Everyone has felt the sting of rejection. From having someone say no to your love to a gatekeeper rejecting your creative vision. No one is immune from the pain of a stab in the heart.
Have you ever wondered why rejection hurts so very badly? What is it about being rejected that makes us want to disappear, make it all go away, and stop the hurting?
It turns out, the pain of rejection may have its roots in our days living in tribes. At that time, no one could survive to be on their own – our tribes served as our lifeline. If the tribe ostracized us, that would mean certain death. So being rejected essentially was a death sentence. You were much more apt to change your ways to avoid rejection to remain a member of the tribe.
Suffering rejection also damages how we view ourselves and makes us act out in anger. We no longer “belong,” and so much of our identity and humanity is tied up in belonging.
One of the reasons it’s so hard to get over being rejected is that it usually creates a response where we become incredibly critical of ourselves. When we get into that negative mindset, it becomes effortless to begin negative self-talk, over-react to other criticisms (real or imagined), and start a negative downward spiral.
There is a lot we can do to stave off the worst of the feelings when rejection hits. We need to be aware of how we’re thinking, feeling, acting, and reacting.
Here are three great tips that will help you bounce back from rejection with a stronger-than-ever sense of self-worth.
3 Tips to Rebound from Rejection
Say no to negativity
Whether it’s your negative self-talk, or thoughts you’re having during your day, tell yourself that you will stop dealing with yourself negatively. Every time you find yourself having a negative thought, or self-talk, acknowledge that you had the thought with no judgment. (I.e., saying to yourself, “You’re so stupid for talking to yourself negatively” does no good.) Now, turn the negative thought around into a positive one. Turning negative into positive takes some practice, but isn’t difficult at all, because nearly every single situation has a silver lining if you look hard enough.
Concentrate on what you’re good at
One of the best ways to boost your self-worth after a rejection is to take part in doing things you love, and that you’re good at. Whether it is art, sports, or playing with your kids – if you’re good at it, then do it. This will help you negate the feelings of rejection because you’ll be feeling so good about what you’re doing!
Go get social
Go out and be around people you like, who like you back. Being social, too, will help minimize those bad feelings of rejection, because you’ll have proof that you’re likable and that people enjoy being around you.
Rejection will not stop for as long as you are taking chances. However, the time it hurts is manageable with the above tips!