As much as we may tell ourselves that we don’t need anyone’s approval, beneath it all, we all desire to belong, to be accepted by others, to be loved, and desired. We’re all sensitive to rejection; each of us have experienced it before, some of us more than others.
From being picked last in kickball, or learning your crush just wants to be friends, or another candidate was selected for that dream job, as difficult and unpleasant it feels, the truth is that rejection is a part of life. Well, we’ve got some bad news and some good news. The bad news is, it’s unreasonable to expect that you won’t have to deal with rejection ever again. However, the good news is, knowing how to deal with rejection will help you cope and recover more quickly. The better news? You can also take control of these negative feelings, and turn them around in your favor.
We’ll show you how in these five steps.
1. Remember to acknowledge your emotions.
Consider what it is behind the pain you’re feeling. Are you hurt by the feelings and opinions of the person who doled out the rejection? Are you internalizing the rejection and making it about you? The best way to
deal with uncomfortable emotions is to recognize where the emotions are coming from and face them head-on.
2. Recognize that rejection means you’re living life to the fullest.
If you’re never rejected, then you may not be living outside of your comfort zone. Guess what? Sometimes the best things that happen are outside of that zone. So, don’t be afraid to push those limits and embrace the possibility of rejection here and there. No risk, no reward.
3. Treat yourself with compassion.
Respond to negative thoughts and emotions with kinder, affirming messages. (Remember the switch in your brain?) Whether you’ve been dumped by your recent (or long-term beau), or you’ve been blindsided by a recent firing, beating yourself up and lingering in the hurt will only keep you down. Speak to yourself like a trusted friend and shut out that harsh inner critic by repeating powerful mantras that keep you strong.
4. Don’t let rejection define you.
You are more than your failures. Keep this in perspective. Don’t let one opinion, one incident, or even a series of incidents define who you are. Your selfworth is not dependent on anything or anyone else other than you.
5. Learn from the rejection.
The most powerful takeaway is that you can learn from rejection. Instead of just learning to tolerate feelings of pain, bitterness, and rejection, you can turn it into an opportunity for self-growth. Embrace it, and realize that you have the power to take experiences that are hurtful and turn them into markers of wisdom.
It is a healthy attitude to accept that rejection is a part of life and to acknowledge that what really matters is finding the way to bounce back and try again. The next moment you’re faced with rejection (and trust us, there will be a next time, because that’s life!) try the tips above step by step, and you’ll find that not only are you going to be able to handle it with a different grace, but you can begin to channel it constructively and turn it into fuel for a more powerful, smarter, and wiser you.