A Quick How-to Handbook for Handling Rejection
Rejection is NOT the End of the World!
Everyone encounters rejection from time to time in life. The bottom line that we want you to walk away remembering that it is not the end of the world, and you should never take it personally. That being said, sometimes not taking it personally can be tough, so here are a few practical tips on how to handle rejection.
Set Boundaries on Your Grief
Whether it’s a work promotion you were denied, whether your new boyfriend called it all off, or whether your big idea was shot down in a hurry, know that it’s okay to grieve; in fact, it’s encouraged. Grieving is a necessary part of moving on, though it should not go unchecked. First of all, recognize that you did nothing wrong, and that the rejection was about the rejecter, not you; for whatever reason, they were seeking something else.
Once you grasp that you’ve failed in no way, grieving a loss is a normal and natural part of the process, but you need to make sure it doesn’t turn into a wallow. Allow yourself a designated amount of time to process however you need to, and if you feel that may not be enough when it comes to an end, consult a dear friend on the matter – enlist his or her opinion on how best to move forward given your understanding of fault and loss.
Remind Yourself of the Temporary
Sometimes we lose sight of the long-term. The job promotion is all we see; that boyfriend is our world; that idea is the best one we’ve ever had. The fact of the matter is that being shortsighted often makes rejection harder. If you’re honest with yourself, you may realize that past rejection, while hard at the time, has resulted in positives that maybe you never anticipated. So, when you’re hurting after rejection, remind yourself that you will likely be glad it didn’t work out later.
Get Out (in Every Way)
Staying indoors, in our thoughts, in our minds tends to aggravate the pain of rejection. After you process and grieve the loss of whatever opportunity you were springing for, do yourself a favor and get out. Travel, exercise, play a game, meet new people… any of those things will force you to get lost in the moment, to stop mulling over the same thoughts, and push yourself beyond where you may be mentally.
Learn Something New
There’s nothing like a new challenge to steal your focus, especially when it’s something you enjoy. Learn a new language, sign up for a cooking class, do something that will prompt you to focus time, effort and energy towards a new goal that will ultimately better you in the future.
Finally, understand that humans are imperfect, and sometimes rejection is inexplicably hard no matter what steps we take in order to move beyond it. Never be afraid to seek professional help in the form of counseling; they exist for a reason, and they’re there to help you.
Rejection is inevitable; don’t let it rule your life when it happens.
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