Learning to Embrace Rejection
It’s a natural part of life
The other day one of my stories was rejected from a publication on Medium for the first time. I was a bit surprised because I specifically wrote that story with that publication in mind. For a moment, I started to doubt my writing abilities. But after the initial shock, I reminded myself that rejection is a natural and unavoidable part of life. There comes a point in everyone’s life where they will be rejected or do the rejecting.
What’s important is learning how to deal with rejection. Nothing in life is perfect, so inevitably, things will go wrong. But learning how to cope with these moments benefits your self-esteem and mental health.
When I’m feeling down, it helps when I remember that nothing stays bad forever. Even if it seems like nothing has gone your way for a while, eventually your luck will change. Life has its ups and downs. Before you know it your bad luck streak will end. I also try to remember that everyone gets rejected at some point in their life. I’ve been rejected from dates, publications, colleges, and jobs. But none of those experiences are unique to only me. It’s an inescapable part of life. Just remember that if you need help, get help. There’s no reason to go through a hard time without support.
Sometimes the rejection isn’t about you. Maybe the timing was off or you just weren’t the right fit. Do you really want to work or be a part of something that isn’t right for you? Being rejected isn’t always a bad thing.
For several years of my life, many things went wrong. I was struggling in college due to having a few undiagnosed learning disabilities, I got fired from my first job, and my fiance dumped me. It was a rough time. However, I pushed through it and things started to work out. Because I had a hard time in college I decided to get a second degree since I needed more time to finish up my first one anyway. I went to a school where the cost per semester was the same no matter how many credits you took as long as you were full-time.
That extra year and second degree caused me to take a class that forced me to go to an exhibit. At that exhibit, I met a person who eventually helped me get my first job after college. If I hadn’t gone through the struggles I went through earlier, I wouldn’t have been at the right place at right time to meet someone who eventually became my coworker. Because my first job fired me, I ended up getting a new one that paid more and was actually in my field. I used that job as a reference for the job I got after college. And honestly, I dodged a bullet not marrying my ex.
How to Handle Rejection
Being rejected isn’t easy, but these few tips I use that may help.
- Acknowledge your feelings about your rejection.
Don’t try to suppress how you feel. Make sure you give yourself time to process your emotions about your rejection. Repressing your feelings is not a healthy way to manage any disappointment. The best way to deal with rejection is to deal with your feelings directly. Remember to go easy on yourself, putting yourself out there is a brave thing to do.
2. Put your rejection into perspective.
There’s a reason for everything. We can’t always get closure on a situation but re-evaluating what happened can help. The most important thing is to remember that rejection doesn’t define you as undesirable or unneeded. Just because someone views you in a negative way, doesn’t mean that they are right about you.
3. Learn from your rejection.
Every experience in life is a learning lesson. Take the information you’ve gathered from putting your rejection into perspective and use it to improve yourself if needed. If you were rejected from a job, and you realized that there’s a better way to write your cover letter, do that and try again with another job announcement. The most important thing is to never give up on yourself.
How to Be the Rejector
It’s not easy to reject someone, but there comes a time when it might be necessary. Here’s a list of tips suggested byCanadian Livingon how to reject someone politely.
- Try not to be hurtful, but be honest. Honestly is the best policy, especially in this scenario.
- Mentally prepare yourself for things to not go over smoothly. Expect that the person you’re rejecting may get upset. Allow them to express themselves, as long as it’s not violent or destructive.
- Do the rejection face-to-face, especially if this is a breakup. It’s more respectful and it allows the other person to see that you are serious.
- Avoid putting the blame on the person you’re rejecting. Try to stick with “I” statements to avoid an accusatory tone.
- Remember that feelings of anxiety or nervousness are normal before rejecting someone.
- Don’t wait for the right time. It will most likely never feel like the right time. Try not to put it off for too long. The longer you wait, the worse the situation may become.
- Avoid statements that may give the other person false hope. It can prolong the healing process for the other person and put you in a bad light.
I feel that I should also mention that ghosting is usually not a great way to deal with a person if you know them well. It’s probably for the best if you just are honest and upfront with them instead of hoping they eventually get the message. Ghosting can be just as hurtful as being open and honest about your rejection in the first place.
Rejection, whether you’re doing the rejecting or your the one being rejected, isn’t easy to deal with. But I’ve usually found that when I get rejected or go through any hard time in life, it usually works out for the best. The story that was rejected by that Medium publication was accepted into The Startup, a much larger publication. I’m very happy with how everything turned out. In the end, every disappointment is a blessing eventually.