When most of us think of a rejection, we think of a terrifying, awkward, and embarrassing event that we would rather forget. However, this perception is based on idealized beliefs and fantasies rather than real life. In reality, a rejection is a process that enables us to see the truth in ourselves and others and can ultimately allow for true and compatible human connections to take place.
Below are 10 reasons on why and how you can use rejections to improve yourself and your relationships. Realizing these reasons will allow you to not only brush off rejections, but also to actually actively seek them out.
The only caveat in their underlying assumption is that the rejection is real. Real rejections come from you showing your real desire to become intimate with people you want in your life, and not try to play games or manipulate their perception of you. If you try to manipulate their perception of you by acting nice or as someone you are not, then no rejection will help you, and you might experience them time after time without any real personal and emotional development.
Without further ado:
1. When Done Properly, Repeated and Escalating Levels of Rejections Will Build Your Mental Resiliency.
Shaolin Monks seem to be impervious to pain due to a lifetime of repetitive training. Through gradual and escalating force, their bodies learn to adapt to pain. So is the mind when it is faced with repeated adversity.
The key to developing this mental resiliency is having the right mindset and also enduring the gradual exposure to greater and greater pain.
The right mindset means to establish a long-term objective that allows you to look beyond any temporary fear or pain of the moment. A gradual escalation of pain levels means that you start with the appropriate tolerable level of pain and slowly push yourself to experience more fear and pain.
Without a long-term objective, you will forever live from one terrifying moment to the next, forgetting why you are experiencing rejection in the first place. If you take on too much pain too fast, your mind will go into emergency mode and shut down critical thinking capabilities.
2. With the Right Amount of Personal and Environment Awareness, You Start to Gain the Right Perspective of Reality.
Cargo cults were isolated Pacific island tribes that received airdropped cargo by mistake. They turned to worship cargo planes and their operators thinking they were gods who brought them goods and technology from above. This is a classic case of “correlation does not mean causation.” Although this is comical in history, most of us subscribe to the same template of forming beliefs in our everyday lives.
If we experienced rejections early on in life, we tend to attribute that rejection as a reflection of ourselves.
It’s perfectly natural to do this, since our parents most likely used the threat of rejection to make us behave better. However, in real life rejections do not happen because we are “not good enough.” They happen because we are not compatible with others at that particular time.
This fact only starts to become more apparent to us as we collect more data by experiencing more and more rejections. Apart from that, we need to have the right level of awareness of ourselves and others to see how and why those rejections took place. Then and only then we will realize that it had very little to do with how we stack up, and more with random variables like timing, moods, and social settings.
3. Facing Rejection, or Just the Fear of It, Allows You to Start Delving in Reality.
Gaining the right perspective in reality is only the first step to accepting it. You need to fully embrace it and delve in its facts and consequences. Not everybody will want to be with you all the time. All things change. But at a slight moment in time, you may find somebody who is fully compatible with you.
The fear of rejection represents a fog that covers your vision of this reality. As long as you try to avoid it, you will always look for connections that shouldn’t exist. This will make you pursue unsustainable or outright bad relationships.
The simple reality is that you must filter through a crowd of people to find someone who you really want to be with, and wants to be with you. Facing rejections head-on will allow you to work through this task more efficiently.
4. A Rejection Represents Your Moment of Truth, of Which You Have Nothing to Hide.
What are your needs and what are the other person’s needs? Can you meet each other’s needs? These are the questions that you will need to answer when you are interacting with someone.
The more you suppress these needs in order to gain any validation, acceptance, attention, or affection, the more needy you will become in the long run.
Conversely, if you seek and accept the answers to those questions, you will not be needy, naturally. If you don’t meet the other person’s needs and that person doesn’t meet yours, move on. You have faced your moment of truth, and you will handle it with grace. You will not need to hide your flaws and insecurities. You will not need to hide your desires and needs.
5. Use Rejections to Learn about How You Can Do It Better next Time (You Learn More from Failures than from Successes).
Sometimes rejections do not happen to us due to an incompatibility, but due to our own incongruence in how we represent ourselves. We act incongruently when we don’t know (or forget) what we stand for. During these times, we appear confusing to others.
Confused by the major inconsistencies of the image we project, people will not accept us. This is a rejection no matter how you slice it. The important thing to do here is to learn from this experience so we can align ourselves and calibrate to the social environments better in the future.
Along the theme of “correlation does not mean causation,” a successful interaction may excite us, but it will also give us the false impression of our congruence. However, a rejection is always true. You will learn more from it than the temporary successes.
6. Real Rejections Take Real Personal Initiative and Ownership. Use This Personal Initiative as a Launching Pad.
Not many people, certainly not a majority, have enough personal initiative to experience a real rejection. Often, to gain attention from the people they are interested in, they will act nice, act like someone they are not, or just act plain weird. In turn, others will either become simple acquaintances or avoid them. They will not become intimate or reject (which is also an intimate experience) them outright.
However, you should be a person of truth and personal initiative. You seek to find intimacy, compatibility, and the necessary amount of rejections that come with the territory.
When you experience a real rejection, you know you have been true to your desires and impulses.
These impulses are encouraging signs of the fire of life within you that cannot be distinguished. Fanned on by the winds of rejection, that fire will grow stronger and launch you to ever bolder actions with greater intensity and focus.
7. Rejections Allow You to Confront Your Ugly Emotional Baggage Hidden underneath and Resolve Them.
You are a collection of needs and life experiences that formed beliefs. Some of those beliefs are harmful and hold you back from becoming the person that you want to be. They tend to be so deep-seated in your psyche that sitting around thinking and talking about them most likely won’t bring them to the surface.
Think about it, how would you know you were afraid of height until you climb a tree?
Rejection allows you to re-experience those childhood fears and beliefs that shackle you. However, with the power of rationality, you will begin to resolve those irrational fears and put those ghosts in their places. Without resorting to blaming, you will start to see the root cause of your self-limiting beliefs and make them melt away in your mind.
8. Use It to Filter out Those Who Are Not Hell-Yes.
Just as you are willing to face rejections as they are, you must also be willing to reject those who are not compatible, or whom you cannot decide if they want to be with you. The filter works both ways, and you must remember that.
9. Rejections Make the Hell-Yes Much Much Sweeter.
Not much needs to be said here. Your favorite food will taste much better if you don’t eat it every day, but after you haven’t had it in a while. Relish in this phenomenon.
10. Accepting Rejections Nonchalantly and Gracefully Creates Attraction, Even for the People Who Reject You.
This one seems counter-intuitive, but the reality about attraction is that it is not persistent. This means that a person can create it and destroy it. When you initiate and pursue, the other person might not be attracted or interested to start out with. Because of this, the other person might reject you, even if ever so politely.
Once you accept this rejection and brush it off, however, you show a lack of neediness. This lack of neediness, combined with the perceived “opportunity lost” phenomenon, will create an attraction in the other person that wasn’t there before. Most times, the other person will not act on this attraction. However, there’s been more than a few times that other people would change their mind on me.
This article originally appeared at www.thequintessentialman.com.