Being rejected for a job application, by your so-called friends, your family, your co-workers, your boyfriend or girlfriend or someone you have a crush on can be a really painful experience. Unfortunately, rejection is just a part of life. However, it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough or less than others. You win some, you lose some. Life is not always rainbows and happiness; you’re sure to experience challenges and hardships. It’s how you accept these challenges that determine whether they make or break you.
Why Does Rejection Hurt So Much?
Rejection means to not be accepted or to be thrown away. When you get rejected, it makes you feel like trash with no value or importance. If this occurs to a person often, their self esteem may suffer a blow.
Just like any painful experience, the pain of rejection can be based upon who you are being rejected by. Let’s say for example that you get rejected for a job application. While you will be disappointed, you’re sure to get over it pretty fast and continue applying for other jobs. However, if a family member or a loved one rejects you, it’s like being stabbed in the heart with a sharp knife. It will be devastating.
Being rejected by society is just as painful as being rejected by a loved one. If you’re being rejected by others because of your religion, sexual orientation, social, educational or financial status, it can feel as if society is rejecting your right to live in peace.
One of the main reasons rejection hurts so much is because it is a value issue. When a person gets rejected, it will cause many emotions such as anger, grief, sadness, confusion and even revengeful thinking. In some cases, you may find your self staring blankly and thinking what went wrong and what you could have done better.
Many experts believe that everyone is sensitive to rejection and when people have other things go wrong in their lives, they will be more vulnerable to rejection. Experts also added that anyone who is overly sensitive to rejection can fall into patterns of behaviour that will make the rejection feel worse. For example, if a rejection-sensitive person is talking to another person and experiences rejection, that person may stop paying attention during the interaction and will be preoccupied by thinking about the it. They may start to obsess over how they can get out of it. Experts also pointed out that this avoidance tactic may backfire because sensitive people will be even more at risk of having anxiety attacks during social situations. The more a person avoids something, the more anxious they will be, diminishing their self-esteem and making them more vulnerable to rejection.
Dealing With Rejection
It doesn’t matter what kind of rejection you experience; what really matters is how you deal with rejection and use it to make you stronger and wiser. The Beatles were rejected by Decca records because the company thought their music was not relevant. The great Micheal Jordan was rejected when he first tried out for the school basketball team. Walt Disney was rejected from his newspaper job because the employer said he was not creative enough and lacked imagination. Albert Einstein was expelled from his school because teachers and administrators thought he was mentally handicapped, anti-social and slow. The legendary tennis player Stan Smith was rejected as a ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because the organisers felt he was too clumsy and uncoordinated. Now, these successful people have proven that rejection is not the end of the world. All you have to do is to stand up, lick your wounds and carry on.
Nobody likes rejection. However, all throughout a person’s lifetime, rejection will be there. Below are some of things you can do to overcome rejection in life, love, relationships and work.
1. Don’t Take Rejection Personally
Unless someone is really putting you down for no reason at all, you don’t have to take rejection personally. You may think that when you get rejected, it’s a personal attack. There are many possibilities as to why you got rejected (maybe you just weren’t what they were looking for, maybe you’re overqualified, or perhaps your skills do not fit with a specific organisation). But if someone is just putting you down for no apparent reason or they have some ulterior motive for bullying you, you have to fight back and assert your dignity and pride.
2. Get Back On Track
Being rejected can derail your life. To keep moving forward, you have to get back on track. Stand up and face another challenge instead of worrying over the rejection. All successful people experienced numerous failures before hitting the jackpot. Give yourself some down time to assess your situation, then distract yourself and move on to bigger and better things.
3. Do What Makes You Feel Better
It’s acceptable to allow yourself to feel bad for a while after being rejected. Disappointment comes naturally, but after that you need to start doing things that will help you pick up your mood and remind you that there’s always good things coming your way. Talk to friends, talk to family, continue your favourite hobby and treat yourself every once in a while.
4. Catch up With Those Who Accept You
Don’t live in negativity, it will just depress you. Try to focus on people who truly enjoy your company. Your close buddies can help you bring positivity into your life. After dealing with rejection, show your closest and most reliable friends how much you value them and how grateful you are.
5. There’s A Reason Behind Rejection
When a person feels rejected, they usually act on their fears and insecurities. They trap themselves in moments of doubt and distress. But what you need to know is that for every rejection you experience, new opportunities will eventually present themselves to you. Some believe this is a spiritual occurrence. New opportunities will be revealed in time and when you least expect it. If you had not been rejected, you may not have found something better.
Remember, rejection is just a speed bump on the road of life, you can overcome it and continue on living.