Whether you’re trying to figure out how to deal with rejection from a job, a guy you’re into, a friend or even family, let’s face it rejection sucks! It’s human nature to want to connect with others, we need to have a sense of belonging and acceptance to thrive.
But what happens when that’s not the case for you, and you don’t seem to fit in anywhere and for some reason, you haven’t yet found your people.
You owe it to yourself to know your value if others can’t recognise it. Simply walk away and align yourself with people who make you feel good, with people who accept you and reciprocate the same energy you are giving. The trick is knowing that you are worthy of love and you are lovable.
This post will give you insight into effective ways to deal with rejection.
- Rejection can feel like death
- Why rejection can be so hard
- Kick judgemental people to the curb
- You take L’s by wanting people to like you
- How to deal with rejection
- Moving on from rejection
Rejection can feel like death
University of Michigan study of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) research suggests that when faced with rejection, your brain can’t tell the difference between being the emotional pain and physical pain, which would explain why getting rejected can sometimes feel like being hit by a bus and why social rejection can impact a person the same way that heartbreak can.
Going back to early historic times, humans relied on groups for survival and so being ostracised from the group to fend for oneself can feel like a death sentence. Our need for acceptance has been engineered into our genetic wiring as a survival mechanism.
Why Rejection can be so hard
I know you’re probably thinking “yeah it’s easy to say know your worth and walk away but why do I find rejection so hard?”. The truth is there’s a deeper reason behind the obsession that you are currently feeling towards people who couldn’t care less about you.
This is the effect of childhood abandonment and neglect playing out in adulthood. These abandonment issues in childhood can cause an emotional response called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, which makes you extremely sensitive to rejection whether real or perceived.
Indeed, if you have abandonment wounds you may have dealt with rejection from family. Also, constant criticism and bullying in your formative years may have triggered the intense fear of abandonment and rejection.
So what do you do about it, how can you overcome this intense fear of rejection and deal with it gracefully you may ask?
Kick judgemental people to the curb
Once you let go of people who drain you, you leave room in your life for it to be filled with people who adore you, but the work has to start from within. You also avoid the drama by having low expectations of people who don’t seem to add anything substantial to you but yet leave you feeling drained.
When someone is putting in a low effort, understand that it means that they have low interest. If you find that you always have to wait days or even weeks to get a text back, or are the only one always making plans, respect yourself enough to move on especially after you’ve addressed it and it’s still not resolved.
You deserve reciprocity in your friendships and relationships, someone who wouldn’t make you question your worth. Someone that brings out the best in you and makes you feel energised.
You take Ls by wanting people to like you
We rely on others to validate us, thinking that if we are really nice to them, be there for them when they need us, then maybe they will see just how great we are and then return the favour. Wrong! In an ideal world, it should be that way but we can’t always control how our actions are perceived by others or control if people like us or not.
We try our hardest not to offend them by not speaking our truths, we overshare, people please, give so much of ourselves but we are left with the short end of the stick, we do this because our inner child is in desperate need of a deep connection, our inner child so desperately wants to be seen, loved and heard.
Until you can do that for yourself no one else can fill that void even if they tried to. No one can really abandon you if you don’t abandon yourself. You alone have the capacity to give yourself the validation in which you are seeking from external sources.
You are not asking for too much, it’s okay to want to receive the same love and effort that you give so freely. If they aren’t capable of matching your efforts they are not good enough for you. This is about your mental health and wellbeing, so do what’s best for you.
How to deal with rejection
1. Have an abundant mindset
There are limitless possibilities and options out there for you. If one door closes, another door opens – that’s just how life works. I don’t know if it’s just me, but have you ever observed that when someone walks out of your life, someone else shows up? That is the balance of the universe. The people who show up in our lives are meant to help us or teach us something depending on what stage we are in life.
People come and go. Some people are here for a season and only a few will last a lifetime. So when he tells you that you would not find anyone who would love you, don’t be afraid to leave that toxic relationship, trust and believe that what you’ve given will be given back to you in abundant folds, and you will find love again.
The universe can’t cheat you of what you deserve, what you put out is what you get.
There will be someone who sees you exactly as you are and will want to stay because they value you – you just have to be patient. Keep working on having the right mindset to feel whole enough to let them in your life. We really do accept the love we think we deserve. This goes for work, partners and friends.
The point of having an abundance mindset is to never settle for anything less than you deserve.
2. Make yourself a priority
Often I find that whenever I feel my abandonment wounds being triggered that is a definite sign that I need to make myself a priority, that is a sign that I need to approve of myself and give myself the validation. The most important person to meet your needs is you, do not abandon yourself.
Always seek to have balance in your relationships, so it’s not one-sided, or you’re not stuck with people-pleasing and being a martyr.
If someone is not making you a priority why are they being highly prioritised in your life? Work on the woman you are becoming, go about your day, achieve the goals you set for yourself, do the things that make you happy, treat yourself, live your life, it wouldn’t matter if they ignore you or not.
I want to stress that you SHOULD NOT make just anyone a priority – it has to be earned. Prioritise people who are invested in you, don’t waste your time with people who just take from you. It’s important to know where you stand with people and if you have to question where you stand you already have your answer.
