Rejection. It’s that feeling we all fear. Whether it is professionally, socially or in relationships, it is something that everyone has experienced one way or another. Studies that have been carried on romantic rejection have shown that the pain felt from a break up can be compared to that of a drug addiction. Experiencing this emotion can cause physical and emotional pain, highlighting just how serious rejection can be. That’s not to say that we all experience rejection in the same way, however, whether we are consciously aware of it or not, it’s something that affects us all one way or another.
Rather than accepting rejection as a life-altering experience that stays with us forever, how about looking at rejection as something that we have made to be far bigger matter than what it actually is. It could be that something else in our lives affected us and we have used this one experience of romantic rejection to fuel that fire and reinforce to ourselves that ‘we are not good enough’.
Try this. Think back to that time you felt romantically rejected. It could be with a crush, in a relationship, in the bedroom or an experience with your partner where you felt they didn’t take you into consideration. Now instead of viewing these as experiences of rejection, how about splitting it into 2 separate lists – what really happened and what you felt happened.
It could be that a partner decided that they needed a break from the relationship and this lead to you feeling that you were not good enough. However, if we look at what really happened and what you took away from the situation, it splits it into facts and feelings. Perhaps they needed a break for themselves because they felt they were not ready or they had too much going on for them to focus on a relationship wholly.
What you felt was the ‘story’ that was created to justify the situation to yourself – an invalidation of your self-worth. What we make of a situation defines how we let this affect us. If we focus on the facts of what happened, rather than the ‘story’ that we have created, we may be able to limit how much of the experience we let run our lives.
We’re all still reeling from that childhood crush we had that never liked us back. But the next time you experience rejection ask yourself this – was it really a reflection on our character or was it just one of those things that didn’t work out and really had nothing to do with us at all?