Why does rejection from a stranger hurt so much? Even the mere idea of a stranger’s rejection is enough to put off the most brazen of us.

But, the question is: why does it matter? A stranger is someone whom we don’t know. We don’t know her/his personality; perhaps s/he is a total jerk. We don’t know what is happening in their life. Perhaps they’ve just won the lottery? Or been fired from their jobs. We don’t even know their status: single, married, or ‘it’s complicated’.

So, if we go up to her/him and say: ‘That looks like an interesting drink. Would you recommend it?’, why would it matter if s/he retorts: ‘It’s called a beer. If you like beer, you might like it’. I give this example in a tongue in cheek way. But over the years of offering advice it’s become clear that many people would be upset by this flippant answer from a stranger. So again, I ask: ‘why’?

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