives. But I have learned in the intervening years that that she has purposefully disconnected from me and even recently ignored a fb friend request. The third girl is friends with the first but our paths had crossed in the past and we were friendly. The fourth friend I still kep in touch with and we had corresponded about going to the reunion. After seeing the picture, I now understand why she was kind of coy about her plans and was’t imploring me to go with her. I’m kind of bummed. Anyway, my point is that no matter what your place in the high school hierarchy was, most of us were pretty immature. I have regrets about where I focused my energy, how I spent my time. All the energy I put into those relationships would have been much better spent pursuing worthwhile goals. But that is the stuff of life, live and learn. Just like you James I am wrestling with keeping my thoughts positive, staying emotionally and physically healthy and trying to teach my kids to do the same. But they will live and learn like the rest of us.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting.  I am going to screenshot some facebook pages of various girls from high school, and when my son comes to me in 15 years after having been rejected, I will pull up the screenshots and ask him which of the girls he thinks were the A-list ones in high school and which weren’t.  I can tell you that 90% of the women I would have chosen while in high school would have turned out to be the wrong choice, and 90% of the women who turned out to be A-list adults were completely under the radar in high school.  I think there’s also some benefit to the character development on the other side of the equation – like the girls who were never asked out, the girls who weren’t pretty or popular, etc.  I think they realized their worth in other ways, and when nature caught up, they were the ones that turned out to be the best inside and out.  Kids do seem smarter now than when I was in high school though.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      That is an amazing idea. I’m going to do the same (the guys from my school because i have two girls).

      • Tiffany

        Love this idea.  I definitely flew under the radar in high school.  (Shy and had a strict family).  Even when we’re young I think we know underneath our wits, guts and talent will pull us through. 

        I’m in my dream job after a master’s at a top-notch school.  I’ll keep this all in mind at my 10-reunion next year :)

  • http://anyonebutdem.com AnyoneButDem

    My worst rejection came from within– I didn’t have any fun in HS, and because I was interested in computers, art and engineering I naturally gravitated towards people (read: nerds/wonks) who I could actually have a conversation with.

    It wasn’t until my 10 year reunion that it dawned on me.. all of those girls I lusted after (and therefore convinced were out of my league) were all really into me now, as well as back then.. I just could not see it at the time.

    It occurred to me that who you surround yourself with really is a reflection of what you want to be. Because my friends (at the time) were all socially awkward that is what I mimicked, even though the doors were wide open for me to play out all of my crazy teen fantasies (had I just made the leap).

    Of course in hindsight I wouldn’t have changed anything- but I now carefully consider who I want to keep on the ‘good friends’ roster and who I cut after a certain amount of time. That sounds really cold, but the company you keep will affect your bearing as an individual. Choose wisely and assess often.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      These are great points. Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      I like the last line.  “Choose wisely and assess often.”  I’ve been stabbed in the back by tons of people yet I don’t de-friend them on Facebook.  Why? Because I don’t want to offend them.  Even after they stabbed me in the back.  You’re inspiring me to cut them off!  (and maybe get better on the choosing part too!)

  • http://getessay.com/ essay writing service

    I Really enjoyed your blog. I just bookmarked it. I am a regular visitor of your website I will share It with my friends .Thanks.

  • ed

    James, your buffet book has been my toilet-time reading for the past week.    It seems kind of thin on real information and padded with those interviews.   Were you really serious when you wrote this book, or were you just trying to cash in on the buffet name?  

    It can seem Buffett’s real talent was knowing how to get tons of cheap leverage not subject to margin calls as the country rebuilt and then advanced from the ultra-low period of WWII and the depression.  

    Regardless, it is not bad toilet time reading.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I think I wanted to show with that book that he wasnt the classic value investor everyone thought he was. I think I accomplished that.

  • Chris

    I am 39 years old.  I have never been to a high school or college reunion nor do I plan to attend any in the future.  Facebook can prosper without me opening an account as well.  Some people just need to stay out of sight and out of mind.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Chris, that could be true. I like to observe from afar though. Facebook satisfies my voyeuristic tendencies.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto, Ditto and Ditto –
      folks sent me to an all boys jesuit prep school in the midwest and there’s noway i’d ever want to contact any of those misogynistic douches again –

      • HL2

        I went to an all boys jesuit prep school and loved it.  The absence of girls made real learning possible.  I didn’t go to your school. so I cannot comment on that. I have to say I am glad I avoided the whole girl-boy thing until I was older.

