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Today, National Sorry Charlie Day, on April 6, allows us to pause and reflect on the rejections we’ve faced throughout our lives. Charlie the Tuna served as a spokes-tuna for StarKist for almost 20 years and was notorious for never measuring up as a tuna that tasted good (even though he had good taste). Constantly being told “Sorry Charlie” endeared him to the American public and made him relatable to our everyday rejections. But Charlie never gave up and, today, we can celebrate our own perseverance or learn from the experiences of others in bouncing back from rejection.
History of National Sorry Charlie Day
Cathy Runyan-Svacina started National Sorry Charlie Day out of admiration for Charlie the Tuna’s remarkable attitude in the face of rejection. Having recently experienced rejection herself, Runyan-Svacina thought it would be good to spend a day acknowledging rejection and understanding how we can move on from it.
Dr. Steve Maraboli said, “Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better”. Isn’t that so true? Of course, we don’t always see the silver lining as we are being redirected but because hindsight is 20/20, we should remember that going through rejection once (and typically many times again from there) we are growing stronger in our ability to cope and persevere.
Studies have shown time and again that mentally strong people push through rejection. An “Inc.” article from 2015 points to timeless truths about rejection stating the choice is ours to allow rejection to hold us back.
A key first step in dealing with rejection is to acknowledge our feelings. Are you afraid, hurt, angry, embarrassed? We are better off facing our emotions rather than ignoring them.
Those most who successfully survive the sting of rejection choose to see it as evidence that they are putting themselves out there — going for it and risking failure. If you never risk rejection or failure, perhaps you are playing it too safe.
Finally, they don’t define themselves by the rejections they’ve faced. One person turning you down for a job or a date doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life of single unemployment! Keep the rejection in perspective.
Today, celebrate your ability to rise above rejection and, if you find yourself in the midst of redirection, read on to know you are not alone and that something even better is just around the corner.
National Sorry Charlie Day timeline
Harland Sanders’ fried chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before finally taking off and he went down in history as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
A phrase coined during World War II when women would write to their soldier boyfriends to explain they could no longer wait for them to return home from the war and, instead, was marrying another man; John was the most popular male name at the time.
This rom-com based on the book sheds light on another way of saying “Sorry Charlie”.
Taylor Swift’s Grammy-nominated Billboard 100 Hit makes the rejection pretty clear that we are never, ever, ever, ever getting back together.
National Sorry Charlie Day FAQs
In dating, are you less likely to be rejected online?
Finding someone to date online doesn’t appear to be any easier than the good, old fashioned, in-person efforts. A study of the dating app Tinder found that there are more than 1 billion swipes per day but only 12 million result in a match — that’s a lot of swiping-left rejection.
How often are job seekers rejected?
The average job seeker will face 24 “No” responses before they get to their “Yes”. If you aren’t quite to 24 yet, just consider yourself one rejection closer to finding your new job!
How many credit card applications are rejected?
36% of applicants with a household income of less than $40,000 annually were rejected in 2019.
National Sorry Charlie Day Activities
Think of how far you’ve come
We don’t get far in life before we realize the sting of rejection and we keep running into it as we age because rejection is unavoidable. Today, think back to the times you’ve been rejected and how you’ve overcome the obstacle of rejection to be where you are today. Today is a great day to appreciate your ability to move past rejection and feel confident in knowing you’ve done it once, you can do it again, when needed.
Help a friend through a difficult time
Rejection can be an excellent teacher. Share your tips for picking yourself up and dusting yourself off with others because they can learn from your testimony of perseverance. It’s also helpful for people to realize they are not alone in their struggles and to see how someone going through a tough time has successfully overcome rejection.
Make a delicious tuna salad
Well, it was a can of tuna that brought us “Sorry Charlie”, so in the purest form of celebrating, grab a can or pouch and enjoy a tasty and healthy tuna salad.
5 Fun Facts About Charlie The Tuna
Charlie is born
Charlie, StarKist’s spokes-tuna, was born in 1961.
We know his name
Charlie is one of the most recognizable characters in advertising.
It’s the beret
Charlie wore a beret to look sophisticated, cultured, and rejection-proof.
A long career
Charlie appeared in 85 advertisements until the campaign retired in the 1980s.
Charlie ended many of his commercials with: “Tell ’em, Charlie sent you.”
Why We Love National Sorry Charlie Day
We can look on the bright side
Isn’t it nice to think back to the times we were rejected and see where we are today? Knowing we’ve endured rejection to reach milestones of success is the feel-good factor for today’s holiday!
We realize we are not alone
Today allows us to see we are not alone in our struggles of rejection. Having someone to talk to or share our story with gives us the strength to face our situation and plan a strategy for moving on.
We love survivors
Nothing is more inspiring than to see someone succeed after countless instances of rejection. Survivors are who we pull for and there are plenty of everyday people working through rejection to survive!
National Sorry Charlie Day dates