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Why rejection hurts
Rejection isn't an easy pill to swallow. Whether it was a hard blow, a subtle 'hint', fact or fiction, it still smacks of the same bitter flavour. The incident plagues us, swirling endlessly in our tired minds; exhausted from trying to work out the whys and wherefores. Rejection unravels even the best of us and often leaves a trail of broken dreams, relationships and people behind.
Rejection punctures the air out the ego; scrambles our brains; eats us from the inside; robs us of our self-esteem and sometimes bruises the heart. Many of us do our best to brush it off despite feeling knocked, deflated and emotionally scarred.
What causes rejection to sting so much?
What if I told you that rejection can only hurt you if you truly believed in it? The fact that you are so triggered by rejection means that you secretly possess feelings of self-rejection. Rejection can only injure if such an emotion existed within you. Rejection doesn't have to be personal unless you want it to be.
Rejection in relationships
Nothing hurts more than being rejected by our nearest and dearest; we trust them; we are invested in their thoughts and opinions; we bare our souls to these people. However being rejected by our loved ones can feel like an act of betrayal and cuts like a knife.
We often reject ideas or people on a subconscious level and sometimes it's just a matter of miscommunication. If you're in doubt, just ask for clarity. Be open to ideas for growth and expansion. Ensure that any constructive feedback is coming from a good place and with a good dosage of logic! Be discerning. It is one thing to be offered 'information' and another to being attacked. Be wary of the difference. In any case, you're an individual with your own mind; beliefs and values. Hence, it is your choice whether you decide to accept or act on the back of any form of rejection.
It's a huge tragedy that many of us are being rejected by our close circle in some underhand, malicious or often indescribable ways. And if you're one of those poor victims who are being vandalised of their life force and self-esteem, I ask why you are offering your wonderful soul to these people? Please see my video on emotional and mental abuse for more information.
Start observing your nearest and dearest carefully. Do they measure up in terms of integrity; honesty; humility and love? If not, perhaps you should ask why you are placing your trust in those who have such a warped view of you?
Those who constantly criticise and reject others often fear rejection themselves; and rather than running the risk of being rejected they finish up rejecting others first. Question the real motives of others; don't be a martyr by accepting other people's inability to deal with their own feelings of inferiority.
Rejection in work and groups
Being an outcast of a social or work group is an emotionally demoralising experience. And yet, we suck it up, maintain the composure of a good team player when clearly we are being ostracised and oppressed. It becomes a soul-destroying routine, whereby they conceal information from you; talk behind your back; make you the butt of their jokes and only wish to make your life as awkward as possible. You are conscious of the backstabbing but feel outnumbered, powerless and probably desperate to retain your job /social connections. However you need to be able to see the situation for what it really is - they are making you an outcast. Whatever their reasons, it probably has nothing to do with you but their own personal issues.
Wouldn't you rather be around people who appreciate your time and what you have to bring to the table? Relationships of any sort are about healthy exchanges. How we spend our time indicates what we value the most. So if you are spending time in a work or social environment which leaves you feeling uninspired, empty or joyless; ask why you are selling yourself short in the department of emotional wellbeing?
Allow for some time to do some self-reflection, restoration and finding inner peace. Look to join other groups who share the same interests and social graces. In a work situation, consider raising your concerns with your HR department or start looking for work elsewhere. Consider tending to the weeds in the way of your emotional wellbeing; surround yourself with good vibrations; protect yourself from negative influences; recharge your batteries; draw a line in the sand and start redesigning your life.
Positivity begets more positivity and can only be good for the mind, body, soul as well as the old bank account!
Rejection can be our teacher
Let's say you applied for a lucrative job, you aced the final interview, only to be dropped at the last minute! You're devastated; you banked your hopes on something which appeared to be a sure thing, only you now have to accept will never materialise.
However, such rejection can help us to ask key questions and to build character. You may need to ask yourself whether you were underqualified / overqualified for the position?
Were you truly ready for that level of responsibility?
Was it something you actually wanted to do?
Perhaps the job rejection had little do with your skills but your lack of self confidence? Do some honest self-analysis, what areas do you think you can improve on?
Consider the rejection as a divine opportunity for you to seek a more appropriate position, boost your self confidence or to improve your skills.
Rejection can caution us to stop, revise and replan if necessary!
Rejection is also a healthy right
Let's use an example on dating; you've finally plucked up the courage to speak to the object of your affection. You might even have had the chance to get to know them a little better and to even know that they're single. However when you finally ask them out, they strongly shut you down. The feelings of awkwardness, humiliation and rejection will probably haunt you, especially if you have to be in close proximity to that person, such as in a work setting.
Each of us has had to reject people and situations for all sorts of weird and wonderful reasons and again, it probably had more to do with our own personal issues than anything else. Living in such a fast-paced society with endless tasks and demands on our precious time means we cannot always say yes to every job opportunity; every social invitation and every potential suitor! It is healthy to be able to say 'No'.
Everybody has been gifted with free will. And, we should respect the free will of others as much as we treasure our own. What might intrigue or be considered as important by one person, probably couldn't be rated any less by another. So, rather than see rejection as a curse, see it as a healthy right and even a blessing in disguise. Just because that one person (out of 7 billion) cannot recognise your attractiveness and worth doesn't mean someone else won't. Respect the free will of others and remind yourself that you might also have to do a little rejecting at some point too!
Reframe rejection and find an outlet
Understand that the reasons for rejection are as varied and complex as we are as individuals. Therefore, there is little point trying to comprehend or accept all forms of rejection. Strive to only accept constructive feedback which will be of benefit to you and decide to discard the rest. Be selective and firm. Distance yourself from those who are overly negative and critical. Protect yourself from energy sappers. You have a right to even refuse rejection!
Understandably, the sting of rejection cannot be removed by logic alone. Even those who are masters of psychology also experience rejection and it's painful lingering emotions. Therefore, allow yourself to wallow and get angry for a bit! It's perfectly ok to feel down in the dumps every now and then. Let whatever needs to be expressed, be expressed. Permit yourself sufficient time to allow the processing of whatever emotions crop up. Look for healthy releases which leave you feeling less burdened and revitalised.
Some healthy outlets:
Find creative ways to express the whole palate of your emotions. Consult a professional or confide in a trusted friend. Surround yourself with positive influences and people. Give yourself plenty of time for rest, recovery, reflection and re-evaluation. Embrace your feelings, be kind to yourself and trust that you are worth more than the pain you are feeling right now.
Rejection is just an opinion; it does not have to define you.
If the above resonates with you and you'd like to explore a personal matter further, feel free to contact me for a friendly consultation.
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Love, Life and Destiny Guru
Dating, Relationship and emotional wellbeing Advisor
Heavy tea drinker
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