Being human is difficult sometimes. Especially when it comes to our interpersonal relationships. In love and life’s ups and downs, we sometimes experience rejection. The mere mention of it may bring back some uncomfortable memories or a little sting – but it’s a part of being human. Knowing that when this happens doesn’t make the pain less.
We usually think of rejection in our romantic relationships, but it also happens in friendships, family, our work lives, and more. Rejection is often unavoidable. What you can change is how you react to it, and how you affect it. We’re here to give you some advice on how to handle the real experience of being rejected.
lean on your community
Rejection can make us feel embarrassed, ashamed, or hurt our self-esteem. This is why it can be so helpful to turn to the people you feel most supported by. This could be your best friend, family member, therapist, or any other trusted confidant. Who do you feel most viewed by? Who can you be most honest about what’s going on in your mind? Who do you trust the most with your feelings? reach out to that person. Chances are, they’ve experienced it too. Not only can they relate, but they can remind you how special you are, and how much you have to offer to the world and the people around you.
stop the spiral
Another thing that happens when we experience rejection is a mental spiral. You might be feeling good about your day, then suddenly you get caught up in a whirlwind of thoughts about what you could have done differently, why this keeps happening to you, or whatever other stories you’re telling yourself. Huh. Sometimes the spiral happens when you don’t realize it, and once again your confidence is shattered, or you forget how awesome you are. So it’s helpful to have tools to stop the spiral in its tracks.
One tool is using Confirm. These are simple phrases that you say to yourself or in your mind until you are able to override whatever negative thought patterns are occurring. Here are some you can try:
- “Rejection is security.”
- “Rejection is redirection.”
- “I love myself, and that’s enough.”
- “I’m much bigger than this situation.”
- “I am worthy.”
Confirmation is just a tool, you have to find what works for you. Here are some others you can try:
- take a few deep breaths or practice a breathing exercises
- go for a walk or take a few minutes outside
- do one of your favorite hobbies
- Have fun watching a funny movie or show
- Get your body moving by dancing, or doing an exercise of your choice
practice self reflection
Rejection sucks, but it can also be used as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, your needs, and the relationship you’re in. Often these experiences are something that help you grow as a human being the most. This can be hard to do when you’re feeling overly tender, but practicing self-reflection can help you learn how to heal from rejection and make sense out of an uncomfortable situation.
One of the best ways to practice self reflection is through journaling. You can start by answering some of these questions:
- What tools do I have to overcome/move on from this situation?
- What about this situation was not aligned or why it should not have happened?
- What do I have to offer (romantic relationship, friendship, work, etc.)
Journaling is a great way to do this, but some people find it helpful to just talk openly about themselves. You can even record yourself on your phone and listen to it if you start to spiral down or are feeling down. If you are someone who loves to do art, you can make your self reflection a creative exercise by making music, drawing pictures or even dancing.
give yourself time
As helpful as these tools can be, sometimes time is the best medicine. Over time, you gain perspective, and may realize that the thing you wanted so badly wasn’t really the best fit for you. Time lessens the sting of rejection, and ultimately helps to overcome it. You may feel the urgency to let go of these feelings and move on, but that’s not how emotions work. These tips can help you cope with rejection and move on more efficiently, but feeling these feelings is part of the process.
Rejection sucks whether it is in our romantic life, friendship, family or even work. But it happens to everyone, and it doesn’t make you any less deserving of the things you want in life. If anything, it can get you a little closer to your dreams and goals by removing what isn’t working.