Rejection is one of those crappy things that everyone has to go through at some point in life. Unless you are currently living a dream where you are going through the universe followed by the word ‘Yes’ everywhere you go, it’s pretty certain that at some point someone somewhere has told you ‘No’.
Whether it’s a bad break up (#thankunext), a uni or college you wanted to go to, a job you wanted or a friend at school who is leaving you out – being rejected is a part of life that, more often than not, we suck at dealing with.
But, never fear. We’ve come up with this list of some reasons why it isn’t the worst thing in the world, and how you can continue to crush it after a setback.
1) Take a breath
When you first feel that rejection, it can feel like a punch in the stomach. Like when your best friend has decided they want to hang out with someone else and not you, or you get turned down for a date with your ultimate crush. It can feel really crap.
Instead of reacting in anger or begging or doing something else you might regret later down the line, take a moment to gather your thoughts and calm yourself down. If you need to, this is a great time to practise some breathing exercises. After taking a bit of a breather, you might find it isn’t quite so bleak, and can start formulating a bit of a plan to get back on track.
2) Talk to someone
When your crush has rejected you or you’re going through a break-up, possibly the best way to start to work through the shit associated with it is to try to open up to someone in your life about it and get it all off your chest. Your pals are sure to give you all the support and love you need, and will be there to help you see that there are plenty more fish in the sea.
Letting some other people in your life know what you are going through will mean they will be able to understand if you aren’t feeling or acting like your usual self and can point you in the right direction for when you are ready to accept it and move on.
3) Get on the road to acceptance
In some cases, there isn’t anything you can do to change someone’s mind to make the outcome more like something you want. Like, you can’t really get on the phone to a uni or a job and beg them to change their minds – it’s probably not gonna work. In cases like this, the only thing you can do is accept it.
Accepting rejection can be really tough, and sometimes, we just never really get over it. A great way to get on that road though would be to take a moment, and then write down all the other paths you can take. Looking at all your other possible options and amazing pathways you can take from here will not only help you feel better, but may even be grateful for the option to take another route.
4) Learn from it
No matter how bad it might feel right now, you can learn stuff from any rejection. For example, if you didn’t get a job you wanted, you can ask why. If you have found yourself at the end of a relationship, in a few months you might be able to look back on what went down and take something from that. If a friend has started to ignore you, there are lessons you can learn about maybe what you did to prompt that behaviour, or if you did nothing, there are lessons you can learn about what friendships might be bad for you.
Basically, no matter how much you might wish it weren’t true, every day is a school day.
5) Don’t let it control you
It’s super important to remember that there is a line between learning from it and letting your experience control you and all the choices you make. So, you could be rejected by a job you really wanted to get to make some money in your spare time. You could learn from this experience by getting some feedback on why you didn’t get it and trying to improve or change that for the next time you go for a job. But if you decide you never want to pursue work in that industry and you will never go into that shop/café/restaurant/area of town ever again – that is letting this one experience control your life.
It is completely natural after being rejected to feel like you need to take a break though – and this can be great for you. Whatever it was you have been rejected from, take a bit of time away from that part of your life and enjoy some time just for you.
6) Know when to quit
Of course, every time you don’t get what you want out of something, it doesn’t mean you have to quit. Sometimes, carrying on with something after experiencing rejection can be good for you – like if you have a setback at school or uni and decide to push through and you might get the grades you set out for after all.
Sometimes though, knowing when to call it a day in the face of rejection can be a good way to help you let go and move on. If you are finding that whatever is going wrong is really not working for you, take a step back and revaluate whether it is really worth carrying. If you think maybe it is not for you, have a think about all the other pathways that are open to you, and try to let it go.
7) Remember: everything happens for a reason
It might sound like a bit of a silly thing to say when you are feeling like total rubbish, but it is true. Everything happens for a reason. Not getting that job might land you a better one, not going into that uni or college might give you the greatest friends and experiences at a second choice option, falling out with a friend could show you who are really the best people in your life and enduring a break up might one day lead you to the best relationship you’ve ever had.
Rejection can be totally crap in the moment, but in the long run, it isn’t so bad.
Need help dealing with rejection? Speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here.
Need to talk?
Join the internet’s safe space