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*Bonus blog this week as yesterdays was so personal but did not feature the usual proactive ideas to own our happiness, this week I thought I would drop an extra one with some thoughts on rejection….
We have all been there a partner, a friend, a job. Rejection is something that at times we each have to face. What is interesting as I look around my network is the varying level of sensitivity to rejection and the different responses. At the two extremes of the scale there are people who take every rejection very personally, they allow it to shape the path and their happiness, at the other end those who take rejection as a sign to act to own the next step or let it pass them gracefully by.
It can really knock our self esteem and if we are not careful our well-being. Some more varied responses I have seen include…
- Pass them by – some people at least to an outsider let the rejection pass them by.
- Reject the rejector – Some people take the rejection as a slight and will respond in kind. Consciously or unconsciously excluding the rejector.
- Silently fester – Some people will let it fester, say or do nothing, but dwell on the rejection and let it continue to hurt them.
- Drive them forward – some people will use the rejection as a driver to improve, grow and move forward.
Knowing me like you do I suspect you already know that I prefer the final approach. I like to use it as a lesson, a chance to grow. Some of the times in life that I have felt the greatest sense of accomplishment, have been when I have managed to turn my biggest rejector into my biggest advocate.
So how could we effectively deal with rejection?
Find another way
Understand the goal and find another way. When we feel rejected there is often an underlying desire we want to be met. Think about what it is, what was driving you to want that engagement, relationship, job. Is there another way we can meet our needs.
Challenge it head on
Be careful here if not handled appropriately challenging rejection can be very detrimental to all involved. However if the rejection you are facing is a regular thing and it is preventing you from doing your job, or finding happiness, you should call it out.
Look for the lesson
Trying to understand why you were rejected and looking for ways to improve is so powerful. Not only does it give you a better chance of not facing rejection again it allows us to own the narrative. The starting point is to ask why. Ask the person who turned you down for a job or declined a date, Why?Tread carefully you want an honest answer not a defensive one. If they are not in the position to answer, reflect on it yourself. Sometimes it helps to try and detach from the situation a little so instead of asking… why did I not get X, rephrase it in the third person. Why did Alison not get X? Weird I know but it helps.
Sometimes it’s for the best.
This is really hard in the moment, but sometimes acknowledging the rejection could be a good thing helps. Think back to past occasions you felt rejected how did it work out? I for one am eternally grateful that my first love decided to kick me to the curb, at the time heart broken now grateful.