For most of us, rejection is painful. It can cause us to shy away from something and never attempt it again, or it can feed our motivation and determination. Why is it that rejection can feel so debilitating? According to an article written in Forbes Magazine by Nicole Fisher, the same chemicals in the brain that respond to physical pain are the same chemicals that respond when our brain processes rejection.
Social Media’s impact on rejection.
Years ago, before social media and online dating, it was easier to avoid constant rejection. We were most likely rejected by our friends or relatives and had more time to process between occurrences. Now, there is an opportunity to be rejected repeatedly. Our post doesn’t get many likes on Facebook or Instagram, or our Tinder hasn’t located any matches for several days = feelings of constant rejection.
Rejection Internal or External?
Even though rejection may come from an external source, the most damaging part is increasing our own suffering by internally destroying our self-esteem. We say hurtful things to ourselves, we tell ourselves we deserve this or we will never be good enough. We compare ourselves to others and their successes, only to focus on our shortcomings. Rejection can also destroy our mood and lead to anger, aggression and anxiety.
What are some healthy ways to cope with rejection?
1. There is nothing wrong with analyzing what happened and identifying what you would do if this happened again. However, do NOT continue to criticize yourself. It’s one thing to recognize your emotions, it’s another to ignore them or be consumed by them.
2. Make a list of your positive qualities. It is far too easy to focus on all of the things we aren’t good at than to identify all the things that make us unique and interesting. It might also be helpful to ask a friend or family member what they like and admire about you.
3. Use positive affirmations. Here are a few examples.
4. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes, it is more about being the right “fit” than it is about a personal issue. Remind yourself that it may mean that what you have to give isn’t needed by that particular person at that moment.
“Rejection isn’t failure. Failure is giving up. Everyone gets rejected. It’s how you handle it that determines where you’ll end up”.