Coping with Rejection

Here is a subject I do feel like an expert in. Rejection. The stinging rebuke. An emotional moment where your ego falls apart and your self esteem takes a nose dive. Your stomach turns and a shudder crawls up inside you. Every person in life, rich or poor, sick or well faces this. I am here to tell you something. You are not alone.

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Starting from childhood, rejection rears its ugly head. We find rejection in our parental relationships, sibling relationships and school. This is the fertile ground that shapes our future selves. Coping mechanisms should be instilled within us during these times to let you know life will get hard. Some people might not accept who you are. Too often parents coddle their children without teaching  valuable lessons of how to handle this state of affairs. Kids should learns how to deal with these situations. But many people in America and across the world do not get an excellent upbringing. This sets people up for all types of mental problems in the future. No I am not a doctor but I can tell you, if you have poor coping skills in life, you will not be able to handle dating, or getting a job. Life will pass you by and you will be on the outside looking in on this small screen here.

Man rejected
A man is worried by a rejection printed with a rubber stamp

Several ways you can deal with rejection are:

  1. Know who you are as a person. Face it, we often go through life just experience it without internalizing anything. Movies flutter in and out of our heads. Books devoured without application. Music dances in our ear and does not move the soul. Take time to be with yourself and know yourself as a person. Figure out exactly what you like and dislike. Do not just watch that movie, dissect it, tear it apart. Find out what stirs your soul in a song. Read to nourish who you are as a person. Most importantly spend time with yourself. Once you figure out who you are as a person you will know your own self worth. This is hard as often people will judge us and tell us what we are, what our worth is to society. You need to change that and truly show them what is deep within you.
  2.  ​Understand others and practice empathy. Too many times we blame our own shortcoming for why we did not get a job. Or we get the nasty break up letter telling us of our problems. You need to understand others and what they go through  to better cope with your own feelings of rejection. Often people lash out at you in hurtful ways, not knowing their own reactions caused you to feel rejected. Employers are human too. They go off of what works in the past and will not give someone a chance due to simple things. Maybe you did not get the job because the employer only hires people who golf? You do not know and because you cannot empathize with them means you should not let the rejection eat you. Next time instead of taking rejection too personal, try and understand why the other person is rejecting you.​
  3. Express your feelings of rejection. It is not a good idea to keep your mental state of hurt bottled up. This is why you must seek a way to not just distract yourself, but express who you are as a person. Music, writing, dancing, illustrating and other pastimes help us to express what is inside. Our society has rejected these fine arts not knowing how critical it is to who we are as humans. I believe our world society suffers from a lack of value in the fine arts. If you have no ways of expressing yourself creatively, then play a game which allows you to be creative. The popularity of Minecraft is not a fluke. Humanity needs to express who they are, not just in a smile but in our arts and the games we play.
  4. Know your limitations. This goes back to number one, knowing yourself. Sometimes we do stretch our boundaries and we fail to accomplish a task. Does this mean we are a bad person for failing? No. Know your limitations and push the boundary. The second part of knowing your limitations is pushing the boundaries of who you are. We cannot grow as a human being without pushing the boundaries of who we are. Many times we will fail at whatever endeavor we pursue. But this leads to the last point.
  5. Try again. This is where sheer stubbornness and will come into play. DO NOT let rejection tear you down and push you to the side. Rise up to the occasion and prepare yourself. Know who you are, understand the second party, and do it again. Sometimes we need a break. Take your break, this is not a race unless YOU make it so. Writers know what I am talking about. It is hard seeing all those rejection slips and emails from publishers who dislike your manuscript for reasons unknown. Try again and you might surprise yourself. Hope springs eternal from within.

There is no cure for rejection. It happens to all, rich or poor, healthy or sick. One final piece of advice I have for you is surrounding yourself with good, empathetic and kind hearted souls. Someone willing to offer you tough love advice. Where can one find such people? Away from all the jealous idiots who hate your efforts in the first place.

Written by Richard Leon

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