  • Angelina

    Funny. I finished high school in a town of 10,000 on the Oregon coast. As soon as we arrived, my mindset was crystalline: “Bide your time and plan your exit.” Doubting the existence of sentient life, I devoted my first year to reading a lot, jogging alone on the beach, and driving moodily into town on Sundays to pick up the New York Times. Then I went abroad, and realized what a gem of Americana I had on my hands. When I returned, I was more open, more discerning, and I met some truly amazing people. There were the two guys from my psychology class that solved a 20-minute physics/chemistry problem as part of our high school “talent show.” They were nearly booed off the stage, but they earned at least one fan (me). One was a philosopher-fisherman and was lost at sea, but the other ended up with a PhD from Yale and a really happy marriage (which I attended and spoke at this summer–we’re still really close friends). Another new “find” was a cheerleader who turned math geek. We went on an epic college-visit road trip together that I will never forget. She is now an MD working on her PdD in immunology at Oxford. The “smart kids” blew her off because she was pretty and socially adept, but I liked her because she had a different perspective and we could talk for hours.
    My point is the following: whenever you’re faced with rejection and a feeling of “not fitting in,” double-down on who you TRULY are. It took immense courage for those boys to embrace their inner geeks and display it proudly. But that, in turn, attracted the right friends/girlfriends and led to their eventual happiness. Don’t wait until college/the chess championships/your financial independence to do it; do it today. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      that’s a great quote in there: “whenever you’re faced with rejection and a feeling of “not fitting in,” double-down on who you TRULY are.”

    • Chuck

      But who am I truly? I sometimes think I have a lot of facets and interests.

  • Guesttt

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a girl reject me. 

    In high school I used to have pretty younger girls ask me to take their virginity, and hot older girls say they wanted to duck my sick. 

    I went to a top 5 party university (according to playboy magazine) and it was not uncommon for me to wake up in the middle of the night to a girl knocking on my door looking for sex, or even in my bed trying to take my boxers off.

    Unfortunately the fear of rejection, and the more I think about it the fear of acceptance, kept me a virgin until I was 23.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Haha. Something sounds fishy there.

      • Guesttt

        Hmmm what sounds fishy?

        • Fred

          Your bullshit story.

  • Anonymous

    My worst rejection in high school – I had a massive crush on a cute guy who I thought liked me too.  I asked him to dance at the Valentine’s Day dance and he said, “No, dance with my friend,” and shoved his friend toward me.  I was humiliated but danced with the friend anyway.  Dated the friend for a year.  Fast forward 23 years.  I’ve been married and divorced.  The original guy I had a crush on (who rejected me) looked me up through our high school alumni site and we’ve been talking for over a year now. (the best we can do living across the country from each other.  hopefully good things will happen there in the future.)

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, now you have our curiosity piqued. You have to let us know what happens.

      • Anonymous

        I definitely will.

  • Kevin

    I was deathly afraid of girls in high school. Not sure why, but I had an overall lack of confidence. I started talking to this one girl, Leah, and seemed to hit it off. She was cute, a cheerleader and smart. After a few weeks I got up the courage to ask her to a dance or something lame. She said no and I found out she wanted to go with this guy from her drama class that I thought was a tool. I didn’t date anyone in high school and still don’t really talk to anyone from my class. No class reunions for me, I’m only Facebook friends with a few people from that time in my life.

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

    I didn’t have many rejections in high school. Mainly because I never learned to ask. 

    Even now. I get shy and can’t go up to someone and bluntly let them know that I like them. Even when I am dating a guy I play it off like it’s no big deal so that if it doesn’t work out I can pretend not to really care. 

  • http://twitter.com/Meredithbead Meredith Laskow

    As a teenage Nerd Girl, I was rejected — and rejected others — in fairly equal numbers.  (At least, that’s what I choose to remember.  This all happened 100 years ago.  Details may be blurred.)  Part of the problem (on both ends) is that I had no idea what I wanted in life — other than straight 100s in Math.

    Flash forward, with a touch of serendipity:
    The morning before I read your blog post, I wrote a poem reminiscing about one of those incidents. 

    We grow up, we move forward — but we don’t forget.

  • Jack

    “What’s your worst rejection in high school?”
    There was the girl I liked, had no classes with her, and met her in one of the strangest ways. Me and most of my friends at the time liked her. I had never had a girlfriend and was pretty nervous about asking her out, even though talking to her was the easiest thing in the world at the time. So when I finally did ask her, she told me she had to think about it and give me an answer later. Well after a few days, and a large convoluted relationship pentagon (involving three girls and two guys) of a conversation later, she gave me the excuse that she couldn’t go out with me because her best friend liked me. I avoided her for a while after that and pretty much hated her friend.
    Now I am married to that friend…. so I WIN!

