How to overcome being rejected
Whether it’s a job or a date, everyone ends up getting rejected at some point. And it’s a fact of life: being told ‘no’ hurts. It can be embarrassing and overwhelming. Everyone reacts differently and there are no quick fixes, but here are some basic tips that might help.
Your pain is normal
Anger, sadness, disappointment and hurt are common emotions to experience after a rejection. You may even have physical side effects, such as headaches, stomach pain or nausea. (If you suffer from depression or similar conditions, your symptoms may even be worse, so don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.)
You’re allowed to be sad
You’re only human and it’s normal to feel overcome by emotions after a rejection. You don’t have to ‘be strong’ or ‘put on a brave face.’
Find and express your emotions
If this is the first time you’ve experienced rejection or the end of a relationship, it may take you a while to sort out your feelings.
- Having a good cry in a place you feel safe, such as your bedroom, can help release pent-up emotions. Let it all out. We all do it. Being a real person means you have real emotions. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.
- Try to write down how you feel – not for anyone else, just for yourself. It can help you to work out how you really feel. And once the thoughts are down on paper, they might stop swirling round in your head.
Share your feelings with friends
Share your experience with people who care about you. And listen to their stories. If you hear how others have coped with rejection, you may start to believe that you’ll be able to cope as well.
Stick to the facts
It can be easy to start over-analysing the situation or to add details that may or may not be true. For example, instead of saying:
‘That girl didn’t kiss me at the party because I’m fat and ugly.’
Stick to the facts, which are:
‘That girl didn’t kiss me at the party.’
We know that it’s still a rejection and it doesn’t change the fact that a girl didn’t kiss you. But by sticking with what actually happened, you avoid upsetting yourself even more.
Avoid physical violence or seeking revenge
If someone rejects you, it hurts, but it’s their absolute right. Never, ever try to hurt them back. Also, don’t take out your bad feelings on other people around you, by getting aggressive or violent. This will just push people away from you – and likely lead to more rejections and unhappiness.
Don’t fall into bad habits
Booze, smoking, partying, drugs, random sex, greasy food… These are all methods people use to try and comfort themselves. But in the long run, they will only make you feel worse about yourself. Better to occupy your mind with something worthwhile, like sports or creativity.
Keep active. Learn something new.
The busier you are, the less time you will have to feel sad. Take up a new sport. Join a club. Learn an instrument. Try a new hobby. Learn a new skill. You will meet new people and feel better about yourself.
Focus on your positive qualities
Rebuild your self-esteem! Start by asking your friends what they like about you. If this feels too awkward, write your own list of qualities that make you the perfect person to date. Are you loyal and caring? A good listener? A talented cook? Try to remember the times your friends and family have praised you. It will remind you that you are indeed quite fab.
Give yourself time to heal and forgive
Like most clichés, it’s mostly true: ‘time is the great healer’. But clichés are often easier said than done!
We know it hurts now and it’s hard to imagine ever feeling different. But one day you’ll come out the other side. Promise. Then you’ll be ready to meet new and interesting people – one of whom will likely fall for you!