From promotions to relationships, no one likes getting rejected. The idea of being denied something you not only wanted, but strove for can be truly heartbreaking. It can inspire a lot of difficult and sometimes unhealthy personal questions: am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Do people like me?
And unfortunately for all of us, rejection is also a part of life. When it happens, here are some tips for how to handle it.
Acknowledge Your Emotions
It’s easy to downplay rejection by shrugging it off. It’s “no big deal.” Some rejections may be no big deal; maybe you didn’t get a reply when you swiped right on one person. But others are a big deal, and ignoring the very valid pain you feel won’t get you anywhere.
Instead of stuffing your emotions down, deal with them in a helpful way. Hit the gym for some endorphins, talk with a trusted friend, or try journaling.
Acknowledge the Learning Potential
Haters gonna hate, but sometimes haters gonna make valid points. Once the initial sting of rejection wears off, try to look at things objectively. If you were rejected from a job, what can you do to improve your resume? What could you have done differently in the interview?
For relationships, the reasons can be much less clear, and ruminating on them can be counter-productive. But by focusing on self-care through exercise, platonic friendships, work, and hobbies, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself…and maybe you’ll think the other person is who missed out.
Keep Things in Perspective
Chances are, you’ve been rejected many other times in your life. Look at where you ended up and what you’ve accomplished despite that rejection; could you have imagined your life five, ten years from then? When you see things from this broader perspective, rejection can hurt a lot less. It’s one of many, many bumps in the road you’ll experience in life, and has very little bearing on the overall journey.
Sometimes, dealing with significant or repeated rejection can take a toll on you. Therapy can help heal the wounds, and will help you take charge of your life and find a brighter future.