The surprising truth about rejection | Cam Adair | TEDxFargo

  • Published: 01 November 2014
  • This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Cam Adair tells a story of our society's collective nightmare: rejection. It's a story we've all lived through before but this one ends with a plot twist. He speaks to the universal experience and paralyzing fear of rejection while exposing his own inner turmoil he trudged through as a teenager. After years of intense bullying starting at age 13 where the fun game was "Who can stuff Cam into a trashcan?" he dropped out of high school. Twice. Next he found himself recoiling from the world, playing video games up to 16 hours a day.

    But something surprising happened that changed the way he saw his rejection forever. This turning point allowed him to shift gears to become a successful entrepreneur. Now as a public speaker he travels around the country sharing his message about overcoming the heartbreaking pain of rejection and using it as fuel for growth, connection and purpose. Learn more about Cam at Connect with him on twitter, @camerondare.

    Cam's mission is helping others live life with intention. Feeling trapped in a career he wasn't passionate about at the age of 20, Cam founded Kingpin Social, a company with a mission to empower young men to live life on their own terms by understanding the social side of their lives. Cam believes in the power of creating your own path, contributing to your community and the magic of youth. Currently you can find Cam travelling full-time speaking around the US & Canada on topics of Building Stronger Relationships, Bullying and Gaming Addiction.

    About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Comments • 1 789

  • Eddy Colon
    Eddy Colon  50 minutes back

    Straight not nice

    • Mike Long
      Mike Long  2 days back

      You’re a hero

      • Timothy Thao
        Timothy Thao  4 days back

        This is super late but I like this girl, but I'm terrified out of my mind to ask her out. Should I ask and probably get rejected or don't say anything, still be friends, and possibly regret it.

        • Joo Joo
          Joo Joo  4 days back

          oh its the 'well what else was i supposed to do kid!', "woozlewazzle? thats that passes for entertainingment these days?"

          • Hersh Shorsh
            Hersh Shorsh  6 days back

            I just got my first ever rejection this year, and I expect many more to come.

            • Joanna
              Joanna  6 days back

              Would love to know what book was Cam talking about!

              • Jaydatt
                Jaydatt  1 weeks back

                You can't be rejected if you don't ask her out.

                • Sonicsaber25
                  Sonicsaber25  7 days back

                  Jaydatt “Modern problems require modern solutions”

              • Baratheon Mustard
                Baratheon Mustard  1 weeks back

                Isn't 8th grade usually when you're 15 or are Canadians just weird

                • Roy Adair
                  Roy Adair  1 weeks back

                  @Cam ....Greetings from the U.S.A. 🇺🇸 Your presentation was bold, informative , straight forward and I enjoyed your Ted Talk .. You done well Cam . Takes courage to stand up in front of an audience and to express what you went through , where you are going and how to achieve it. Never own rejection ... very encouraging.

                  • Jacob Stewart
                    Jacob Stewart  1 weeks back

                    6:00 I wonder how many girls would treat their boy like a prince?

                    • Legend in this Simp game we play

                      Speaker said, " part of me wanted to go beast mode on this kid" . How can anyone take this seriously?

                    • GreenPigKing
                      GreenPigKing  2 weeks back

                      I hate myself. I’m obsessing over a girl who doesn’t want me back. I try to make conversation but she keeps it surface level and short. Idk why I even bother.

                      • Brooke
                        Brooke  2 weeks back

                        Move on. Part of your obsession is an subconscious reaction you feel she is rejecting you and so part of your ego wants to prove to yourself you can have her, win her over. You prob can't understand why she doesn't want to be with you. Honestly move on, I know it's hard but if you keep pursuing her, it becomes more about you than her. It will also slowly destroy your self worth. You don't have to prove your value by winning her over, don't force something. If someone wants to be with you it shouldn't be that difficult.

