Rejection does hurt, and it hurts real bad! Agreed. But, what next? Here is R-E-W-A-R-D-S, an acronym for a set of tips you can utilize to pull yourself back on track and continue with your life, and learn much more.
- REFRAME the situation: Try to become more aware of how you feel and think. Keep a track of what your thoughts are saying. It can be something like, “The person rejected me because I am no good, am ugly and not lovable.” Instead of this, you can reframe it to, “The person decided to reject me because I may not be compatible with them and we might not get along well together.” Also, a good practise is to try and not use extreme words, for example, ‘Nobody’, ‘Always’, ‘Never’ etc. This helps you to not get into catastrophizing and to look at the situation in a realistic way. So, just like you don’t like everyone on this planet, it is okay for few people to not like us! It does not necessarily mean you are bad, it just means that they have a different preference of people.
- EXPLORE your strengths: A typical habit people engage in, is to try and find out, ‘What is wrong with me?’ ‘why did the person reject me?’ ‘Nobody likes me’, ‘am bad’, etc. etc. Take a deep breath and see a big red STOP sign in your mind, and Stop that racing mind right there and get into the No Self-Criticism Mode! Instead, try to find out what are the good and desirable traits you have. This is a good time to focus on your strengths rather than making yourself feel low because of someone else’s decision.
- Make WAY for love: Take sometime and try to take a midway and make some way for love. This means you don’t have to completely shut yourself to love and relationships. This also means that you don’t have to suddenly jump onto another relationship. Feeling of rejection would need time to settle and fade.
- ACCEPTANCE is bliss: A very common response to rejection is to deny it has happened and to keep fighting with the facts. You might try to say bad things about the person, hate the person, or forget the person who rejected you. However, that could all be a lie you tell to yourself. If you love this person, denying that feeling or reacting in the opposite way would not really help. It is highly likely that this person would continue to hold a special place in your heart. Let that be there, don’t fight with it so much, it won’t help. Let them have that small place there. It is okay to like someone. So respect that decision of yours. Things haven’t turned out well, but that wasn’t in your hands. You did all you could. Acceptance of these facts creates a sense of relief which can be a positive space for inviting better experiences.
- REVEAL and express: Try to express how you feel, this can be done through talking to a friend, a loved one, or a professional (a counselor, or a psychotherapist). You can also utilize other ways of expression like engaging in arts, sports, dance, music, and/or writing (your thoughts, or writing never-to-be-sent letters). It is necessary to vent out feelings and all that you are thinking in such a situation. Expressing can bring a lot of relief. It would also help you get an alternative perspective to view the same situation and can be very insightful.
- DIG for open DOORS: A rejection is like a door being closed. But, hold on! there are many more doors, and one of them might have just opened. You cannot control someone else’s decision or choice and a good way to cope with it is to channelize yourself to utilize resources that are in your control. So, try to look for other opportunities in different aspects of your life and try to channelize your energy in moving through this open door and making use of opportunities.
- SEARCH for alternative viewpoints: Try not to take rejection too personally. A rejection need not necessarily mean that there is some issue with you. It can very well be otherwise. The other person might already be in another relationship, might not be prepared for a relationship, or have some other priorities. So, it need not necessarily mean you are not likeable.
Here is a practical tip by a wise soul,
“Don’t expect the world to treat you fairly just because you’re a good person. it’s like expecting a lion not to attack you because you’re a vegetarian.”
It would also help to understand that there is nothing in the human brain like ‘forgetting’. it does not exist. We say we have forgotten someone or something, and that it does not affect us, when we move and shift our focus to other thoughts, that are helping us with our life. It is for the very fact that we realize, these memories disturb us and not help us. So, instead of fighting with the negative memories, try to replace them with new and positive ones.
A wise soul once said,
“The harsh truth is, sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller and emotionally stronger than you ever were before.”