The Reality of Rejection
Rejection is a natural part of life. It doesn’t feel good, but many things don’t feel good. If everything we experienced had a positive sentiment, than nothing would feel good at al. We need to feel bad in order to have the ability to feel good. So, although rejection sucks, it primes your mind for moments when you aren’t rejected – and this feels quite good.
Today, however, we are offended by rejection. It is a personal insult. It is unacceptable. We reject rejection. And this, perhaps, is because we have grown up in a world of entitlement, of instant gratification. When we want things, we want them now. So when we don’t get them now, we throw tantrums. We say it is unfair.
But it is not unfair – we are just behaving like cranky toddlers, giving out because we did not get immediately the outcome we desired.
And so, this mindset causes the experience of rejection to feel much worse. It makes us take rejection personally. It causes us to experience low self-esteem, stress, and ow mood whenever rejection crops up. We haven’t fully learned how to deal with rejection because we have been conditioned to expect positive outcomes in everything we do. We have been told we’re ‘special’. We’ve internalised this belief. And special people don’t get rejected, right?
Rejection is par for the course. You will experience it, often and unabashedly. So what to do? Well, like with every other negative emotional, I simply ask myself ‘why have I reacted way?’ Why do I feel hurt, and isolated, and not good enough? Well, it’s probably because I’m disappointed. Or because I wanted some outcome that didn’t come to fruition.
And this is fine. We’re allowed to feel this way. We should feel this way in fact. Feeling this way points us in the direction we ought to be going.
However, when we refuse to acknowledge why we are feeling hurt by rejection, we externalize the source, and by doing this, we fail to understand what we need to move forward. We say that things are unfair, that we deserved the outcome we wanted, and that the world is out to get us. When we refuse to accept feeling rejected, we tend towards paranoia, and bitterness, and resentment. That’s not exactly a health headspace to be in.
Rejection sucks. I experience it often enough to know how much it sucks. But it happens to all of us. And we can either let that chip away at our wellbeing, or we can see it for what it is – a necessary evil along the road.