“There has to be balance in a friendship for it to be healthy — not one person whose needs get met and another whose needs are overlooked.” — Florence Isaacs, author of Toxic Friends/True Friends
3. Have realistic expectations of others
I believe that it is healthy to have expectations in a relationship if you want to have your needs met but the problem is you keep breaking your own heart by having the right expectations from the wrong people. You keep toxic people around because you think that if you try harder, chase after them, maybe they’ll treat you right or love you.
Never make someone more important than they really are. When someone proves to you several times that you are not a priority, or if they keep blowing hot or cold, or if they keep you guessing on where you stand with them and you are not quite sure of the nature of your relationship, it is for your own best interest that you let that person go.
If someone has shown you who they are, you have to accept them as they are. Let’s assume you have a friend who has been flaky since you met her and always cancelled on you why would you expect her to be any different the 100th time.
Einstein said doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the meaning of insanity. You have to believe them the first time and adjust your expectations of them. It’s also up to you to decide if this is the type of relationship you want in your life. If you can’t avoid them completely just manage your expectations, make friends with people who wouldn’t make you feel too hard to love.
“Stop having relationship problems with people that you aren’t in a relationship with and stop having friendship problem with people you aren’t friends with”
4. Don’t take it personally
You can’t control how other people see you. You can’t control their actions towards you. The only person you can control is yourself. Anybody that has taken time out of their day to be horrible to you, is not a happy and confident person, the person is struggling with their own demons.
Try to remove yourself from the equation and show them compassion instead. You can choose to not internalise their actions towards you because how they choose to treat you is a reflection of them, not you.
Change your perspective on rejection and start seeing it as something that works for you. The right man for you won’t reject you, the right job for you wouldn’t reject you, the right friend for you won’t reject you.
Take comfort in the fact that what’s meant for you will be for you. You are not for everyone. You don’t like everybody so why do you want to be liked by everyone.
The people that you are seeking validation from don’t even know who they are, don’t even like themselves so why does it matter if they don’t like you. Don’t think you can change people with your love, don’t try to win their love, don’t try to make them see that you are a good person, just walk away with your dignity intact.
“I am not what you think I am, you are what you think I am”
5. Check in with yourself
Have you ever asked yourself if you genuinely like them? Do their opinions of you really count? Are they even important to you? Why do their opinions of you even matter? Why do you want them to like you so much?
Observe how you feel around this person after an interaction with them. How does your body feel when you are with them? Are you able to be yourself? Do you feel energised or drained after an interaction with them? If you feel the latter, then it’s time to re-access if this is a good situation for you to be in.
You know it’s healthy if after spending time with them you feel uplifted, fulfilled, and energised. You shouldn’t feel like you are constantly judged, criticised or worse bullied.
They shouldn’t make you have to question yourself and your values, if being around them makes you feel on edge leaving you with butterflies in your stomach, then you’re better off without them.
Maybe the worse thing isn’t that you got rejected, the worse thing is being around people who make you feel like you are not good enough. The truth is you are good enough even at your lowest, you are.– Favour
6. Love yourself
Figure out how you like to be loved. There are 5 main love languages.
- Words of affirmation
- Receiving gifts
- Physical touch
- Acts of service
- Quality time
You alone will have to decide how your inner child wants to be loved. What were you deprived of as a child? What are you constantly seeking from others to gain validation? The good news is you can give yourself that. Whenever you feel triggered and you feel like you aren’t getting your needs met or you feel ignored.
Ask yourself what you need. Maybe you just need to reassure yourself of your awesomeness, you can write some love letters to you.
Maybe you feel lonely, this is a good opportunity to connect with yourself again. If you are waiting around for someone to do something nice for you, do it yourself – buy yourself a lovely gift, make yourself a delicious appetising breakfast, spend time nourishing your body after coming out of the shower with self-care goodies that make you feel amazing.
Tell your body you love it and all that it does for you after a long day. This sends a signal to your mind and to the universe that you are totally worthy and deserving of love.
7. Put yourself out there again
It will build your self-esteem if you get back up after falling and you keep trying. Do not let rejection hold you back from what you are trying to accomplish. Know that it’s possible to attain and be brave enough to put yourself in the right situations. Go where you feel needed, loved and accepted.
Resist people that always seem to reject you. You have to remember to be yourself so you can attract people who are aligned with what you want.
“Life’s a bitch you’ve got to go out and kick ass”
Moving on from rejection
Choose people who choose you
Rejection will inevitably happen especially when you make an effort to put yourself out there. It shouldn’t stop you from being the person you are. You have to continuously remind yourself of why you think you’re an awesome person, only you can do that for yourself. You have to accept yourself to not feel rejected.
Self-acceptance in its entirety takes the power from the people you want validation from, and it gives you back the power. It makes you feel empowered knowing that you have got your back even though no one else does.
You become your best friend and you can really nurture the little child inside of you.
You have the freedom to live life on your terms according to how you want to be loved and you can love others freely and wholeheartedly because you aren’t seeking their approval, if they decide to give you love or not it changes nothing about your value.
A diamond will still have the same value even if it’s taken for granted or rejected. If they don’t see the diamond value then that’s their loss and not at the loss of the diamond. The diamond will remain the same. You are the diamond.
Let me know in the comments section how you personally handle rejection from someone you love.