Whether it’s in a romantic relationship, friendship, or at work, experiencing rejection is a painful experience.
Humans have a natural need to belong, so it’s normal to feel hurt when we are rejected. Research shows that rejection can lead to emotions like loneliness, shame, guilt, and social anxiety. Furthermore, it negatively impacts our self-esteem. We’ve all been there at least a few times in our lives, and it hurt us more or less, depending on the gravity of the situation.
So, what are the best strategies for overcoming rejection?
Generally, you have two options—you can stop trying or you can grow stronger.
The way you choose to deal with rejection can strongly influence a lot of aspects from your life, so it’s important to learn how to overcome it in a healthy way.
Here are a few tips to help you bounce back from the unpleasant experience:
1. Give Yourself Time
Healing takes time. Don’t put pressure on yourself to move on immediately. It is normal to feel hurt. Give yourself time to process the emotion and then heal. It will rarely happen overnight, so it’s normal to just feel sad for a few days.
Furthermore, don’t try to deny the pain. Trying to convince yourself that you are not hurt will only make the process of healing longer, as the first step to overcoming an emotion is accepting it. Therefore, instead of trying to fake happiness, acknowledge your emotions and try to accept them. You can even try journaling, as writing your thoughts down will help you see them from a clearer perspective and even distance yourself from certain emotions.
2. Don’t Take it Personally
Many people have the tendency to blame themselves when experiencing rejection and to believe that there is something wrong with them. Taking rejection personally can have extremely negative consequences, especially on your self-esteem. It might even determine you to become afraid to try again in the future.
So how can you not take it personally?
It is essential to understand that you are not responsible for other people’s choices. Whether you were rejected by a friend or from a potential employer, they made the choice that they considered the best for them. However, it does not mean that you are not good enough, it just means that you were probably not compatible with that person or job. Stop defining yourself based on others’ opinions of you.
3. Practice Self-care
What better way to improve your mood than practicing self-care? Show yourself some love and you will notice how your emotions will immediately change for the best. Also, don’t neglect other important aspects of your health, such as taking enough rest or eating healthy.
Practice meditation, go for a run, get a new haircut, or meet with your friends. Spend your time doing whatever makes you feel happy. If you are looking for ideas, check out this article for more self-care activities.
4. Spend Time with Your Loved Ones
It’s amazing what spending time with people who love and appreciate us can do for our mood. Whatever we are going through, it’s easier when we have got friends by our side.
When you are dealing with rejection, spending time with friends is great for reminding you that there are people who value you for who you truly are. They will not only boost your mood, but they might also give you great advice and help you see things from a more positive perspective.
5. Analyze hat you can do better in the future
Once you feel better, take some time to reflect upon the experience. Think about what you could do better in the future and see this as an opportunity to discover what you could improve in the future. Maybe it’s time to develop some new healthy habits or to polish your skills.
Therefore, instead of blaming yourself and feeling discouraged, use this experience as a motivation to do better in the future. Remember that in every situation, good or bad, there is a lesson to learn.
6. Don’t let Rejection Stop You
The most important aspect of dealing with rejection is not allowing it to stop you from trying again in the future. Many people experience fear of rejection which prevents them from applying to jobs, going on dates or trying new things. Just because you failed once, doesn’t mean it will happen again. And even if it does, it doesn’t mean that you will not succeed at one point.
Therefore, next time you get rejected from a job or get turned down from a date, remember that it happens to everyone from time to time. Instead of feeling beat down and discouraged, focus on accepting the situation and moving forward.
One of the most important lessons you should learn from rejection is that it is an inevitable part of life and it is necessary for growth. We should learn and grow stronger after these experiences instead of allowing them to harm us and prevent us from our future endeavors.
Also, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you feel the need to, as in extreme situations the negative emotions caused by rejection can have serious psychological consequences.
What are your tips for dealing with rejection? Let me know in the comments below.