Feeling rejected hurts. There are no two ways about it. You pluck up the courage to put yourself out there or become involved in a relationship only to receive rejection. It does not matter whether it is a job opportunity, a friendship or someone you have loving feelings for. When this happens, it can be enough to make you avoid ever trying again. But you cannot spend the rest of your life avoiding opportunities for fear of rejection. You need to continually explore opportunities which will put yourself into a position that risks rejection over and over again. It is how you deal with rejection that matters.
Rejection affects people differently. Some people bounce back from rejection quickly. Others let the fear of it happening again stop them from trying to get ahead or from forming new relationships. The thing you need to keep in mind is that every single person in the world faces rejection from time to time. It is inevitable.
We have all heard or had the following happen at some time in our lives:
- Someone you love telling you we can only be friends.
- You have not been successful at this time but we will keep your resume on file for any future positions.
- Been excluded from a family or social event.
- Had someone you thought was a friend ignore your phone calls and not return them.
Rejection hurts. It is like a punch in the stomach. You risk rejection when:
- Falling in love.
- Starting a new friendship.
- Chasing your dreams.
- Setting up a new business.
- Looking for a job.
- Playing sport.
- Pursuing personal goals.
The opportunity for rejection is endless if you live your life to the full. But it is the way you choose to deal with rejection that determines your future.
Why rejection is so painful
So why is rejection so painful? Rejection activates the same area in the brain as physical pain. Do you find this surprising? Even though it is emotional pain, this can be the worst type of pain. But rejection causes more than emotional pain. It causes sadness or anger and damages your self-esteem. Rejection can also cause instability in your life if you let it.
Instead of letting rejection get you down, use it to strengthen how you think and move on to new things. Use the pain of rejection to push you to achieve your goals. While this may not work with romantic rejection, just move on as that was obviously not the right person for you or the relationship was no longer good for your life.
Strategies to help you overcome rejection
You may be thinking getting over rejection is easier said than done. How do I get over rejection? Here are some strategies to use to help you shift how you see and feel about rejection.
Reject your inner critic
After a rejection it is easy to allow your inner critic start beating you up. You may tell yourself you are a loser, worthless, not smart enough or not loveable. Stop allowing the negative self-talk to take over. Most rejection has little to do with you no matter whether it is social, professional or a love interest.
Maybe the job you applied for needed someone with certain personality traits to fit into the team. Or your love interest was not ready for a serious relationship or maybe the chemistry was no longer there. And, if it is your fault, talking to yourself negatively is not going to help the situation. Certainly think through the situation but be constructive in how you see the rejection.
Shout down that inner critic. Yell out stop when the negative self-talk starts up. Counter it with all the good qualities you have. Focus on the positive things in your life and take constructive steps instead. This will help build your self-esteem and make you stronger. Instead of rejection dragging you down, you will not be so vulnerable to others’ opinions.
Be unwilling to tolerate negative self-talk and the damage it does. Talking to yourself in a kinder way helps you stay constructive and learn something from the rejection you can use in the future.
Focus on the lessons
Learn from rejection. Focus on the lessons. Ask what you can learn from the situation. Rather than trying to get over the pain of rejection turn it around into an opportunity that helps you grow. Use it to help you grow stronger and become a better person.
Rejection is an opportunity but be honest with yourself. Maybe there are new skills you can learn. Maybe you could take a different approach for better success. Ask yourself:
- What can I do differently?
- What is one thing I can learn from this situation?
Often these two questions will help you but they may not. At least take some time to analyse each rejection. It can help you improve different parts of your life so you can make progress as you move forward in life.
List your positive qualities to help you heal
Make a list of your positive qualities to help you heal from rejection. It helps build your self-esteem. For example, if the rejection was for a job. Write down all the things that make you a good employee—hard working, reliable, willing to learn, a good work ethic. Now pick one of your qualities and write a couple of paragraphs about how previous employers appreciated this quality in you and how others will again in the future.
This reaffirms your worth and helps fight off your inner critic so you bounce back and keep moving forward.
Avoid allowing rejection to define you
Avoid allowing rejection to define you. Keep it in perspective. Because one company turns you down for a job does not make you stupid or incompetent. A friend rejecting your friendship does not make you unworthy of friends. A love interest turning you down does not make you unlovable. A few incidents or opinions should not define who you are. Your self-worth does not depend on what other people think of you.
Spend time with people who value you
Rejection can make you feel as if you do not belong. When this happens it is important to spend time with people who accept you for who you are and want to spend time with you. Reach out to your support network. Organise a catch up. Share your feelings. Have fun.
Bottling up rejection can make it feel worse than it is. Talk it over with a trusted family member or friend. Get their perspective. Even get their advice on how you can try doing things differently so you can move forward with confidence. You will soon forget about the rejection and feel better about yourself.
Feeling rejected is temporary
Feeling rejected is temporary. This is important to remember when you think you will always feel this way and the hurt will never go away. Remind yourself:
- Although someone rejected you today for a job or in any other way, it does not mean it will happen again.
- Although the pain of rejection is overwhelming today, it will not last. You are not a failure based on rejection. Learn from it and keep moving forward one step at a time.
View rejection as pushing the limits
View rejection as pushing the limits. As proof you are living your life to the fullest. That you are unafraid of reaching for opportunities even if they are long shots. Expect rejection sometimes. It is a normal part of life. Rejection is inevitable when you take risks on the path to fulfilling your goals.
People who never feel rejection are probably only living within their comfort zones. By pushing your limits to achieve new things, fall in love and make new friends, people will tell you no from time to time. Living life to the fullest means there will be rejections. You cannot live a full life without them for they teach you the lessons you need to learn for the future.
Examine your role in the rejection
Critically examine your role in the rejection. Self-examination is not the same as self-criticism. A rejection from someone on a dating site is hardly a rejection. It means they spent a whole few seconds making a judgement based on things you will never understand. But if you spend half a first date talking about your ex and how bad the relationship was, and there is no second date, then you will know why. Do not spend too much time talking about past relationships when you are getting to know someone new. It is negative and puts people off.
Or maybe you talked about your old employer in a negative light at a job interview. This was probably not a good idea. Potential employers will ask why you left a job but do not want to hear negative things about past employers so keep it short and sweet.
Process how rejection makes you feel
There is no point trying to force a smile on your face when you feel rejected. You can still be in shock and feel like you are in emotional turmoil. Instead take time to process how rejection makes you feel. It never feels good having your hopes and dreams dashed so there is no point pretending you are happy if you do not feel that way.
Rejection can hurt. Sometimes a lot and other times not so much. And this alright. Take the time to feel your rejection and it will eventually help you feel better. When you try to push your emotions out of the way, they can pop up unexpectedly which can make you moody and depressed.
We are here to help
When rejection hits you hard and you find yourself beating yourself up, depression can set in. It can be hard to overcome especially when you struggle with mental health issues. Feeling rejected can make it tough to feel better about yourself. Even when you have support, you may feel people do not really understand or it is not enough.
If you are struggling, consider reaching out. When you are not coping, contact us to find out how we can help get your life back on track. But, if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you through a crisis and can help you quickly deal with things better.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spas. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can support and help you cope with the challenges of dealing with rejection and depression. With our help, you can soon reduce the effects of rejection and look forward to tackling new opportunities with optimism.
Let me help stop the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people like you deal with all types of mental health challenges for more than a decade. We can help you move through and deal with stress, depression and anxiety which can be the root cause of mental health issues. I can help you replace these with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years so you can see a positive future. Listen to what Alicia has to say about my program after only a few sessions.