                    • Queen Mia
                      Queen Mia  2 weeks back

                      This was very inspiring! Thanks

                      • Christofer Buckley
                        Christofer Buckley  2 weeks back

                        I been rejected all thrw high school and now I still don't know how deal with it

                        • Lav Busarac
                          Lav Busarac  2 weeks back

                          Rejection is........... Okkkkkk...... 😌. Breathe slowly man..... 😌. You are hypnotist

                          • vinu varsidh
                            vinu varsidh  2 weeks back

                            6 minutes in to the video and this dude kinda reminds me of my present self.

                            • Carina Carter
                              Carina Carter  2 weeks back

                              This is me

                              • TheRealGman
                                TheRealGman  3 weeks back

                                thanks for not panning to the projecter screen when he showed the picture proving his nickname smiley

                                • Joseph Norris
                                  Joseph Norris  3 weeks back

                                  I know what it's like all my good friends left and I was just rejected by a girl

                                  • Brooke
                                    Brooke  2 weeks back

                                    They weren't good friends then.

                                • Zain Qudoos
                                  Zain Qudoos  3 weeks back


                                  • Kaelia Lana Grace
                                    Kaelia Lana Grace  3 weeks back

                                    he sounds like hes reading a memorized essay he had written for himself to know exactly what to say

                                    • Kaelia Lana Grace
                                      Kaelia Lana Grace  3 weeks back

                                      you cant get rejected if you dont give them the opportunity. boom😂

                                      • Eddy Colon
                                        Eddy Colon  33 minutes back

                                        You can't be rejected if you don't ask things that lead rejection.

                                    • Onyxslayerluke
                                      Onyxslayerluke  3 weeks back

                                      This one hits me hard tho because I can relate to him starting elementary school my “friends” invited me to a party and me not knowing it was about to get hazed almost to death. Then after that I haven’t been invited to a single party since that happend in the 2nd grade I’m a freshmen in highschool now I’ve always been the one left out rejected and cheated

                                      • Gen.Aladeen Binladeen
                                        Gen.Aladeen Binladeen  4 weeks back

                                        Ahaha 😁 the Speaker is Nerd.. 🤓 OK I am gonna Share my Story When I was in High School. I been bully because of my Skin tone and I've been rejected of My Crush.. In that Moment I start to Investigate The "Social Structure "of People Around me and Soon I found that White is Dominant color in Many things. Specially in Social lifestyle and Love. So me I Exercise myself That every Beautiful Girl that are Very Attractive. I will look around so I cant See him.. And I Start not to Watch a love Story.. Everytime I take Coffee I Exercise my Mind and Heart that Love is not Allow to me.. And Soon I start playing War Games on Computer. I found that it helps me.. Like a High Drug Medicine.. Every player I kill is a Delightful to me.. 5 years I repeat This kind Of Method. Now I feel free I never been attracted to lady's and I never fall in love even if I hear some love story.. Now I never experience Rejection. Just twist something.

                                        • Marco Cervantes
                                          Marco Cervantes  4 weeks back

                                          I don't have to go on ted talk anymore, this dude has said everything I went through

                                          • Bella Nerd
                                            Bella Nerd  1 months back

                                            Step 1. Inciting incident
                                            Step 2. Incident causes a bunch of personal problems
                                            Step 3. Loneliness
                                            Step 4. Figuring out you to cope
                                            Step 5. Figuring out how to thrive
                                            Step 6. You’re old and everything that mattered before doesn’t matter anymore and everything that didn’t matter is the most important thing

                                            Everyone is living their own lives, you’re not the only one here, life is scary and it sucks, but you have the power to either ask for professional help, or make yourself a map and try different things

                                            • 88 _Garnet
                                              88 _Garnet  1 months back

                                              Sometimes, this is why farmers choose farming. They don't have to deal with other people as much. So, you don't have the potential of running into all that *#$%?%, you know. Not a bad reason. Humanity, is not very psychologically healthy in general.

                                              • Shilka Afghanskii
                                                Shilka Afghanskii  1 months back

                                                I was told by a girl that, “I was like a little brother to her”

                                                • robraver
                                                  robraver  1 months back

                                                  it can depend on what your circumstances are? in my case I went through my early school leaving age to late 20's and had no luck finding a Girlfriend. My reputation being a loner/weirdo..but living in a tiny population it wasnt suprising. The best thing ever was getting away to a trade college in the UK. It totally changed my life. Girls were interested, took me at face value...none of the typical BS of being back in my home area. Life was good. Another point I can make that if you are rejected socially, then at least strive to learn something. I learnt loads of good things since, which I wouldnt if I had got stuck in the local Bars..wasting time and money.

