Everyone is charming and amicable when things are going their way. It’s easy to put on your social mask, when you want to please or win over somebody. When the cards don’t always work in your favor, when you find yourself at the losing end of a deal, when shit hits the fan, then that’s when the real you comes out. I always learn more about people from how they deal with difficulties or obstacles that are thrown their way. The way people handle rejection tells me a lot about them, and this made me aware of the fact that the way I handle rejection must say a lot about me as well.
If you are in touch with your emotions, you must have fallen in love with at least one person in your life. If you are in touch with your humanness, you must have had your heart broken, and you must have broken hearts. Love is probably one of the biggest, if not the most important life lesson because it is about soul work. Relationship difficulties, rejection and heartbreak are painful, but they accelerate your personal growth. Love shows you who you really are, if you are willing to introspect and self-reflect as to what caused the problems in the first place, rather than pushing all the blame onto your partner.
To simplify this, let’s split the way various kinds of people handle rejection into three different categories.
In my experience, these people are probably the worst. You ignore them. They don’t leave you alone. You let them down politely with an arbitrary excuse, so as not to hurt their feelings. They still don’t get the hint. Then you tell them the real reason. They think that ‘no’ is code word for trying harder. They try to change themselves to fit into the ‘perfect’ version of who they think you would admire (because they don’t really love themselves, they don’t even know themselves.) When that doesn’t work, then they try to ‘save’ or ‘fix’ you, because they think that if only you would understand how you’re meant to be together, everyone would be happy. They settle for being just an option, because they don’t believe in themselves.
People like that are secretly hoping that you can fill some magical void inside them, that you can add value to their life, that you are responsible for their happiness, because they can’t seem to give it to themselves. They expect too much from love, and too much from you, and that’s why they’re always disappointed.
These people are entitled. They think that because they are good-looking, or have social status, or make a lot of money, they deserve anything that they want. They’re not used to rejection. They’re used to buying and charming their way into things that they desire. They’re used to immediate gratification. They’re accustomed to getting their way. Their expectations are high and often unrealistic, because their sense of self is tied to their ego. They want everything without being everything themselves.
When something that they want is denied to them, they are unable to respect independence of thought. They do not respect another person’s point of view, because it makes them feel powerless, it makes them feel weak. They react angrily, vengefully, passive aggressively or put on a show of hostile indifference. They may be successful in other areas of their life, but they are emotionally immature.
These are the people who have healthy self-esteem and self-respect. They do not base their sense of self-worth on superficial characteristics such as social and financial status. They are secure because they have a strong foundation of values based on moral integrity, emotional stability, and mental resilience. These people handle rejection the best, and actually make the people who reject them doubt themselves, and re-question their decision.
They don’t push and pressurize people to commit to them. They don’t think they’re deserving of ‘special’ treatment. They don’t cry or convince to commit to them. They don’t seek validation or approval, because they are enough for themselves. They have worked on discovering and accepting their authentic selves. Their buttons can’t be pushed easily, because they are aware of their own insecurities and weaknesses. If they have made a mistake, they apologize, and try to empathize and work things out. Truly secure people don’t explain why they want respect, they remain polite and leave.
They understand that someone’s lack of interest in them is not always a reflection of who they are as a person. It is simply a matter of perspective. They don’t pull down the other person, and they don’t pull down themselves. They don’t take rejection personally, because they know that they are worthy of love and respect.