We often talk about the look of love. Two people locking eyes with each other across a crowded room. A couple gazing at each other on a first date, oblivious of their surroundings. If recognizing romantic interest is possible, can we also recognize rejection? And if we do, how do we respond? Each one of us has faced rejection at some point in time. Though they can be painful, it also provides us an opportunity to introspect.
The misconceptions, bad behavior, and hard feelings surrounding this issue can sometimes create deep wounds. Many suffer needlessly because of it. As a result, “rejection” is an important topic for successful and respectful dating and relating. It also has two sides – managing the rejecting behavior of others and declining a request from others.
It is time to reverse some of the misconceptions surrounding the topic and help individuals avoid the negative emotional experiences that often accompany it.
Rejection is a Part of Trying
Getting rejected has a surprisingly good side to it, and that’s the fact that you’re putting yourself out there. Trying and failing is the best sign that you’re attempting new things and getting out of your comfort zone.
It’s also important to remember that you can keep trying, despite this particular rejection that has slowed you down a little bit. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show suggested, “Give it a little time. But getting back and trying dating again will not only give you a chance to experience success vs. rejection. But you will become slightly better able to handle the feelings should they occur again.”
Your Pain is nothing but your desire to be with them – and that is okay
The intensity of the pain you feel when you’re rejected mirrors the intensity of the joy you’re capable of feeling. It’s the clearest evidence there is that someone meant a great deal to you and that you pursued them with an open heart. Instead of thinking rejection is proof, there’s something wrong with you, let it serve as confirmation you’re capable of loving deeply and dreaming your wildest dreams.
Live Well and Be Happy- Best Revenge
If you are turned down, you may feel small. Expect to be visited by the temptation to console yourself by making someone else feel even smaller than you. Greet the temptation, make it a cup of tea, and let it pass. After being dumped, it can be fun to fantasize about revenge. The best revenge is living well. Take as long as you need—a month, a year, a decade. You’re not on a schedule. Many poems and songs will speak to you more directly now. How we come across an artwork changes how we take it in, so maybe you should go hunting for something that appeals to you.
You can read books like “The Glass Essay” by Anne Carson, Against Happiness by Eric Wilson, Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Watch Hal Hartley’s movie Surviving Desire, and listen to the philosopher Lucy Allais discussing forgiveness.
It’s not you, it’s them
Typically, rejection has nothing to do with you. It’s just a projection of what they want, need, and what their life experiences are. That first date couldn’t be enough to know you better; actually, they don’t really know about you. It is not your reflection and it says nothing about you. It does not define us unless we allow it. We must never allow these feelings to consume us, and instead, we must use them as an opportunity to grow stronger.
You know your value for them
If someone chooses to focus only on your shortcomings and not celebrate all of what makes you great, they’re ignoring your best qualities. And if they harbor distorted perceptions of you that you know aren’t true, they’re making you out to be someone you’re not. In either case, they don’t actually see you very well.
If you’re being honest with yourself, do you really want to be with someone who looks at you the way that they do? And more importantly, why would you give someone with such a skewed perspective the authority over how you feel about yourself?
Get feedback about how they feel
Image Courtesy: imageflip.com
Sometimes the reason behind all this has some value. Maybe it calls out something that you really do need to work on, especially when it comes to creating the kinds of intimate relationships you truly desire. You can, therefore, interpret the fact that someone brought it to your attention as a kindness (even if they didn’t do so in a compassionate way). Because if you can get over the sting you feel that this particular quality was the reason you were rejected, you can start to actually improve it — for your sake, and for the sake of your future relationships.
Learn to Let Go and Move On
Some can’t just handle rejection and instead continue to persist and pursue the same people, hoping that maybe there will be a change of heart. Notwithstanding, sometimes it is better to just accept the rejection and move on to better things. Hopes and persistence can be a good thing however, they can give you the wrong ideas about starting a relationship. The last thing you want to do is pursue too much in something that may not be meant to be.
Let’s gain some perspective here. There are billions of people on this planet. There are countless dating apps, events, and opportunities to meet new people. You need to develop an abundance mindset. You should believe that no matter what happens, there is someone else to meet who is going to be even better than the last. This attitude applies to everything in your life. Instead of allowing rejection to immobilize you, see it as a chance to be free and explore all the possibilities.
It may be best for all parties
If someone else is making a choice they feel is best for them, who are you to say otherwise? Insisting they continue the relationship asks them to deny what’s true for them about it. It doesn’t make them happy, and it’s not what they want anymore. As difficult as it might be to accept this, and regardless of what potential you might still be able to see with them, you truly wouldn’t be happy in the long run with someone who’s not content staying with you.