Rejection. Even the word often can make us shudder or want to wrap our arms around a loved one and hide them from the feelings that are often attached to such an experience. Truthfully I don’t think there are many things we can face that can damage our ego quite as much as being rejected. It tends to impact our confidence and can cause us to hold ourselves back from going out in the world the way we would like to.
Unfortunately, most of us will face some form of rejection in our lifetime and while nothing can prepare us or ease the pain, there are a few things we can do that will help us move forward in a healthy way. There are many different forms of rejection: work, relationship, teams etc. for the purpose of this newsletter I am talking about relationships.
- Nobody Is Immune: It’s true, happy, sad, rich, poor, skinny, obese, heck even those who are in happy relationships have times when they feel rejected by their partners. You aren’t alone so be careful not to create the story that this is about all the things you are insecure about.
- There Is Nothing Wrong With You…Or The Other Person: After experiencing rejection we are much more likely to start creating all sorts of toxic stories about who we are and what is wrong with us. You want to be really careful about the stories you create in these moments not only because they are likely untrue but they can also be incredibly destructive to your sense of self. The scary thing with this is that if we tell ourselves anything over and over again we will start to believe it. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with the other person. It can be easy to make the other person the bad guy. Try to remember that not everybody will like you just like you won’t like every person you meet.
- Find A Healthy Outlet: There will be a lot of different emotions that come up as a result of this. Try to find a way to express and work through these emotions in a healthy way. Calling names, stalking or isolating yourself only hurts you and pushes people away. Instead, talk to someone you are close to about what you are feeling. Invest in an activity that takes your mind off things and makes you feel good. Find an outlet that helps you process what you are going through and moves you forward.
- Create Perspective: Of course this is going to hurt but you want to be careful not to make this your entire world. You will be okay and while this is really hard it doesn’t have to change who you are and it doesn’t mean that everybody views you as a failure or as weak. There are still a lot of things happening in your life that are working well for you. Try to devote some time to focusing on those. If you are in a relationship and finding there are certain areas where you frequently experience feeling rejected (assuming it is not an abusive relationship), have a conversation with your partner about it instead of letting those feelings fester and then have long term impact.
- Know That Time Really Does Heal All Wounds: In the moment we desperately want to know when we are going to feel better and/or why this is taking so long to feel okay. The truth is, try to give it time. The amount of time is different for everyone but there will come a time when it doesn’t impact you as much as it once did. Create the space you need to heal from the feelings and know that in time this will be something that caused you to grow.