No one likes rejection. It’s a blow to our ego. It chips away at our pride and self esteem. The pain is not just mental but sometimes it seems to hurt physically as well. Ironically, the neurological pain associated with rejection can mimic physical pain. Scientists believe that the physical pain so closely relates to the mental pain that a pain reliever, Tylenol, for example, can actually soften the blow.
Understanding and recognizing this mental pain can help us deal with the inevitable lows naturally, without medication. Humans are social animals, living in tribes or in social packs throughout history. When faced with hunting for food, finding a mate and protecting ourselves from the elements, rejection could easily be a matter of life and death. Today, pain is our body’s early warning sign to protect us from the sting of social rejection.
When faced with rejection, there are three things to remember that will help you deal with the pain.
- Each situation is different so don’t overgeneralize by saying “everyone” or “always”. Stay positive.
- Try not to take the rejection personally. It’s not your fault.
- The rejection does not say anything about your as a person. Don’t placed a label on yourself.
I can be very reactive. I often get emotional and, I have to admit, I do take things personally. I’ve found that if I let the situation lie, giving it time to settle, I don’t give myself a chance to overreact. I can later reflect on the better course of action.
J.K. Rowlings, best selling author of the Harry Potter series, was a single mother living on welfare when she wrote her first novel, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. She went from living on state benefits to a multi-millionaire within 5 short years.
Vera Wang competed at the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships but wasn’t able to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic figure skating team. As the editor of Vogue, she was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. Wang is now a notable wedding dress designer with an estimated worth of over $1 billion.
Don’t let the fear of rejection keep you from stepping out and trying something new. Rejection is inevitable. Without it, we wouldn’t grow and become stronger.
How has rejection shaped you in your life? Are you able to use it positively rather than negatively? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.