Most of our failures are nothing more than a form of rejection and knowing how to deal with rejection will help you lessen pain and bounce back to your normal emotional state.
According to Dr. Phillip McGraw (or Dr. Phil as he is commonly called), rejection is the number one fear among human beings. One of the deepest needs of humans is the need to belong and to be accepted. When you are rejected in one way or another, you fail to satisfy this important need.
Some other common needs and wants such as success, and fears such as failure, do not appear to be connected to fear of rejection at first glance. However, when you look at them closer, you will see that success often can be interpreted as a form of acceptance, and failure can be seen as a form of being rejected.
Being rejected in love
One of the hardest areas to be rejected is romantic love. The suffering that comes with this type of rejection is considerably harder than in most other types. Interestingly, many people tend to love and desire those who aren’t as passionate about them. It seems like being rejected or merely fear of being rejected makes us more passionate about what we can’t have, making us suffer even more.
When you first realize you are being rejected, you may be unable to speak and feel physically sick. Physical symptoms and other symptoms such as being unable to sleep, work and concentrate can persist for several weeks. The intensity of negative emotions will gradually fade, although you will definitely continue having good days and bad days. Little by little you will learn to enjoy your life again and will start noticing other available options.
Practical steps on dealing with rejection
While time heals your wounds, here are some practical tips on how to deal with rejection, ease pain and make your recovery period significantly shorter.
- Tell yourself it will go because it really will. Keep reminding yourself that this is only temporary and you may be even thankful for this experience in the future.
- Engage in physical activities. Play tennis, take a class at a local gym. Physical activity forces us to concentrate outside of ourselves and live in the moment. This is the reason why we feel so alive when we are active, and this is the reason why exercise can be actually addictive. Unlike other addictions, this one is usually positive and beneficial for you.
- Focus outside yourself. Although it might be hard to do right now, avoid blaming and criticizing yourself. Be your own friend. If you catch yourself analyzing your past or yourself, gently draw attention away to something external.
- Learn something new. Learning a new skill can be challenging; in addition to obvious benefits, it helps us heal by keeping us busy and focused. To make things even better, learning a new skill may help discover new opportunities or meet new people.
- Travel. New places are always fun to explore and, just like suggestions above, new places will distract our attention from negative thoughts and add excitement to your life. In Swahili for the Broken-hearted Peter Moore travels all the way from Cairo to Cape Town to get over his breakup, which resulted in an epic adventure and… a book!
- Meet new people. This goes without saying. When you meet someone new, you want to put your best foot forward, and this will force you to pick yourself up. In addition, new people have new exciting stories to tell which helps you stay distracted.
- Consider counseling. If going through this difficult period alone is too much to bear, counseling or psychotherapy is a good way to help yourself deal with your emotions.For example, this website offers a science-based online therapy platform equipped with a number of tools to help you deal with your problem. This includes a personal therapist, worksheets, live chat, messages, a journal and other tools. All programs are based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a goal-oriented approach to treating emotional and mental health problems.
CBT is based on the idea that your feelings are caused by your thoughts and not so much by external stimuli like people, situations and events. It teaches you to change your thinking patterns and, consequently, helps change the way you feel. Because CBT focuses on what you can control — yourself and your thoughts — it is one of the most popular methods of dealing with various problems, including relationship problems.
- Use self-hypnosis. Hypnosis helps you access unconscious mind and shape it in ways you never knew was possible. If you are suffering from one-sided love, download Unrequited Love to help yourself think less of that person and start to feel interested in other activities.If you are in a committed relationship and suffer from being rejected by your spouse, download Mend Your Broken Heart.
What not to do
While a new relationship will definitely help to get over the past quicker, it is not a healthy way of dealing with rejection. This isn’t just bad for you, you will be potentially hurting other person’s feelings. Give yourself time. Don’t start a new relationship when you still have unfinished emotional business.