  • woohoo

    Wasting time talking about nonsense…  an American pastime.  Watch the Carlin Classic.

  • Tom

    You poor kid.  Would you like me to find you a woman ?

  • HL2

    I am so glad I went to an all-boy boarding school. By the tme courting and rejection became an issue, I didn’t give a damn.

  • Lloyd in Oregon

    In my high school Ann was a goddess who could do no wrong.  On all the important committees, class officer, voted best looking and on and on.  I was a geek, but a geek with a huge crush on Ann.  I was too shy to ask her out, I knew the answer anyway so never did.

    Later married with 3 Children I met Ann at a 15 year reunion.  We made small talk at the bar and finally she said, ” Lloyd, You disapointed me.  All through school I wanted you to ask me out and you never did!”  Jeez!  The things you learn.

    • oscar

      Yeah… Now it’s easy for Ann said that. After the “geek” becomes a successful guy professionally. But way back then she probably had a crush one some good looking prick, that now is married, jobless, drinking beer all day, living on a trailer park.

      Been there, felt that. I was once one of the geeks of the class, with my head stuck over books, but I them felt that was the right thing to do… And I was right.
      Now I’m approached with the same smooth talking from girls that were with me in HS. 

      It easy to “pick a winning horse” after the race has finished…

  • http://profiles.google.com/reinkefj ferdinand reinke

    Rejection? That’s easy. I grew up in a NYC apartment and had  huge crush on the girl who lived on my floor — Gabrielle. I’d time my exits for school to meet her to chat her up in the elevator. Ice in the winter. I’m sure I was even dorkier then. She shunned all my attempts to be polite with no explanation. Many times it was just an icy stare. Like I was Hannibal Lecher Lecter.

    Fast forward to senior year in high school. 

    I had a car, a series of good paying part time jobs, a drinking problem, and a fairly lively social calendar. Hey, I had money and had no clue how to use it. The worm turned. 

    She needed a date for her senior prom after a bad break up with a cheating steady; who’d been her steady for all four HS years. Her Mom talked to my Mom. I was scheduled to be busy that night; prior plans. And I stuck to it.

    Upon reflection, I was an ass. 

    I admit now (five decades later) that I could have done it for her. But payback’s a bitch. Looking back, I should have rearranged a mere “attendance at some drinking party” to save that gal’s self-image. She didn’t go to her prom and wasted all the money. I never looked back. 

    That first rejection maimed my self-confidence. And, I turned into the ISTJ I am today. 

    I found a beautiful young gal who’s arm I twisted to marry me. (She said “no” the first time I asked. Seriously!) And we spent 40 wonderful years before she passed. She made me a much better person than I was before I met her. 

    So now, I’m left with those shouldas, couldas, and wouldas! Those will kill you.

    Maybe I should have taken her to the prom. I might have gotten lucky. 

    But then, I might have missed my soul mate.

    Who can figure the “right” choices?


  • Anonymous

    This article is both great and terrible.  James always finds a message and a positive in every situation.  He finds a way to make every negative event in his life into a positive.  Don’t have any illusions about the fact that this is how he has achieved and handled his many successes in life.  This is a great message and James is the model of how to pull it off.

    My worst rejection in HS was actually from my football coach.  He, his sister and my mom had taught together since before I was born.  His sister often came to our home on holidays or for other special occasions.  But for some reason this guy hated me.  He always found a way to crap on me or bench me.  Granted football coaches often use all sorts of tricks to get the best out of their players, but in my case, these things often ventured far into the mean and personal, a fact that was acknowledged by many of my teammates and even other coaches.  Crazy thing is, I was the kicker.  What coach goes to any length to antagonize a kicker?  The moral of the story is a familiar one.  I was faced with either quitting or making him eat s&*(.  I chose the latter.   In the middle of my senior year I went ballistic, blasting kickoffs through the endzone and running off a string of 15 consecutive PATs and FGs when I wasn’t benched for some arbitrary reason.  I was offered a chance to play at a small college where my coach told me I was the biggest diamond in the rough of the 50+recruits he brought in that year.  The next year I transferred to the University of Akron, my HS coach’s alma mater, and easily walked onto their program.  Suddenly the guy who was always in the doghouse was the only member of his HS squad on a DI team.  I was sharing a locker room with future Hall of Famer Jason Taylor.  And because my coach was an alum, and a successful local coach, I got lots of questions about him which I answered with brutal honesty.  Funny thing is I came to learn that nobody liked him.  The reputation he had earned from me was pretty consistently the one he he had earned with everyone else.  It was even pointed out to me that, despite having a dominant team through my 4years of HS, how many colleges never sent a single scout to one of our games.  James is right.  Don’t ever let someone’s own bad judgement or personal complexes stick on you. Take every bad thing that has ever been done to you and burn it as fuel for the positive.  Its a great message.

