Rejection! Not an easy pill to swallow! It tests our feelings of self-worth.
It’s over. I don’t want to see you again!
Those words sting whether it’s from a relationship, a job, a college admission or related to a spot on the team. Poorly managed, it can lead to depression and anxiety.
When you experience rejection, brain science confirms that rejection activates the same parts of our brain as pain. So yes, rejection, literally does hurts! Despite the pain, rejection is a part of life. Thus, we have to learn to how to deal with it and grow. In fact, if handled well, rejection can actually be used to revive your self-esteem.
Here are 5 ways to grow and move past a rejection:
- Engage in self-examination not self-criticism.
Self-criticism leads to statements like, “I must be a real jerk, nobody will love me, what’s wrong with me?” Self-criticism is not helpful because it takes you nowhere but down. Instead, do a little self-examination. Rather than focus on the other person and what they did to you, think about how you behaved in the relationship? What do you need to change for the next relationship? Be realistic and assess what led to the rejection so you don’t repeat problems in the future. And if you contributed to the problem, don’t ruminate on your mistakes. Instead, learn from them with the idea that all relationships teach us something!
- Avoid personalizing the rejection.
Also, ask yourself, were there unique circumstances that led to this rejection? And consider the idea that the rejection might have been more about him or her than you. Maybe you learned more about the person that would have made the relationship difficult in the future. Rejection can sometimes save you from a bad choice.
- Stop idealizing the relationship.
When break up occurs, there is a tendency to idealize the relationship in terms of what it was or might have been. We forget the heartaches and differences that made the relationship difficult. To keep from idealizing, write a list of the things that made the relationship not work or caused a lot of tension. Look at your list daily to remind yourself, yes, there were problems. In other words, move on and stop looking back. It wasn’t ideal or it would have worked!
- Get off social media and surround yourself with supportive people.
Social media can deepen a wound after a break up. You see your ex enjoying life, maybe moving on and it feels even worse. After a rejection, get off social media and take a break. You don’t need to expose yourself to posts that will further hurt your self-esteem. Vent or talk to a friend. Seek out those who know and support you. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and love you for who you are. Take some time to heal.
- Remind yourself that you are more than a rejection.
When you face rejection, it helps to remember that what is desired by one person may not be desired by another. Just because this relationship didn’t work doesn’t mean you are somehow flawed. It’s one person or one experience. And it didn’t work out for a number of reasons. Acknowledge the hurt, express your feelings, do some self-examination, learn and then be at peace. No one has the right to define your worth other than God. And He already declares you unconditionally loved and accepted.