Photo: Richard Shay//Madame Zuzu’s
Social rejection has been found to hurt performance in a number of ways. A recent study actually found that the more popular you were in high school, the more money you end up making. Still, rejection’s not always bad. A recent paper from Sharon Kim of Johns Hopkins and Lynne Vincent and Jack Goncalo of Cornell argues that rejection can actually fuel creativity.
It’s about how you view yourself. For people with an ‘independent self-concept,’ meaning that they view themselves as separate from others and value personal over group goals “… rejection may amplify feelings of distinctiveness and increase creativity by conferring the willingness to recruit ideas from unusual places and move beyond existing knowledge structures.”
When primed to take an individual viewpoint, students performed better on creative tasks after rejection, particularly in comparison with those primed to focus on a group.
Creative people are often already unconventional, being rejected can their desire to separate themselves, to find new and different ideas.
Rather than trying to change your behaviour to match a group, which can actually suppress creativity after rejection, use it as fuel to act differently.
Read the full paper here.
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