    The terrible part is the part about Facebook.  Let me be clear:  Facebook is a voyeurism site.  Period.  Somebody you once knew who blew you off, but is now willing to check out vacation pictures of your wife in a bikini is not your ‘Friend’.  You know how statistics say that most children that are molested are molested by “someone they know”?   I view these types of ‘friends’ as that person.  If someone is a true friend, they will call you, visit you, take care of you and want to spend time with you.  Anyone who has true friends knows what a wonderful and REAL feeling this is.  Someone who you used to know, who will occasionally click a thumbs up button on a screen is not a friend.  Someone whose only communication with you is a bulk update using abbreviated English and punctuation is not a friend.  And making someone a “Friend” on Facebook does absolve them of shitty things they did to you, and its no vindication for you either.  Especially if it is someone to whom you previously offered full access to your life and they flatly declined.  Are you really redeemed by the fact that they still have minimal direct contact with you but do have full access to your vital information, pictures, and accounts of your life that they chose not to be a part of?  This article seems to be about maintaining your pride, but ‘Friending’ the girl that turned you down in High School is the polar opposite of that.  It is the classic case of reliving the abuse, the same psycological coping mechanism that pushes sexually abused girls into prostitution.  Ask your shrink if you don’t believe me.

    Don’t be a prostitute.  Don’t give people who rejected you another chance to have full access but minimal significance in your life.  Take every bad thing and burn it as fuel for the positive.  And when you see that girl who rejected you in High School on Facebook, now divorced and overweight, think about all the positives in your life that came about as a result of NOT being with them.  Then burn that rejection as fuel to show your appreciation to all of those people and things that are significant to you.  After all how many other things were we wrong about in High School?  I fancied myself a Republican back then.  ‘Nuff said….

    • Pratcrat

      And I was a clueless socialist!

    • Mrbobke

      Agree with your opinion of FB being superficial, but not sure friending girls who rejected you earlier in life is prostituting yourself. Its more letting go. I dont think fueling your resentment and anger until your dying day is healthy. Unfortunately, life is cruel. I was rejected a lot in HS, and was definitely not one of the popular ones. And I in turn was undoubtedly cruel to people by not paying attention to them because they were not cute or cool enough. Thats the way it works. I would want those people to forgive me and move on, as well. 

  • Melisalua

    I was the minister daughter in a small town so everyone always told me what I couldn’t do because you are the minister’s daughter….then I wore glasses…..4 eyes…then I was super thin…this was shortly before Twiggy made her hit…..I got called string bean and ironing board, no bust.

    I was shunned a lot but one day I hit a home -run.  After that my popularity changed a bit.  Everyone wanted to pick me on their team and so instead of being choosen last…I got to be fought over!

    I was really a excellent student so I was called brainy and sought after when they needed help.

  • Brett Common

    I asked him if he thought any girl would ever like me. He told me the truth and said probably not but I should smile a lot.
    Funniest thing I’ve read all day. Not in an asshole way.. it reflects youth so vividly.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t believe I read the whole thing.

  • http://www.douglascrets.com Douglas Crets

    But how did you get married? How did you secure that partnership? I am assuming it was a process of not asking for the goal, but enjoying the journey and being surprised by the result…

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      I wrote a post about how I found my wife: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/06/how-i-met-claudia/

      • http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark Douglas Crets

        Thank you.

  • Lichi

    James can you elaborate more on why love or anything is a quantity game in the beginning?

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      You have to meet a lot of people, and cut losses quickly. It’s like any market: the supply is way up, but you can control your demand (most people can’t) enough that you find the highest quality (for you – i’m not talking about looks but about compatibilities for a relationship and more). 

  • Ahmed Gmurtaza

    Really impressive..!!! It’s really good to figureout the lessons we achieved throughtout our experiences.

  • Georger

    I learnt that I wasted my life reading that