Dealing with Rejection

rejection: 1. the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc. 2. the spurning of a person’s affections.

Hi Southernistas I always like for my post to be uplifting, encouraging, and full of fashion so I try to avoid dark and heavy topics that may be triggering for some of you but I feel the need to talk about rejection. In this thing called life we are going to face rejection and quite frankly it sucks! We face it on our jobs when that presentation we worked so hard on or that great idea gets rejected by the boss or client, job searches, in our dating life (for those of you who have one), in familial situations, even with our friends we can face rejection I mean you want to try the new Asian fusion restaurant and everyone else wants to hang out at the same old same old.

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No one likes to be dismissed or spurned and I like to think of myself as an expert in this field. In school I was the one who was always picked last for EVERYTHING, I sat alone at lunch. Even in college I had a wide circle of friends but whenever we went out all of my friends were approached and I was just…there and I was like “hello over here.” I was always the wallflower! After college the number of thank you but no thank you letters I received in my job search really made me think “did my mom just waste thousands of dollars on my expensive college education for nothing?” Why aren’t companies breaking down my door to hire me?

As a Christian many times my well meaning brothers and sisters in Christ will say “they rejected Jesus and His apostles so expect the same” and while I know they mean well this is not always what I want or wanted to hear. I know they are trying to be encouraging but there are times I reject this because I don’t need a “cliché” I need more than a tried and true saying. I am always so much more appreciative when I can talk with a fellow believer and they don’t start with they rejected Jesus but they really pour into me with words of encouragement and when needed correction to help me deal with the rejection. They give me a Jesus perspective on the rejection that I can’t see at the time because I am so wounded by the rejection.

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As I got older I found myself slowly withdrawing from any situation that would lead to me being rejected or saying yes to everything so I wouldn’t be rejected because a person can only take so much! Rejection hurts no matter how gently someone tells you no although there are those who take pleasure in rejecting people. When we start to fear being rejected we find ourselves in a position of always saying yes which leads to over commitment and being taking advantage of by some truly awful people who feel no guilt at using you. This fear of rejection to the point of closing yourself off from people or either saying yes to everything is called rejection sensitive dysphoria which is defined as People who have an emotional reaction to negative judgments, exclusion, or criticism beyond what most people feel. While this is not a medical or a recognized mental health issue it is a serious and real thing that can hinder your growth as a person.

So here are some of my suggestions for dealing with rejection:

  1. Know that rejection is a part of life and there is nothing you can do to avoid rejection. You are going to be rejected its how you deal with the rejection that’s important.
  2. Some of the most famous people have suffered a lot of rejection but it didn’t stop them you have to be persistent. Remember that no can lead to a greater yes in a greater career. J.K. Rowling was not an overnight success.
  3. Look at the rejection as a blessing in disguise. Sure that guy/girl turned you down but then you meet “the one” and realize you had a lucky escape. That so called dream job or promotion you didn’t get? Then you discover it was more or a nightmare than a dream…whew!
  4. You are allowed to feel and be hurt when you are rejected but not wallow in self pity. The worse advice I’ve ever received was to suck it up and move on like it never happened. NO! Give yourself permission and a time limit (I give myself 24–48 hours) to be hurt, sad, angry, or whatever you’re feeling then move on. I’m not saying when the time limit is up the feeling just disappear they don’t but you’re able to function better and have perspective. If it requires therapy seek help but don’t act like it didn’t affect you! Hear speaks the voice of experience.
  5. Reach out to your tribe! When you’ve been rejected there is nothing like having those who know you and love you best surround you with love, prayer, encouragement, and guidance! Lord knows where I’d be without my Mom, daughter, church, and besties Lisa & Laura!
  6. Be open to rejection and dare I say embrace it! Yes I said it be open to rejection be willing to approach that person, apply for that job, pitch that idea to your boss do whatever it is knowing there is a chance you will be rejected but you’ll walking away knowing you tried and that is half the battle!
  7. Turn the rejection into a positive! Some of the richest people in the world started their business because they were rejected so they struck out on their own and the rest is Microsoft history!
  8. Use that rejection to work on you and better yourself. Sometimes rejection can reveal something about you that needs improvement.
  9. I can’t say it enough and I know I’ve already said it in #4 but find a qualified and good therapist that can help you deal with rejection. They can give you the tools you need to help you deal with rejection and if you suffer with rejection sensitive dysphoria.

Last but not least try not to take every rejection so personally. It took me years to learn how to deal with rejection and see the pluses and not see it as God punishing me. I can honestly look back over my 51 years of life and see that many of the rejections I received was the best thing that ever happened to me. If I had got that job, stayed with that guy just to be in a relationship, maintained that friendship, and so many other things that were harmful to me I wouldn’t be where I am now and who I am. I don’t think I would be here. There is no doubt Jesus is infinitely more wise than I will ever be and knows what is best for me!

So just know rejection is a part of life but it doesn’t have to define your life or cause you to miss out on what’s to come!

Until next time Southernistas!

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