Everyone hurts – whether they show it or not. In many ways – big or small – we are all offended one way or another every day of our lives. The offense could come from being ignored at meetings, ignored by a husband watching television or by being rejected by the one you love. If one keeps track of the daily triggers that ruin ones mood in a single day-we would find that rejection is the core of all major insults.
The reason rejection hurts so much is because it impacts our self-esteem. Self-esteem partly reflects on who we are and how we feel about ourselves. In addition self-esteem also is a barometer of our standing with others. Imagine this; you are at a party and you get invited to sit with the coolest crowd there, which everyone wants to join. Or, you were nominated to be a representative of your team or your company in a major event. This acceptance- leads to a rise in one’s self-esteem-or as a good friend of mine put it “Ego massage” and one feels good about themselves- and about belonging. Now- the opposite of that, rejection-has a severe impact on self-esteem, especially if that person impacted already has insecurities and doubts- which potentially led to his/her rejection.
Can we stop people from rejecting us in all forms of relationships; be it with a potential mate, coworkers, extended family, neighbors or people we meet in passing only a few times in our life? The answer to that is no. We cannot force everyone to accept us and hence make us feel good about ourselves. However, what we have to do is to change the way we react to the rejection
There are many approaches to dealing with rejection depending on who it is coming from. For starters- we need to change some common beliefs that we might have.
“Everyone should like me, and if someone doesn’t it is a catastrophe” This should not be the case, because not everyone will like you, just like surely you do not like everyone you meet.
Another wrong belief “Popular people, never get turned down” , this is not true, popular people, just like unpopular ones, experience rejection, however what differs is the way they handle these situations. Popular people usually are more positive and confident, that they do not let rejection get to them or impact their self-esteem, by either returning the dig, joke or simply confronting those who rejected them for objective feedback without sensitivity or feeling belittled.
Moving on, to another major fallacy- is that “It’s NOT always about you” Someone might be resentful or mean to you, simply because you remind them on old friend whom they had a major fight with, or because they are about to be fired and are worried. Even if there was a problem with your attitude or behavior, other people will not notice or remember as they are probably more concerned and pre-occupied with their own affairs. By that same token, if you are walking by and say good morning to a colleague, or smile at the security guard at your company and he or she do not return the smile- this may be because they have problems at home, are sick or might have an unpleasant situation which they don’t wish to share with you. So have mercy, everyone has their own affairs and worries.
Going further, a major misconception is that “People should have only one feeling about me- either they accept me or they don’t”. It is natural for people to feel ambivalent about others they are not close to. People could feel neutral towards you- hence, we need to learn to accept shades of grey, rather than everything being black and white.
Then comes the part of over-thinking and over-analyzing encounters. When you feel that you are running downhill with negative thoughts and overanalyzing a situation, first, distract yourself, with a pleasant activity you enjoy or something that requires intense concentration, such as logic problems, crosswords, fixing your television…….Then once relaxed return to the problem at hand, and then maybe ask for feedback and possibly even react accordingly.
Finally, if dumped by a special loved one – think of the rejection as a chance to allow you to reinvent yourself. Re-assess the situation, reevaluate the person you were going to be romantically committed to, was it a healthy relationship? Were you benefiting from this relationship? Were you really appreciated? To conclude, another aspect of dealing with rejection especially in romantic relationships has to do with the spiritual side, in having faith, that God has in store for you what is best. And trusting that there are other sides to the person or the relationship- which would have been bad for you, yet you knew nothing about it. In short, the major factors determining how you accept rejection peacefully with little harm done – is having faith in God’s actions and also having high self-esteem and loving yourself.