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Rejection hurts and is something no one likes to experience, but it is an unavoidable part of life.
From job applications and career decisions to friendships or even a romantic partner, rejection can occur in various forms at any time.
And while rejection hurts now, there are things you can do to help you manage your emotions and find ways to cope.
So whether you’ve been recently denied a job or have encountered heartbreak due to a person rejecting you, this article will give creative insight into how to deal with rejection.
Learning How To Deal With Rejection
What Are The Five Stages of Rejection?
To learn how to deal with rejection, you must first understand how we handle rejection.
There are five stages of grief, created by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, that we all go through.
Humans naturally cycle through these stages, and each person moves along at different speeds.
Some of us move through each stage quickly, while others move more slowly.
Sometimes, we move through two stages quickly, but the next stage trips us up.
The most important thing to remember is to not be critical of yourself for remaining in one stage for a long time.
Dealing with rejection can be complicated and often accompanied by negative emotions.
An important part of this process is the denial stage after someone has experienced a setback or failure.
This stage is marked by an unwillingness to accept the rejection and may involve denying reality or refusing to come to terms with what has happened.
In terms of a romantic relationship, this could present itself with you denying that the relationship is over. You might continue to call or text, trying to keep it alive.
Denial in this context can often be seen as avoidance for the individual to cope with their disappointment before they eventually move on to the next step of adapting and growing from the experience.
The length of time spent in denial depends on each individual’s unique circumstances, but it ultimately serves as a healthy outlet for managing distress before setting new goals or making positive changes.
Anger is a perfectly normal emotion to feel when you experience rejection.
It can abruptly overtake any emotion you felt beforehand, making it difficult to move past the experience.
But allowing yourself to be angry, even if only for a short time, may help lead you out of it faster than planning on trying to find closure immediately.
This is especially true if your initial reaction was sadness or disappointment.
Still, anger can force individuals further into their situation without providing an easy way out.
This emotion could show up as you hating the other person for what they are doing to you.
Ensuring your inner anger doesn’t take over too much of your life is vital.
Use these moments as learning experiences instead, but don’t forget that it’s OK to be mad about what happened.
When it comes to rejection, the bargaining stage is a tough one to go through.
You may find yourself attempting to convince others or yourself why they should give you a different answer.
Whether in our professional or personal lives, the bargaining stage can often lead to feelings of desperation and continued frustration.
As hard as it can be, the bargaining stage provides an opportunity for growth, as it prompts us to look more deeply into ourselves for reasons behind our rejection and learn how to approach life’s obstacles better.
Instead of grasping desperately at what isn’t meant to be ours, we can learn from the experience, build our resilience and grow emotionally in the face of challenging situations.
Dealing with rejection can be difficult.
The depression stage of managing difficult emotions that come with it is when we feel especially broken and discouraged, which can be hard to push through.
In this stage, sadness, despair and feelings of worthlessness lead to behaviors like isolation from others, reduced hope, or an inability to move on.
It’s important to understand our thoughts’ role when we’re feeling rejected and think about ways of re-framing them so that you can crawl out of this negative mindset.
Consider speaking to friends and family for help, or even seek professional help.
To overcome rejection, you will need to accept that it happened.
It involves letting go and learning to accept the situation for what it is.
This can be a difficult step to master, as you may feel various uncomfortable emotions due to the rejection.
To reach acceptance, it is important to acknowledge these feelings rather than try to overpower them with positivity, as this only provides a temporary avoidant solution.
Instead, take some time alone and reflect on why the rejection hurts and how it will shape your future decisions.
Learning from this experience can help you move forward and look at the situation more positively.
Self-Care Strategies to Cope With Rejection
Now that you understand the cycle of emotions you will experience as you deal with rejection, it is time to offer some practical self-care strategies to help you cope and move through each stage.
Again, it is important to understand that using these tools does not guarantee you move through each stage faster.
And they also don’t provide a way to avoid rejection altogether.
#1. Accept It’s Part Of Life
Accepting rejection is an essential part of life.
It’s not always easy, but it does teach us invaluable lessons about resilience and perseverance.
When you experience rejection, rather than wallowing in sadness or self-criticism, reflect on the experience and ask yourself what you can learn.
Remember that not everyone will have the same opinion as you, but this doesn’t change who you are.
Spend time to thoughtfully evaluate any constructive criticism you receive and glean what you can from it that will help make you better.
Recognizing a misalignment between yourself and another person or group of people due to misunderstanding or different ways of thinking is also paramount in accepting rejection.
Finally, don’t make more out of a situation than necessary.
Often we are our worst critics and think others perceive us worse than they do.
Accepting rejection is simply part of the journey we must all go through in life; if we didn’t, how would we know strength?
#2. Accept What Happened
It’s hard to accept how things have turned out, but not everything that happens to you is under your control.
All you can do is take a deep breath and remind yourself that things happen, and this, too shall pass.
Even though life hasn’t gone as planned, you must stay positive and look for solutions.
Your attitude needs to be one of resilience and optimism, even if it feels like everything has fallen apart.
As discouraging as this experience may be, know there will be better days ahead with new opportunities for growth around the corner.
#3. Have Self Compassion
Overcoming the hurt feelings from rejection can be one of the most challenging things a person can experience.
