Jia Jiang asked for 100 ridiculous things. After 100 days of self-imposed rejection therapy, "no" didn't feel so scary.
We all have a tendency to personalize a "no." But "no" is not personal. It's often circumstantial. Plus decision-makers have external constraints. Plus ego. A no is always a very particular no. It doesn't mean "no, you're bad" or "no, how dare you ask?" It simply means "no, not now in the way you've asked me with the particular terms you've presented." I can imagine that a one-time ask might feel random and strange. I might suggest this: Asking is a habit. Like all habits, the first time we implement them, it feels tougher. Then we build the muscle memory. If asking becomes a habit, then optimizing our potential gains becomes a habit. McDonald's will never stop at "okay cool" after we buy a hamburger. "Would we like fries with that?" Yes. "Great. Would you like to super-size that for 69 cents?" It's simple optimization. The other party is free to say no at any point. It is never a rejection. For me, implementing the practice of asking, that's a win. Simply negotiating as a practice (like yoga) builds confidence and peace regardless of the result. It teaches us that we have options. That we are active participants, creating our reality. Constructing and participating in deal-making. As long as we correctly translate experiences to ourselves, we become stronger negotiators. We ought to reward ourselves for our courage and engaging in the process rather than beating ourselves up for the particular result. Exercising courage builds courage.