                                                  • terence lopes
                                                    terence lopes  1 months back

                                                    I am not an actor not a star, neither I have my own car, that's the cause of my rejection everywhere!! it's insane!!

                                                    • terence lopes
                                                      terence lopes  1 months back

                                                      I'm socially rejected, Job rejected 3000 times , it's getting insane!! OMG.

                                                      • Det._Hoffman
                                                        Det._Hoffman  1 months back

                                                        add shyness and retract the hockey and you get what my school time was

                                                        • Federico Benincasa
                                                          Federico Benincasa  1 months back

                                                          this guy never needed to actually earn money for living

                                                          • G_J-A
                                                            G_J-A  1 months back

                                                            I’m watching this because I got rejected so hard I cried

                                                            • Starving Wolf
                                                              Starving Wolf  1 months back

                                                              You know whats even worse than friendzone or rejection? Actualy getting them but not being their first choice or being like the bridge to their next relationship.

                                                              • Kayla Farris
                                                                Kayla Farris  1 months back

                                                                Anticipating rejection is hard. It feels like it’s all I experience. I’m such a personable person and I love making intimate connections with people but I’m still missing the intimate connection that I desire most. I guess that I should pursue my own passions again.

                                                                • vincentmack37
                                                                  vincentmack37  1 months back

                                                                  I love these videos that tell you the thing you dread the most is even worse than you ever imagined.

                                                                  • Christopher Arterberry
                                                                    Christopher Arterberry  1 months back

                                                                    I hate that this is relateable

                                                                    • Quintin Lee
                                                                      Quintin Lee  1 months back

                                                                      At the age of 30 I still ask why me so no friends and any girl I ever cared for just find new was to break me. If I could change my circumstances I would everybody can't pack up and move way. I just don't know how this guy can even say that without even knowing that everybody has different financial situations. And back to rejection I learned to deal with I accept my fate I came in this world alone and I'm going to leave this world alone.

                                                                      • A.R.P
                                                                        A.R.P  1 months back

                                                                        I'm facing the same problem rejection.. and frm the last yr it effected on my study... I bcm addicted 😥

                                                                        • Caleb Saunders
                                                                          Caleb Saunders  1 months back

                                                                          Serious story... I got yes and noed by a girl I asked to homecoming. Wish I didnt waste time on her and asked somebody else. Still haven't worked up the courage to ask another girl out....

                                                                          • sera wambu
                                                                            sera wambu  1 months back

                                                                            Hello Cam, can we talk via email please?

                                                                            • LegendaryBeast42
                                                                              LegendaryBeast42  2 months back

                                                                              The Heart Breaks and Begins to ache there is no shield and can’t heal since the day she gone away it broke my heart that same day

                                                                              • B Cool
                                                                                B Cool  2 months back

                                                                                How did this guy get a ted talk? this was so lame. sad white boi was rejected so he flew all over and moved away. i realize it's his story but his whole "follow your dreams" thing is not always the best advice for people who don't have resources like this kid. not everyone can just bop off to costa rica due to a little seasonal depression.

                                                                                Not everyone can just choose to change their circumstances and pack up and head out to boulder.

                                                                                • Siddhesh Dangade
                                                                                  Siddhesh Dangade  2 months back

                                                                                  Rejection teaches u lot rather than unhealthy relationship 🤗

                                                                                  • Raghu Yelugam
                                                                                    Raghu Yelugam  2 months back

                                                                                    It is a very inspiring talk.

                                                                                    • The KingDice45
                                                                                      The KingDice45  2 months back

                                                                                      Rejection has always been a fear of mine and I never know what to do next if I get rejected

                                                                                      • nah
                                                                                        nah  2 months back

                                                                                        honestly i wish i saw this back in 8th grade