When you get dumped, fired or denied, it feels like you’re the only one
person on earth who has ever felt the sting of rejection. But being
rejected is one of the most universal experiences in life – even people
who seem to have it all have known the pain of not getting what they
want. Happy, healthy people learn to overcome this – and to bounce
back. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
It’s not always about you
No matter how hard you try to squash your insecurities, rejection seems to bring them back stronger than ever. They don’t see a future because you’re not good enough. They didn’t give you the job because you’re too dumb. They didn’t ask you out because you’re not attractive enough.
The truth is, rejection isn’t always about you – it’s often about the other person. If they don’t want to settle down, it’s not because you aren’t good enough – it’s because of their own issues with commitment. If they didn’t give you the job, it’s not because you aren’t smart enough – it’s because they were looking for something else. If they didn’t ask you out, it’s not because you’re ugly – it’s because they didn’t feel interested in you. At the end of the day, people almost always act out of their own interest, rather than because they are reacting to you. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be less hurt – and more likely to move on to a better match.
Sometimes it is…
Of course, there are times when being rejected is about you. Maybe you said something inappropriate that turned him off. Or you made a mistake during the job interview. Maybe you demanded too much commitment, too soon – and ended up pushing them away. If you did something foolish, take responsibility for it, apologize if necessary, and then let it go. If you’re in a position to make amends and move forward, so be it. If not, chalk the experience up to a very human mistake – and move on.
If you find yourself being rejected because of the same mistakes over and over again, it’s time to pay attention – you may have created a destructive pattern that’s keeping you from getting what you want. Instead of just being defensive about being rejected, listen to what’s being said. Whether you’re being rejected by a prospective employer or a would-be lover, chances are that you that can learn from the experience and improve your chances the next time around.
The next time you get rejected (and yes, it’s inevitable) try to keep things in perspective. If someone’s not interested in you, are you really that interested in them? If a company doesn’t think you’re a good fit, do you really want to work there? Not getting the job may be saving you from a nightmare down the road.
Rejection is life’s way of making sure the right connections are made – and the wrong ones are avoided. So instead of being resentful over rejection, be thankful. Even though the rejection may have hurt you, in the end it will free you to make a connection you’ll end up loving a lot more.
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