We reject things on a daily basis — we reject items we don’t want, ideas we don’t like and opportunities we don’t see fit. Rejection is as much a part of our world as is approval. It drives a healthy system of competition and ensures a high standard of quality. But what happens when we as human beings reject each other?
Rejection comes as one of the most brutal stakes to the heart because it deals a direct blow to our ego. The ego is the inherent part of the self which holds intact our pride, esteem and self-worth. When the ego is bruised, a core element of our being is damaged. We often feel reduced to a lesser versions of ourselves. We automatically begin to blame ourselves, assuming there must be something wrong with us and criticizing the behavior that led to our rejection.
Of the many forms of rejection, being rejected in love is the most agonising
One of the most difficult things i have ever experienced is being rejected in romantic love – Its hard. The suffering and emotional pain that comes with this type of rejection is considerably hard, i mean, i literally feel pain in my heart when i think about it.
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 might be in denial until realization dawns on you and then you are unable to speak and you could feel physically sick. Physical symptoms and other symptoms such as being unable to sleep, eat, 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.
1. 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.
2. Engage in physical activities.
Play tennis, take a class at a local gym. For me i took up writing and freelancing. 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.
3. Focus outside yourself.
Although it might be hard to do right now, avoid blaming and criticising yourself. Be your own friend. If you catch yourself analysing your past or yourself, gently draw attention away to something external.
4. 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.
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 the book “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!
6. 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.