Rejection from different points of view:
- As the person being rejected and,
- As the person having to reject another
Lately, I’ve noticed an uptick in people, especially online, being unable to handle rejection. When we’re rejected, in most any situation, our first reaction is to try and understand why. When we’re rejected, whether in-person or online we want, almost need, an explanation. Without that explanation, without the rationale, we’re at a loss. Being dismissed, being refused, feels horrible no matter the situation. And not knowing why we’ve been rejected, makes it even more difficult. We find it hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t want US. It’s not necessarily an ego thing, it’s definitely a human thing.
Unfortunately, we don’t always get an answer for rejection.
So, what’s the best way to handle being pushed away? How can we walk on thru it?
On Being Rejected:
I do three specific things to get through being rejected. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s being rejected by a friend or family member, job opportunity or client, an event or an audition. I do these three things whatever the rejection I’m encountering:
- First, I admit that it hurts. This seems obvious, but the first step to walking through being rejected is admitting that it feels bad.
- Even if you don’t believe it, see the rejection as a blessing. Call it a gift. Whether you realize it or not in that moment, you don’t want to be anywhere you’re not wanted. The gift is that it’s been made very clear. Change your perspective – find a way to be glad for the clarity (this isn’t easy, but necessary).
- Focus on what’s next. Instead of thinking about the why and wanting justification for the rejection – think about what you can do next to move on through to what’s next.
On Being the Person Rejecting Someone:
- Again, admit that it hurts. It may not bother you personally to have to let another person go but admit that it will hurt them to hear it.
- Stay away from clichés “It’s not personal, it’s business” or “It’s not you, it’s me.” Understand that it is always personal to the person it’s happening to. Being as compassionate as possible is key.
- Offer something else to move forward. If it’s business, offer a referral or let them know how valuable they were in creating A, B or C. Depending on the personal situation it may be appropriate to remind the person of a great moment or something you did together, that you’re grateful to have done. Kindness always helps lessen the blow.
Look, these are generalizations of course. Every situation is different and unique. But the point is, if you can learn to deal with rejection better, you won’t fall into the need to get “closure” or answers. You won’t find yourself running around social media trying to find out what “they” are doing. Or make a fool of yourself begging for attention from someone who is not interested in you. You’ll deal with being excluded in a much more constructive way. And if you can learn to change your perspective and see rejection as a gift, it will help you move on incredibly.
People don’t owe you an explanation. And even if they do, sometimes, they won’t give one. At the end of the day, no answer will ever be good enough because being rejected, no matter the reason, is painful. So, your job is to learn how to deal with it in the best way possible. Learn to move through it, as easily and as positively as possible. And the good news is, once you learn that rejection is not just an end to one situation, but a great possibility of something new – a gift – it really does get easier.
As always, thanks for stopping by. Till next time.
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