When you’re at soccer practice but none of the other moms are talking to you.
When you find out you didn’t get selected for that job.
When you find porn sites on your husband’s computer.
When you find texts on your wife’s phone from another man.
When you’re single and everybody in the entire universe is married.
When the people you love and count on the most let you down.
Rejection is that dark and sinking feeling that you being you is just not enough. That if you were somehow better, smarter, more interesting, thinner, funnier, more popular, then this kind of rejection wouldn’t happen. That if you were more like someone else and less like you, then you’d be much better off. You start to believe that there must be something wrong with you because all those perfect people out there don’t feel this way.
Rejection. Rejection is what you feel when you show up to your life but the people around you don’t receive you the way you wanted. We all feel it in varying intensity at different times in our lives. No one is immune to it, but some people handle it in resilient ways. Here are Six Resilient ways to handle the inevitable rejections in your life.
1. Don’t Take it Personally. You may be tempted to become very egocentric and make the rejection all about you. You may try to make sense of the rejection by thinking of all the ways you just don’t measure up. By doing this, you sink further and further into yourself, closing yourself off from helpful reality.
2. Face Reality. Reality will inform you that there are many variables that affect your circumstances and subsequent rejection feelings. Other people’s needs, hang ups, expectations, and behaviors are often influenced by other things than just you. Do you have a part to play in their rejection? Maybe. But be realistic about owning your part, and not theirs.
3. Take Some Personal Time. People who recover from rejection quickly prioritize their personal time to get their thoughts and feelings working for them instead of against them. Maybe you need to journal, or go for a long run, or go for a long drive with your music turned up. Maybe you pray or write a letter to yourself. In essence, you are being your own best friend when you need a best friend the most. Personally, I believe this is the time that God gets to show up as your best friend too.
4. Make a Plan. Rejection can immobilize and de-motivate you, but it is important not to let it. Doing nothing often steals your power. But making a plan gives you your power back. Do you want to acquire more skills, get healthy, reinvent yourself, find a supportive group of friends, start dating, change your dating profile, update your resume, change directions? This is an opportunity for you to figure out what you really want and make a plan to get it.
5. Don’t Reject Yourself. When you feel rejected, you may rehearse all the reasons why you were rejected. Of course, these are all conjectures and assumptions, but none the less, you are tempted to nurse them, sulk and feel down about yourself. Don’t. Just because you have been rejected, don’t worsen the injury by rejecting yourself too. Say, “I feel bad and rejected, and maybe humiliated too. I’ll be damned if I do that to myself. I’m going to learn from this, hold my head high, and not let this turn me into a victim.”
6. Don’t Keep Knocking on Closed Doors. Sometimes, you may find yourself trying and trying and trying to fit in with the wrong crowd, getting the wrong guys to like you, working at a job that’s not a good fit, or getting an abandoning person to stay. It may be time to let go, and try something that is a better fit for you. Don’t work harder at trying to meet other people’s expectations than you work at meeting your own.
Rejection has the power to make you bitter or better, sadder or stronger. You chose you.