We all want to be loved, to be friends, to be accepted; however there are times that we are rejected, that someone may not want to be friends or may not accept the love that you have to offer. That can be tough to deal with for most. Once you have opened yourself up enough to express love or the desire for friendship with someone else, their rejection of that affection can seem devastating. Part of the reaction that you may have is embarrassment at having been rejected and part is anger at them and at yourself; and part is probably self-doubt. Does this make you a loser? How could they reject you? How could you allow yourself to be vulnerable to a rejection like that? It’s all very raw and emotional and frustrating and maddening at the same time.
It’s time for a “So, what!” So, what if they didn’t want to be your friend? So, what if they rejected the love that you thought that you had for them? Did you keel over and die? No! You’re still standing. You may be flushed with embarrassment right now or feeling very hurt; but you’re still here. Rejection hurts; but, it does not kill. You now have to find your way through a very complex set of emotions and feelings and get past this. Start with “So, what.”
We’ve mentioned that you may be embarrassed. Well, at least that moment has passed. Hopefully you say something to yourself like, “damned that was embarrassing, but not as bad as that time when… (put your funniest memory of an embarrassing moment here)”. Sure you’ll also be mad and maybe you’ll even need to express that out loud (but maybe not in public). Go into a room or closet by yourself and shout it out a few times. Maybe you’ll feel hurt by the rejection. That’s a hurt that will take a little time to heal, but maybe you can put a Band-Aid on it by giving yourself a little treat – a cookie or a chocolate is a good start, but don’t go on an eating binge.
One thing not to do is to withdraw completely from others and keeping this all inside. You need to be able to let it go, to say “So, What” and move on. Rose Gumbo in the newspaper cartoon A Rose is a Rose uses her “leaning tree” sometimes to deal with things. She has a favorite tree that she goes and leans against as she thinks about things. The tree is really just a symbol of having something or somebody that you can lean on in times of need. For many that something is their faith and for them that someone may be their pastor. For many it may be a sister or brother with whom you can share you innermost feelings. A few may have a BFF who really is a best friend with whom they can commiserate. Find you leaning tree.
Another thing not to do is to seek comfort in drinking or drugs. Neither really provides any real relief. Walking around in a fog of alcohol or drugs does nothing good for you and may just get you further into you own personal “Dungeon of Resentment” – another of Rose Gumbo’s symbolic places to go when things go wrong. In the case of drugs and alcohol you’re really not trying to help the situation (and yourself), so much as to run away from it. There are no answers or solutions in that bottle or syringe.
It is important that a rejection in life as in business not be taken so personally that you turn against yourself. Maybe it was something that you did or said that lead to the rejection, but that doesn’t mean that you need to beat yourself to a pulp over it. Learn from it. Don’t do that next time (and there will always be a next time) you are in a similar situation.
Just as you shouldn’t spend the rest of your life thinking that the person who rejected you is to blame; you also shouldn’t end up concluding that you are somehow to blame. Michigan is a no-fault state for auto insurance,perhaps it should be a no-fault state for rejection as well. Let go of blame. It happened. So, what. Who really cares about blame? How will assigning blame fix anything?
Some more positive things you might try include exercise. Get on that treadmill at the local “Y” or gym and walk and walk until you have walked all of the anger out of your system. If you really have a lot of anger that needs exorcising, sign up for one of the kick-boxing or boxing workout classes at the gym. You may end up being healthier, too. Try something new, like signing up for a class in something that you’ve always wanted to do.
“The good and the bad things are part of life. Accept it. The bad is a learning process, you will surpass it. If you do you will be happy and it will be a good thing.” ― Ann Marie Aguilar