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How to Effectively Handle Rejection?

Have you ever been rejected before or felt rejected, maybe in an interview or by friends or family or maybe by someone you are in love with? Do you remember exactly how you felt when you were rejected? Yes, it is a very difficult feeling and trust me, we all have been there.

We all have faced that aspect of our lives and it is a very unpleasant feeling but guess what, you need to get used to that aspect of your life as it is meant to be an aspect of life we always have to deal with every other day.

And there are cases in which it still hurts like hell even though we may have passed through it at all. Rejection has a way of been unfamiliar and when it comes, it always still hurt so much. But what exactly do we mean by rejection?

Rejection basically means being excluded from a group or from a club or from a certain form of relationship either friendship or an emotional relationship. When you feel you are being deliberately excluded from any of these, your brain will naturally inform you that you are being rejected. Most psychologists will refer to these kind of rejection as Social rejection.

Rejection really hurts most especially when you are not prepared for it or expecting it but then it might seem so difficult to move on from it but move on, you must. So how do you move on from rejection? How do you basically handle being rejected? How do you prepare for it if ever you need to?

That is the reason for this article.This article is meant to teach you some practical ways as to which you can handle rejection. But first, there are some myths that we must debunk first.

Myth 1 says that happiness is a choice, and it is not dependent on the outcome of an event. You must choose to be happy. Very true, happiness is a choice but then some things in life can force you to rethink your happiness.

No matter how happy you say you are, when the outcome of an event you really prepared for doesn’t favour you, there is bound to be some sadness lurking somewhere. Now, if you decide not to acknowledge it, then that is another issue entirely.

Myth 2 says You don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy. The only person approval you need is your own. As true as that might sound, sometimes one’s happiness may be dependent on what happens around.

The circumstances around may determine the kind of mood that you may happen to be in and even though we may not acknowledge it, most times things happening around us can tend to either make us happy or depress it even if we try not to let it.

Myth 3 if you are not happy alone, you may never be happy in a relationship.
Although you can’t escape the pain of rejection, you can always control your reaction when you feel rejected. There are ways that can help you handle rejection better and make you better equipped both emotionally and mentally for such situations.

Step 1: Acknowledge how you feel. As weird as that sounds, that is actually the first step. Whenever you go for counselling, the first thing your counsellor will tell you is to acknowledge your emotions. This is because your emotions make you human and not acknowledging it simply means you are denying yourself a simple basic need of life,the right to feel.

Rather than suppressing or pushing back your emotions, allow it wash through you and express it. If you have to cry to show your emotions, by all means please do. People that are classified as mentally strong people usually acknowledge how they feel. Whether they feel disappointed, sad, depressed, angry, frustrated or any other emotion, they express it. This helps them clear their mind to think properly.

Whether you acknowledge it or not, being rejected will always hurt and you trying to suppress how you feel or you convincing yourself that by suppressing your emotions, it will minimize the pain you feel is just like you are shooting yourself in the foot and expecting it not to hurt. In simple words, the first way to really handle rejection is by acknowledging your emotions.

Step 2: Be conscious of other people’s different opinion. The second step is that you must acknowledge that every other person is allowed to have a different opinion from yours. In any situation, no two people can ever think the same way and you being able to realise that fact will help you go a long way. Remember that other people have their own views about the world and their own views are also to be acknowledged as well.

Hence, you having expectations of people and them disappointing your expectations either intentionally or not is only a way of life. Most people often get disappointed when their expectations are not met and although this is a natural feeling but the only way to not get disappointed is to give room for disappointments.

Always have it at the back of your mind that other people may and will disappoint you in the long run simply because your views and theirs are different hence give room for the reality that your expectations can be disappointed. Most people usually feel rejected and hurt when this expectation-reality gap is not closed.

Step 3: Always think of other possible outcomes rather than just one. After acknowledging that other people have different opinions and views about life apart from your own views, then it is easier for you to think of other possible outcomes than that of yours.

