Diffusing Rejection

We all experience different intensities and forms of rejection. These include rejection of change, of a person, of an idea of a product, and of a concept. We reject foreign cultures, concessions, and offers.

The question that this post addresses is how to successfully flip rejection to acceptance by easing the resistance to this change.

The Cats Metaphor

If you have a cat and bring another one in your house the first cat, will reject the new cat and will do what it can to expel it. Refusals have negative charges and the two cats repel each other. What the owner can do to neutralize their negativity toward each other? It turns out that the same concept applies to diffusing human rejection, as I shall explain later.

The process to adopt consists of separate- prepare- familiarize.

The cats shall refuse to change and separating them is the first step. During this phase, you prepare them to accept each other by using different approaches.

One approach is to create a shared interest. For example, you can mix both cats’ scents on a washcloth by rubbing it on their fur. Place it midway so that both cats can smell the washcloth and familiarize themselves with their joint scent.

A second approach is to share an item that both cats like. Cats love toys. Sharing one toy between them may divert their attention to the toy and not to each other. The toy diffuses their focus on each other and familiarity between them initiates.

The third approach is by creating a third enemy by bringing a dog close to the two cats. They have a bigger threat now that they find a need for them to work together.

Thinking about the above approaches, they share the creation of a bridge between the cats that also neutralizes their hatred of each other.

The Second Metaphor- Coagulation and flocculation of drinking water

It is unhealthy to drink water with suspended matter. The particles forming the suspension have negative charges and so repel each other.

We remove these suspensions by either neutralizing the charges of the suspended particles or by pooling them to a positively charged material that attracts the negative particles to form a mass that settles and is ready for its removal.

Repelling is rejection. We add coagulants to neutralize charges and flocculants with their positive charge to attract the negatively charged particles so that they are ready for filtration or settling. Coagulants and flocculants are the third parties that act as bridging elements. The same principle that we applied to the neutralizing of the negatively charged hatred between the two cats extends to the purification of water.

Coagulation of rejection to change

Zen 🌍 Benefiel, MA, MBA, TLC wrote a great comment on a recent post that I shared in which he said that one of his friends described him as “possibility coagulator”. This is a very creative description because we create possibilities by coagulation such as possibilities for people to accept change.

Refusals are the particles in suspended waters that repel each other with their negative charges.

Hatred, rejection, dislikes, and all negatively charged particles that suspend in the waters of our hearts and minds. We need to neutralize them or attract them to a positive pole so that we may purify our minds, hearts, and those of our customers.

Simply extend the concepts in this post to similar situations. You have a colleague who dislikes you. Find a hobby or activity of interest for both of you. This shall distract your attention from each other and neutralize the feelings of dislike.

Your customers dislike your product. Neutralize the particles of dislike similarly, to how we neutralize the particles suspended in water or the two cats’ hatred to each other.

Be creative and make the shift is easier than you first thought. Human Differences are amenable to settling and filtering.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. Superb comment dear Aldo. I fully agree with you and that personal skills and professional skills reinforce each other.

    I also fully concur with your addition of patience as it leads to persistence.

    I need not ad d much to your accomplished comment except expressing my admiration for he skills by which you express your ideas

  2. It is extraordinary how Ali always manages to find not one but more metaphors able to explain life and work situations and behaviors. Everything perfect and shareable.
    I would add that every change is strictly inherent to the subjective way of reading and interpreting reality and, therefore, conditioned by the ability to review one’s own reference culture. Tackling the issue of diversity on an individual level means recognizing that the “human baggage” (ideas, habits, opinions, tastes, culture, etc.) of each one develops and is rooted in the mental and emotional life, influencing the “professional baggage” (skills , skills and experiences) and, those who deal with diversity management inevitably clash with the thinking and behavior of individuals who propose their “baggage” as the most useful and constructive every time they come into contact with realities different from their cultural model . Diversity therefore clashes with resistance to change and with the desire of every human being to preserve his or her cultural system.
    But, as Prof. Ali Anani wisely says, different solutions to problems are possible by exercising creativity, knowledge, acceptance and (I add) patience, taking the first step to eliminate prejudices and stereotypes that make our mind inflexible and that are at the basis of discrimination, intolerance , resistance to all sorts of changes