Ah, to feel the sharp sting of rejection; it’s something that everyone goes through at some point in life.
We all feel like Stanford Blatch sometimes (Sex in the City): “Puberty is a phase…fifteen years of rejection is a lifestyle.”
But what if you could not only deal with rejection and not let it hurt you; but you could actually come back even stronger than ever.
When most people think of rejection, their first thought is probably about dating. But the reality is there are all kinds of rejection.
Actors experience rejection on most of the auditions they go on. Salespeople experience so much rejection they become experts on the subject. And odds are, you experience rejection in your personal life at least a couple of times a week, even if it’s just as simple as someone not returning your smile at the grocery store.
No matter what type of rejection you face, it’s not the end of the world. As stressful and embarrassing as it seems in the moment, it’s never quite as bad as you think. Not only that, but rejection can actually help build you up and improve your mentality.
Still unsure and afraid of rejection?
Here are 9 tips to handle rejection and bounce back even stronger than ever.
How to Handle Rejection
1. Prepare Yourself
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is prepare yourself for rejection.
It’s going to happen.
I know you’d probably prefer not to think about it, but the fact is, if you’re prepared when it happens you will be able to deal with it a lot better.
You can prepare yourself by imagining it happening to you, your reaction, and what emotions you’re going to experience.
It doesn’t matter if it’s love or business, you need to be prepared for the possibility of being rejected.
2. Know the Odds
Let’s look at love for a moment–or perhaps attraction is a better word. Overcoming rejection in a relationship is a common scenario, but it still hurts every time.
Part of the reason behind that is because we often make the mistake of assuming that just because you like someone, they’re going to have the same feelings towards you. But that’s usually far from the case which is why dating rejection is so common.
And when you do the math and break it down by the numbers, rejection makes a lot more sense.
According to one study, the odds of finding love are around 1 out of 562.
While all that might seem a bit discouraging, the point is to realize that rejection is perfectly normal in some situations.
The fear or rejection is usually a lot worse than actually being rejected. And when you realize the odds of the situation, dealing with rejection is a bit easier.
3. Know When to Quit
The third tip we’ll offer is to know when you should quit. If you get rejected, don’t keep throwing yourself at the person (or job or sale). Know when you are beaten and stop throwing yourself against a brick wall; because it hurts!
Sometimes, the more you get rejected, the more strongly you want to force your way through objections and become accepted.
But that’s not the way it works.
If you get rejected (and you will) then take an unbiased look and determine if you should quit or not. Here’s a hint: in almost every case, the answer is yes.
Always remember, there’s a fine line between persistence and desperation.
4. Don’t Take It Personally
You should also know that in most cases, rejection has nothing to do with you personally. Sometimes when we get rejected, we feel like the very core of our being is the thing being rejected.
Usually, it’s something so superficial that you would laugh if you knew the reason.
For example, suppose that the cute guy or girl that you had been pursuing rejected you simply because you looked like their ex. You wouldn’t take that personally, would you?
But instead of thinking of those possibilities, we always assume the worst and feel like everything that we are is being attacked. Take the opposite approach.
The reality about rejection is it’s not about a flaw in you. It’s about the thoughts, feelings and perspective of the other person or people.
For instance, before becoming a billionaire talk-show host and entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey was fired as an evening news reporter. Did she take that rejection as a sign that she was the problem? Not at all. She went on to start her own talk show and be a huge success.
5. Consider Why You Were Rejected
You should also take a careful look at why you were rejected. In many cases, it’s impossible to know. However, in others, you may be able to figure out the reason if you think about it.
For example, if you were rejected because you came on too strong, then it might be possible to correct that in the future and avoid rejection for that particular reason.
Whenever you get rejected, sit down (after the grieving period) and try to objectively come up with reasons why you might have been rejected, evaluating each one carefully to see if that was the case.
And as difficult as it may be, you can always just ask the person who rejected you why they did it.
Keep in mind this isn’t acceptable in every situation.
For instance, if you’re feeling rejected in a relationship and the other person has tried to break up with you nicely, don’t keep digging. It might make the other person uncomfortable and put you both in an awkward situation.
On the other hand, if you were rejected for a job, it’s usually ok to ask the person you interviewed what you could’ve done better or why another candidate got the position. The key is to be genuine and don’t come off as vindictive or hostile.
6. Learn From the Experience
You also want to make sure that you learn from the experience. And understanding why you were rejected doesn’t always need to happen before you can learn from the experience.
There is always something to learn, even if you can’t pin down the reason for the rejection.
You should learn from your reaction if nothing else, so that in the future, when rejection happens, you’ll be able to handle it better.
Of course, if you can figure out why the rejection happened and then take steps to correct the behavior or attribute that got you rejected, that is preferable.
But don’t go too far down the rabbit hole. You don’t want to change something fundamental about yourself just because someone rejected you for it.
7. Welcome Rejection
The best way not to be upset when rejection happens is to welcome it.
If you can create a new mindset that allows you to see rejection as a positive thing–something that helps you become a better person and find out who you are–then you will be okay when rejection happens.
Not only will you expect it to happen, but you won’t mind at all when it does, and that can lead to powerful new thoughts and behaviors that you never thought possible.
Of course, it can be challenging to accept rejection gracefully, but with some practice it’s entirely possible.
8. Focus on New Things
Another thing that you can do after getting rejected is to focus on new things.
Not only does this allow you to forget about the rejection and allow it to heal, it also helps you to make new friends, learn new skills or whatever else the “new things” bring to your life.
You may not be able to keep it from hurting, but you can forget about it long enough for it to heal. And that’s done by creating new activities in your life, making new friends, and if you’re dealing with romantic rejection, maybe even dating if you feel up to it.
9. Talk to Someone
If all else fails then you can talk to someone.
Constant rejection can lead to depression, stress, anxiety and other conditions that can quickly send you in a downward spiral if left unchecked. And let’s face it, dealing with rejection is a lot more difficult when you’re trying to handle it all alone.
There are lots of different choices when it comes to someone to talk to. You may wish to speak to a colleague at work or a good friend about your rejection. Or you may actually want to pursue a path where you talk to a professional about your problems.
If rejection is affecting you mentally, and making it hard to function, there’s nothing wrong with talking to a therapist or another mental health professional about the problem.
In fact, they may be able to help you see things more clearly.
Rejection is a Part of Life
There’s a reason people are constantly looking for tips on how to get over rejection from someone you love or how to deal with job rejection. It’s something we all experience and nobody is immune to it.
Even the people you see that live seemingly perfectly lives have dealt with rejection at some point. But coping with rejection is what will ultimately allow you to thrive in life and become a stronger person afterwards.
No matter what type of rejection you face, just remember that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and this is just a small blip in the story of your life.