Ahh, good ol’ rejection. We’ve all been there. Trust me, I know how much the sting of rejection can hurt.
Throughout my life, I’ve experienced rejection in many different aspects. I’ve been rejected by boys, schools, award organizations, companies, and friends. The list goes on. I’ve basically been rejected in any way possible and each time, I feel hurt, I feel disappointed, I feel inadequate. These are all normal responses to rejection.
Rejection will always hurt at least a little bit, and no one wants to feel all those negative feelings. The only thing that I can say is that you learn to better handle the rejection and to counteract the negative feelings with positive affirmations.
The good news is that if you have been rejected a lot, like me, then it probably means that you’re a go-getter and you put yourself out there. That is something to be proud of!
The hard truth is that there is no life without rejection. There are things that you are just not suited to do, there are people who just aren’t going to like you, there are awards and jobs that you just won’t have the qualifications for and that is completely okay. Wallowing in the negative feelings that you get when you’ve been rejected only takes time away from doing something that you possibly won’t be rejected from. That’s why it’s in everyone’s best interests to learn to deal with rejection quickly and to move on. Here are some tips that have helped me learn to deal with rejection. I’m not completely immune to it, but it doesn’t cripple me nearly as much as it used to.
1. Be logical. C’est la vie.
Remember that with the amount of people in the world and the uniqueness of each person, it is impossible that you will be suitable for everything you try. Taking rejection as an unavoidable, necessary, probable occurrence rather than a personal attack will mitigate the negative feelings that usually deal with personal shortcomings. I know this is hard to do, but it is the best way to deal with it.
2. Be Positive. List your accomplishments.
The first thing I used do when I had been rejected was to think of how badly I failed. I used to belittle myself and basically imply that all that I was was that one rejection. It wasn’t true in my case, and it probably isn’t true in yours. In my experience, the people who are bothered the most by rejection are those that have accomplished a lot. Simply being positive and remembering that you are more than this one rejection will help a lot with the rush of negative feelings of failure. If that is to vague for you, try listing a few or all of your recent accomplishments and you will remember that you have been successful in a lot of your endeavours.
3. Learn from it. Turn rejection into motivation.
There is always a reason why you were rejected. Most people are too shy or embarrassed to ask what it was but having that information is a huge benefit for you. I was once fired from a tutoring job by my student in the most awkward way ever. I showed up at her house and she had someone else there tutoring her. She told me that her mom was supposed to email me to tell me not to come anymore but apparently, she forgot. I don’t remember a time when I felt more stupid and embarrassed. Despite that, I still asked her (while she was blocking me from entering her apartment and everyone was looking at me like I was crazy) why she didn’t want me to tutor her anymore. I ended up using her feedback to improve my tutoring method and I have been getting awesome reviews since. I was able to use the rejection to better myself and as a bonus, my personal development quest distracted me enough that I didn’t dwell on the actual rejection for long.
4. Share it. Bond over mutual rejections.
My friends and I love to reminisce about our biggest life fails and rejections and while it might be uncomfortable and embarrassing at first, doing this with close friends will help you understand that everyone gets rejected and it is nothing to be embarrassed or sad about.
5. Accept it. Allow yourself to be sad for a little while.
As I said before, rejection is always going to hurt. While the above things are great ways to deal with it, it is healthy to let your emotions flow for a while. Feel free to be sad (even cry if it was a big rejection). But don’t do it for too long because you’ll land in a funk and it will be even more difficult to deal with your emotions.
Next time you don’t get that job you wanted, or the date you wanted, or anything else, remember these steps. Don’t let rejection keep you from trying different things.