If there is one thing that most people can’t stand, one thing that almost always gets an intense, emotional response, it’s rejection. We can’t stand rejection. It hurts us. It angers us. And it can make us incredibly insecure.
There are some people who get rejected left and right and can continue living as if nothing happened. Whether they’re trying to find a significant other or close a business deal, they manage to pick themselves up and continue on their merry way. They brush it off. They don’t take it personally.
Unfortunately, not all of us are so impervious to rejection. Not that we aren’t capable of it, but we choose not to be. Or rather, at some point or other, we established a certain response as our go-to, and we never bothered to alter that response moving forward.
Rejection happens. Even to the best of us. It’s how you react to rejection that makes all the difference.
Let me give you two scenarios, and let’s see if you can tell which one warrants a response of feeling rejected.
Scenario 1: You go out to a bar on the weekend with your friends. You’re all having a good time, chatting and having a couple of drinks, when you see a beautiful stranger at the other side of the room. You decide to come up to him or her and start a conversation.
However, this person isn’t interested in talking to you. This person doesn’t give you a reason. He or she just isn’t interested.
Feeling rejected, you walk back over to your group of friends and spend the rest of the evening dwelling on how rejected you now feel. You try and participate in conversations, but your mind is stuck on that single, brief moment of rejection.
Scenario 2: You’re in love. You’ve been in love for quite some time now and are ready to take things to the next level. You decide that you’re going to make an extra copy of your house key and give it to the one you care about so much.
Unfortunately, he or she didn’t see the relationship going in the same direction. Your significant other likes you, but he or she doesn’t love you and doesn’t want to lead you on. So he or she breaks things off altogether.
You’re heartbroken. You cry for days, maybe even weeks. You become a hermit. You start eating ice cream by the bucket — basically punishing your body, trying to break it just as your heart is broken.
So which of the two responses to rejection was warranted? The answer is neither.
It took me a while to understand this, but here’s the truth: Rejection is nothing. Not that it doesn’t exist, because it certainly does. But it’s nothing. It has no impact on you unless you let it have an impact on you. It carries no weight on its own; it’s you that’s weighing down on you. Nothing and nobody else.
Sometimes, rejection isn’t so straightforward. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen all at once in a single moment, but is spread out over months, even years.
You can be in a relationship for ages and experience a constant feeling of rejection. Maybe your significant other isn’t giving you enough attention. Maybe he or she has a tendency to cancel plans and always gives you a reason why, but never one you want to fully accept as truth. There are countless signs that let you know the one you’re dedicating yourself to isn’t reciprocating said dedication.
But you already know this person. You can pick up on his or her cues without having me explain them to you. You just need to open your eyes and see the situation for what it is.
You see, most people develop such an aversion to rejection that, without even realizing it, they block out all the signs. We all see the signs, but we choose not to see them, if you know what I mean. We fool ourselves into believing that someone cares when in fact this person doesn’t. We don’t want to be rejected.
But why? Why don’t you want to be rejected? Seriously. Take a second and answer the question.
I already know the answer. It’s not that you don’t want to be rejected; you don’t want to feel rejected.
But is rejection a rejection if you don’t feel rejected? While the act of rejection itself does exist, if we don’t allow ourselves to be moved by it, then it doesn’t really matter, does it? If we don’t feel it, if we aren’t hurt by it, then does it really exist? Objectively, sure. But let’s be honest. If you don’t feel or experience something for yourself, then it might as well not exist at all. Because to you, it doesn’t exist. It isn’t a part of your world.
And because of this, you won’t and can’t be moved by it.
Easier said than done, right? Wrong. It isn’t that difficult. Not as long as you understand one thing: While people can sometimes force you to do things, what they cannot do is force you to think things.
You are in control of your mind and your thoughts. You are in control of the way you react, the way you feel, your emotions, the way you think. You are in control. No one else.
Rejection doesn’t make you feel like crap; you make you feel like crap. Rejection is an action, not an emotion. You may not be able to control rejection, but you certainly can control the way you mentally and emotionally respond to rejection.
If you believe that you are being rejected, then you probably are. But who gives a sh*t? Last time I checked, there were over 7 billion people in this world. I say tell him to go f*ck himself, and give someone else a shot at being your life partner.