It can be hard to remain positive and have compassion towards yourself when feeling let down by a situation or person, but it is so important to try.
Accepting that you have been rejected is the first step.
You can acknowledge that the situation made you feel hurt and disappointed, but practice having kindness and understanding towards yourself too.
Being compassionate with yourself and surrounding yourself with people who love and accept you will help soften the emotional and physical pain of any rejection.
Learning from these challenging experiences can help you develop inner strength, resilience, and an appreciation for your journey.
#4. Affirm Your Self Worth
Rejection stings and can feel like a punch in the gut.
It hurts, it’s uncomfortable, and it can bring up a whole lot of negative emotions.
However, while working through rejection is part of life, trying to affirm your self-worth is important.
Don’t let one rejection define you and destroy your self-esteem.
Remember, rejections don’t have to mean you’re worthless or inadequate.
And they should not play a role in how you approach future relationships.
Acknowledging your positive qualities, strengths, and accomplishments is vital when dealing with rejection, as it can help build confidence and resilience for future opportunities.
#5. Be Aware Of Negative Thoughts
Dealing with rejection isn’t easy, and it’s natural to feel let down, especially if whatever you put your heart and soul into was unsuccessful, whether your dream job or from a romantic partner.
And when you are feeling sad, it is only natural for negative self-talk to begin.
However, it’s important to stay positive in the wake of any setback and understand that rejections can often be blessings in disguise.
They usually provide us with great opportunities for self-growth, both personally and professionally.
Do some self-examination and admit how the experience of rejection has helped shape who you are today.
Then aim to extract any lessons or skills you now have thanks to it so that the next time around, you improve your odds of success.
Most importantly, use rejections as motivation.
Save all those positive things about yourself that made this rejection happen in the first place.
#6. Surround Yourself With Friends
Rejection is something that almost everyone has to face in life.
It can be challenging to overcome rejection, but having a solid support network of friends can make the experience much more manageable.
Friends can provide a sense of emotional security and motivation throughout the healing process, helping us remember how strong we are and why we should never give up.
They convince us that we deserve better and guide us through our doubts, fears, and confusion so that we don’t feel overwhelmed.
Whether it’s sending funny memes or listening when you need to talk, a close friend will be there through thick and thin, which makes it absolutely essential to foster meaningful relationships with others.
This will ensure you have someone to turn to during those low points when rejection strikes.
#7. Keep Trying
It’s easy to become overwhelmed and give up when rejected, but it’s important to remember that failure doesn’t define you.
Instead of letting a single setback stop you from moving forward, harness that energy and focus on the next step.
Moving forward despite rejection shows strength and resilience, pushing you to continue down the path even in the face of difficulty.
On your journey, failure can also lead to great success as you learn from your mistakes and adjust your strategies along the way.
#8. Keep Things In Perspective
In the immediate aftermath of being rejected, you think it is a big deal, and you will never feel worse, and this is the worst thing you ever experienced in life.
The critical thing to remember is that the feelings slowly reduce over time as you heal and the hurt disappears.
When looking at your entire life, this rejection is a minor setback.
If you take the time to deal with rejection constructively and practice self-care, you will come out the other side.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you deal with rejection from someone you love?
Dealing with rejection from someone you love can be one of the hardest things.
It’s a painful experience that affects us emotionally and mentally, so it can feel impossible to recover from.
The best thing to do when facing this type of situation is to recognize the feelings such as sadness and loneliness.
This helps to understand how difficult it can be while permitting yourself to take the time necessary for healing in whatever works best for you.
Reaching out and talking with a trusted friend, family member, or counselor might be helpful.
You could also try activities such as journaling, taking a walk, or running outdoors, which can be therapeutic.
In time, after processing your emotions and allowing yourself room for growth, acceptance and understanding will eventually come about so that you can move forward healthily.
How do I stop being insecure after experiencing rejection?
When you feel rejected, it can be challenging to shake off feelings of insecurity.
It can be beneficial to give yourself some time and space to process the emotions surrounding the rejection and the rejection itself.
Once you have done that, focus on yourself and your inner strength.
Understand that although the person rejected you, plenty of people might have seen value in you and seen things differently.
Spend time working on self-improvement to handle the self-doubt that will creep into your mind.
This will help build inner strength, which will help you handle rejection in the future.
Instead of focusing on someone’s potential unwillingness or inability to realize our worth, focus on fostering relationships with those who embrace us for who we are.
What is the best way to get over romantic rejection?
Rejection can be one of the most difficult things to overcome.
The best way to get over it is by understanding that you are worth more than the outcome of an event or situation.
Letting yourself feel the emotions and healthily processing them can help you to move on and learn from the experience.
It’s also important to focus mentally and physically on other things that make you happy, like being around friends, playing sports, creating art, or hiking.
With time, patience, and effort, you can refocus your energy and regain emotional stability.
There are a handful of actionable ways to learn how to deal with rejection.
It is vital to remember that rejection is part of life, no matter how much it hurts.
You cannot avoid it; if you try, you won’t live a fulfilled life.
Therefore, the sooner you realize this and put in place strategies to help you deal with disappointment, it will make the process less painful.
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Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.