Girl Friend : (At the end of 7 years of a relationship) – It is all over !
Boy Friend : Feels dumped
Interviewer : You are not selected!
Interviewee: Feels rejected
I : Can you please help me with this?
Friend: I am busy!
I : No one wants to help me
The situation might be different. But the emotion felt was the same. Were they actually rejected?
Dictionary defines rejection as a refusal to accept a proposal. Doesn’t the other person have the freedom to accept or refuse our proposal? Yet we feel so much pain. According to Guy Winch,the author of “Emotional First Aid”, a rejection inflicts as much pain as stabbing in the chest. A person who takes a pain killer feels a lesser amount of pain than a person who does not during rejection.
Why does rejection cause so much pain?
In ancient times, man was a part of a tribe and rejection from that tribe meant denial of food and other resources. This led to the strong response system by the brain for rejection.
The above mentioned situations are worth feeling the pain. But surprisingly, we feel pain for even small amount of rejection too. A social experiment in which a ball was not tossed to the player when it was being exchanged among 3 strangers caused as much pain as being dumped in a relation.
Rejection affects us in a lot of negative ways:
- Affects our thinking
- Floods us with anger
- Erodes our self-confidence
- Destabilizes our sense of belonging
What is the solution for such a big problem?
Will hating the other person help?
The solution is simple. Recognizing that rejection is self-inflicted will solve the major part of the problem. As I mentioned before, the other person has the choice to behave based on his circumstances. It is your choice to decide how to take it.
Maybe that girlfriend was suffering from a terminal disease and did not want you to feel depressed for a lifetime by marrying you?
Maybe the employer who interviewed you did not require as good as a skill set you possessed?
Maybe your friend was actually in a crisis situation when you asked out for a help?
Whatever might be the reason, you can choose to think it in the positive light.
Action list for handling rejection:
- When rejection barges into your brain, don’t welcome it by saying “Hi! How are you?” instead say “You are not allowed in here”. Tell yourself that others might have been in a tough situation when they rejected you.
- Every day write down a few good things about yourself. Explain in detail why you think you are good. When rejection makes an entry, open this list and read it to yourself
- Replace the feeling of rejection with a positive feeling. If your friend is not ready to talk to you, spend some time with your siblings. If your team left for lunch at the office without calling you, ask your parents for a surprise lunch with you.
After you feel better, evaluate yourself truly. See if you actually need to improve on the metrics on which you have been rejected on.
Rejection might look like an everyday affair. But if it is not attended on time, it might devastate you mentally! So please take care.
Note: The above post is only meant for handling everyday mild rejections. Please see a therapist if you have been facing rejection for a major time in your life.
Happy loving yourselves!