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Handling Rejection

Updated on June 12, 2015

Coping with Rejection

At one time or another most of us have had to deal with some form of rejection. To be rejected is to be cast aside, thrown away as if having no value. Webster defines rejection as to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use to refuse to hear, receive, or admit. It's a part of life.

It may have been the job or promotion we didn't get, or even a present we had been hoping to receive. If something like this has ever happened to you count yourself in good company.

Rejection can be a painful thing. That's because we were created to be in a relationship with others. A group or an individual can be rejected. Rejection can make us feel lonely, have low self-esteem, aggression, and depression. Anxiety can develop as well. And in some cases, people can resort to violence, wanting to get even.

Have you ever been rejected by someone you loved or respected? Maybe even by family and friends. It's usually when the going gets tough you find out who your real friends are. Maybe you were rejected because of mistakes and bad choices you made, or perhaps not doing anything wrong. Maybe you were rejected because of your race, imperfection, or handicap. Children are especially prone to act in a fashion ridiculing those having handicaps.

The Rejection of Jesus

Imagine what Jesus experienced growing up in Nazareth? As a child he probably heard whispers concerning the manner of his birth. An immaculate conception? Jesus learned early on what rejection was and the pain and hurt it caused.

The religious leaders of Jesus' day came against Him often, ultimately leading to his crucifixion. How did Jesus handle His rejection? He prayed and trusted in God's Word. Many rejected Him, however some received him.

Knowing how to deal with rejection will help you to cope and recover more quickly. If you're feeling hurt, disappointed, perhaps angry and maybe even a failure, you are not alone. These are all normal feelings.

We must find new ways of looking at these situations and find strategies to help us deal with them. Criticism and rejection can be upsetting, leaving us with a lasting bitter taste. It can make us feel miserable angry and hurt, maybe even like striking back in violence. Criticism can be a form of bullying, or if given constructively, a gift.

Being Defensive Isn't Helpful

Being defensive isn't a constructive response. It will only complicate things. We must try not to take it personally or react aggressively trying to prove the other party wrong, or finding fault with them.

Becoming emotional will only hinder and limit our concentration. We must accept we can't learn anything new without making mistakes. Being human makes us prone to making mistakes, it's a common human tendency. If we allow ourselves to get upset by criticism, our emotions will get in the way of learning. We should set our attention on calming ourselves.

Are you coping with rejection? Everyone has at some point in life. It comes in many forms, and is not a respecter of persons. It shows no preference for the rich and famous or the poor, unfortunate and obscure.

Emotional Aspects

Rejection, for many, is one of the greatest fears in life. No one wants to be rejected, but it happens. It can come from work by being passed over for promotion, laid off, or fired. Rejections are a way of life for many writers and artists. Dating rejection may be the most difficult to bear.

Whether the rejection is a major event or merely a small “no,” it can cause an emotional upheaval. When you tell someone you love them and get no response the result ends in feeling rejected and unloved. It's hard to face of rejection and not take it personally. The mental stress can make one want to hide and isolate themselves. Concentrating on personal flaws lowers one's self-esteem.

Relational Aspects

Relationships begin by meeting people and getting to know them. Once a rapport has been established, one person may decide the relationship isn't working, ending in rejection for the other. It's important not to allow the fear of rejection to keep anyone from taking the risk. Many times it takes a leap of faith.

The high stakes involved in long-term relationships makes rejection hard to bear. Years of emotional attachment can come to an abrupt halt, shattering hopes and dreams and the comfort and security. At the time the emotional upheaval may be overwhelming, causing one to think they will never get over the rejection or loneliness.
Coping with Rejection

Learning how to deal with rejection can keep us from sinking into a pit of despair. Expect to feel the full impact of emotions when rejection comes. We should give ourselves permission to feel sad, unloved, frustrated, and angry, at least for a short time. It's the body's natural way of lessening the hurt.

After the pain of rejection subsides, don't dwell on it. Look at it in a positive light. It's not your fault they decided the relationship wasn't working and moved on. Get over rejection by reflecting on the experience. Was it a good, healthy and wholesome relationship? Sometimes it's better to know right from the start then after a large amount of emotional investment.


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