Rejected? Get over it!
Rejection stings like a bitch! Pardon my choice of words, but that’s the popular phrase used for describing the pain of rejection.
Ever been turned down for a job you wanted? Ever had a girl or guy you love, say no to your advances? Ever been ignored by peers or people you wanted to be friends with? Or you’ve tried applying to a school for a particular program, and they thought you weren’t good enough?
Truth is, everyone experiences rejection. Even the biggest man on earth must have experienced rejection at some point in his life. Someone said; the first step in understanding and dealing with rejection is to know that you cannot have it all. No one can.
Take a look at me for example. I enjoy writing, and it is how I make a few side quid. I have applied for a few jobs, and I have entered into numerous writing competitions, but I lost more than I won. Initially, it deterred me. I would tell myself I wasn’t a good enough writer. That I needed to brush up my skills before I was ready.
True! I needed to brush up my skills-I still do, but I let the fear of getting rejected over and over again, stop me from pursuing my dream. Many opportunities passed me by, and those that got them weren’t any better than me. They were just emerging writers like myself. The only difference was; they were not scared of going for what they wanted.
Some of the psychological effects of rejection include: trauma, depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, abuse, and drug use. We are humans and we are bound to hurt. We lash out when things don’t go our way, but some of these acts are even more dangerous than the rejection itself.
So, what do you do when you experience rejection? Let’s take an example. Miriam likes Joe, a lot. She wants them to be more than friends, and she confuses Joe’s friendliness and attention with love, or reciprocation of her feelings. So, she expresses her feelings to Joe; all the while, expecting a positive response. To her chagrin, Joe only wants to be friends. In fact, Joe likes another girl; Katrina. What should Miriam do?
Does she stalk Katrina and make up stories about Joe? Does she get angry and throw away the wonderful friendship she has built with Joe? Or like psychopaths do; does she resort to violence?
Taking the advice from some paragraphs above. She needs to understand that she can’t always get everything, and rejection is inevitable in life. So, she needs to admit to herself that she’s hurt. If she wants to, she can cry; crying can be therapeutic. When she’s done, she needs to have a sincere conversation with herself. will she be able to handle friendship with Joe? If she cannot, it is perfectly okay. She’s only human after all.
But if she can, she needs to give him space. Be friends with other people and learn to see Joe as nothing more than a friend. It is not advisable to jump into another relationship immediately after rejection, but that’s a topic for another day.
Don’t resort to anger. Don’t fight or hurt the one who rejected you. At that moment, they needed something or someone that wasn’t you. Think about it, have you always said yes to everything and everyone you accosted? I think not. What if the ones you rejected had hurt you? How would you have felt?
If you’re an overthinker like me, then I’ll advise you to always talk about it. Talk about it with someone that cares. Someone that won’t see your misery as a sort of entertainment or something to sub you with on their whatsapp status when you have a little tiff. Talking heals and solves half of the problems.
So, no matter what form of rejection you have been dealt, you need to acknowledge your pain and face it head-on. When you’re done grieving, you need to tell yourself that it is okay to try again. Tell yourself that you’re a spec, and anyone would be lucky to have you as an employee, a friend, a partner, or a family member. Console and comfort yourself. Be your biggest cheerleader.
One thing you should never do is let rejection define you. Once you do, its shadow will haunt you for the rest of your life, unless you do something about it.
So, dust yourself up. Get back in the game, and show the world what you’ve got to offer, until the world takes it from you.
Oluwaseun Beatrice Wende © 2020