How To Deal with Rejection
Being rejected is the single biggest fear for so many of us. Especially when it comes to love and relationships, and even more so if you’ve already been through a breakup or divorce and you’d do anything to avoid going through it again.
The reality is that there is simply no way of avoid it.
We all go through it, and even when you’re all coupled up there is no guarantee that you will never feel rejected by your partner in some way.
It’s also one of the biggest reasons people hold themselves back from getting back into dating altogether, but whether it’s being ‘ghosted’ by a virtual stranger or a new relationship breaking down, it’s almost certain that you’ll be dealing with rejection along the way.
Our past relationship experiences and our childhoods have a lot to do with our deeply engrained, subconscious responses to rejection.
We all want to belong and feel accepted for who we are, and if that doesn’t happen it can trigger all kinds of destructive feelings inside us. We end up feeling unlovable, unwanted, and hopeless. When we experience it we go into autopilot and almost immediately see it as another piece of ‘evidence’ that we’re just not good enough to be in a relationship and for someone to love us.
As you go through your dating journey it’s really so important that you find ways within yourself to process rejection, without letting it derail you in the process.
Here are 6 ways you can bounce back and deal with rejection:
1. Change your perception of rejection
A key distinction to make is between the act of rejection, or being rejected — and the meaning you give it. One is an action by another person, the other is your perception of it. The really painful part is the meaning you give to the act of being rejected. This is the point where many of us reinforce the thoughts and beliefs in ourselves that we are not good enough, or loveable enough. If you no longer give it the meaning that you’re ‘unloveable’ or ‘not good enough’ it loses its power over you.
2. Reframe your experiences of rejection
How many times have you looked back over your life and realised that a ‘perceived’ rejection by a date, a partner or even a job was actually a blessing in disguise? If you can look at rejection as ‘redirection’ instead and that you’re actually moving closer to what is meant to be by going through it — it can be a very powerful shift and help you see it for what it is.
3. Learn from it
Adopt a ‘growth mindset’ when it comes to rejection — ask yourself what you can learn from this experience, what you’d do differently next time and what the potential purpose of this could be in your life.
4. Don’t take it personally
So much easier said than done, I know! Being rejected by a stranger online or after a few dates is obviously very different from being left behind and rejected by a spouse. But as you go into your dating journey make sure to take nothing personally. Getting zero response or being ghosted by a virtual stranger has no bearing on you or who you are as a person, and it doesn’t define you.
5. Rebuild your confidence
If you’re feeling a bit fragile, vulnerable and lonely it can be even harder to deal with rejection in a strong, confident way. If you’re still hurting from a past relationship breaking down make sure you take your time to rebuild your confidence first before you go out and date again so you can handle whatever comes your way without it affecting your self-esteem.
6. Be kind to yourself
If and when you experience some sort of rejection, be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you’re hurting and how you’re feeling, but trust in your ability to work through it and don’t get stuck with the negativity. Keep an eye on that voice in your head and the way you speak to yourself. Instead of beating yourself up, speak to yourself as you would with a child or your best friend — and remember steps 1 to 5.
7. Be kind to others
Keep in mind that you may be the one who actually ‘rejects’ somebody else for whatever reason — so always make sure that you’re honest, that you communicate clearly and that you treat others the way you’d want to be treated.
You’re not right for everyone, and not everyone will be right for you — this is a good thing!