Rejection is a hard pill to swallow. You start off by working your butt off to achieve something, whether it’s a date with someone, a job, or a promotion. Then, for some reason, you get turned down. Sometimes the way you get turned down is downright harsh and ego-shattering, but there are also times when you’re given a little encouragement to try again, or work just a little bit harder.
How to handle being rejected
In the end, you still need to be able to move on from getting rejected. Yes, we know it’s easier said than done. But to help you through this tough time, we’ve got some tips for how you can deal with rejection.
#1 Process the rejection in your own way. Everyone has different ways of processing rejection. Some just brush it off, while others choose to wallow in it for weeks on end. The best way to go about it is to just accept the rejection. The answer is “no,” and you need to let it go. You can cry it out, if you’d like. You can write about it in your journal. You can give yourself a day of pampering in order to feel better.
No matter how big or small the rejection you’re facing is, you’re allowed to feel sad about it. Give yourself time to feel sad. But, in the end, after you’ve done what you can to process the situation, know that you’ll eventually have to move on.
#2 Know that it’s not always about you. The pain of rejection is directly proportional to how emotionally invested you are in what you want to achieve. For instance, let’s say you’ve been in love with a girl for years, and you finally mustered up the guts to ask her out. The pain you felt when she said no depends on how big your expectations were. Instead of picturing her as the enemy who denied you, think of her as a human being who’s allowed to reject what she doesn’t want.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who rejected you. There must have been a good reason. She may be in love with someone else. She may not be ready for a relationship. She might even value your friendship so much that she can’t bear the thought of ruining it. Don’t take it too personally. Instead, try to have faith in her judgment. [Read: Top 9 reasons men get rejected by the women they want]
#3 Ask yourself if this is where you really belong. As with above, you have to consider the reasons someone has for rejecting you. In seeking out those reasons, you may learn that what you were seeking out was not right for you, after all. With those reasons in mind, try to imagine how the situation would play out had your proposal been accepted.
For instance, let’s say you got turned down for a date with a coworker. She said that she’s not comfortable dating someone from the office. You may then realize that she has a point: hiding from your boss and dealing with office gossip could put a strain on your potential relationship, thus setting yourself up for pain and an unfortunate end. You can then realize that maybe it’s a good thing you were rejected.
#4 Recall how you handled rejection in the past. This will only apply to those who have been in a similar situation before. Try to think of how you felt and what you did the last time you got turned down. How did it work out for you? Do you think you can take those steps again?
When you look back at what you were able to do in order to handle rejection, you might find a couple of useful techniques for dealing with it the next time it happens. You will also realize that you’ve been in this situation before, and you came out of it okay. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
#5 Hang out with people who support you. It’s good to know that there are people who will always accept you, even if someone just rejected you. Go to these people and take in all of their positive vibes. These people can help remind you that you’re a great person who deserves great things in life. So what if someone doesn’t like you the same way? There’s bound to be someone out there who will!
In addition to making you feel better, they can also provide stories for how they were able to handle rejection. They may have faced even worse situations that they were able to get out of unscathed. Take in their advice and see if you can apply it. Who knows? You might find that the way other people handle rejection works better than the way you handle it. [Read: 8 types of friends everyone needs in their life]
#6 Don’t dwell on it too much. Earlier, we said that it’s okay to feel morose about being rejected. But it’s also important to give yourself a time limit. For instance, you might give yourself an entire week to try and get over your predicament, before you bounce back and move on. If it’s a devastatingly painful rejection, such as a proposal gone wrong *ouch!* or being jilted at the altar *double ouch!*, then you may give yourself a little more time to get back up.
Rejection can be crippling, especially if you’ve given your all for this one chance. But you can heal emotionally–in time. Keep reminding yourself that this one incident won’t define the rest of your life. The more you dwell on it, the more time you’re wasting on the past. [Read: Is your negative thinking holding you back?]
#7 Focus on the things you can control. Now, let’s talk about giving things another try. Your second try may not be entirely similar to your first, but even then, you must know that there’s a possibility that you’ll be rejected again. In this case, you can divide the aspects of the situation into two categories: things you can control and things you can’t.
You can’t control how someone reacts to your proposition, so don’t dabble in voodoo mind tricks to change that. What you can control are the things you say, the way you say them, your timing, your appearance, and where you’ll make your proposition. We’re not saying you should be completely anal about these things when you’re ready to take a leap, but at least you know where you can modify the variables to increase your odds of being accepted.
#8 Realize that rejection can push you to become better. Every time you get rejected, you may dwell on the fact that the person who rejected you thinks you’re not good enough. But when you read between the lines, you can see that this just means you still have room for improvement. The reason you got rejected is your clue to what you can do to avoid rejection in the future.
The sting of being turned down is something that takes a while to wear off. But that sting will be a constant reminder of what you can do to become better. For example, you can say to yourself, “I know it hurts to be turned down because I don’t pay attention to my appearance. I’ll remember this pain every time I’m not feeling motivated enough to put effort into the way I look.” You may think this is akin to dwelling on the past, but as long as it helps you move forward, it’s worth a shot. [Read: How to banish negativity with positive self-talk]
After the initial sting of rejection, you can either stay stuck in the moment or learn from it and move forward. Being rejected isn’t the end of the world, even if it feels that way at the time; it’s an important experience that can teach you to become better.
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