For example, when you are going for an interview either for a job or for a business proposal, you can prepare yourself for hearing a pleasant news like you have been accepted or that they are pleased with your business proposal and also prepare yourself for a No.

When faced with life challenges, always prepare yourself for both a positive reply and also a negative reply. That way, whenever any of the less favourable reaction or response comes, it will be easy to go through with it having prepared yourself ahead of it.

Step 4: Try to force yourself to see reasons for every of the outcomes most likely to be the response of your request. When you can see reasons why things are the way they are, it becomes very easy to give reasons as to why they turned out they way they did.

Apart from this, it will help you see things in a new light and the perspective from which the other party is coming from and this will help you understand better.

For example, as a guy if you want to ask your long time crush out, have it at the back of your mind that she may say yes because she really likes you back and she sees you are right for her or she may say no, not because she doesn’t like you but because she might be taking a break from dating or relationships in general or she might be already involved with someone else or she might not see the qualities she wants in her guy in you.

If you can have reasons such as this, it will be easier for you to handle the rejection if eventually it ends up in rejection.

Step 5: Don’t always personalize the outcomes. It will be a wrong approach if you think they rejected you because of something you did, or because of the way you dressed or the way you looked.

Even though that might be a reason most especially if you really didn’t look your best or you weren’t properly prepared for the occasion but then yet again, it could simply be because they didn’t think in the way of your ideas or they didn’t like what you offered not because it wasn’t good, but because that wasn’t what they needed at that particular time.

Don’t always beat yourself up or hating yourself simply because you thought that you were rejected because of something you did or didn’t do. You just may be rejected because you weren’t what they needed or because what you offered wasn’t something they wanted.

Even if it wasn’t good for them at that time, it could be good enough for someone else or another group or another set of individuals or another company.

Step 6: Always have alternatives. Although this isn’t advised by us when in an emotional relationship, but then in a case of a business proposal or a job interview, always have alternatives in mind.

Seek out either 3 or 4 company or organizations at once in which you will have to submit your business ideas or proposals to or maybe when looking for a job, you will have to submit your curriculum vitae to.

That way, even if the first or second or both reject you, you will still have 2 or 3 more alternatives that would likely accept what you are offering.

In simple words, we are saying “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. Try spreading your wings around a few other alternatives so that you can always have something to fall back to when you feel rejected by the other ones.

Step 7: Learn from the rejection and use it as a stepping stone. Most mentally strong people and successful people today have been rejected at one point or the other in their lives but then they use their mistakes or the reasons as to which they were rejected to restructure their plans and strategies.

This way, they were able to strategize properly and they were able to turn their rejection and flaws into a stepping stone for greater achievements.

Once we can use our rejection and flaws as a stepping stone, it won’t always hurt so much in the end. Even though you were rejected, try to see it as a lesson and always ask yourself, what did I gain from this?, what did I do wrong?, what do I need to improve on? And what should I work on and do better in?

Asking yourself this question and sincerely answering them will turn your rejection into an opportunity for self evaluation and self growth. So with each rejection, see it as an opportunity to get better and grow bigger.

Step 8: Never let the rejections that you have faced define you. Once you have faced rejection in one place, don’t generalize it and say ” I will always be rejected at other places as well”. Mentally strong people don’t generalize.

If one person turns their love proposal down, they don’t say to themselves that they always knew it that they are unprovable or of a company turns them down, they don’t declare themselves incompetent.

Never let rejections define you, never let your self worth depend on what one person thinks about you. Don’t let your thoughts about yourself become so low in thinking you are not he best that you can be.

These are the different steps in which you must strictly take note of to successfully handle rejection. Rejection can be a good teacher if you let it and even though it doesn’t seem like it, we all need it once in a while to do better with ourselves. Use rejection as your stepping stone and you would be glad that you did.

Deborah Akinola
Wirter, poet and public speaker

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