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Life

How to Deal with Rejection

Did you get a rejection letter from that job you were applying for? Did you recently get turned down by someone you like? Did you not get invited to that social event you saw on everyone’s Snapchat? Did a certain someone not “like” your post on Instagram? Rejection comes in many forms, large or small. One thing that always seems to stay the same is that it hurts more than we expect it to. We end up digging our finger deeper into our wounds and lament in the reasons why we didn’t get the results we wanted. Ultimately, the question that pops up is, “Am I not good enough?” I know that was an immediate question I asked myself when I received two rejection letters while also still reeling from an unrequited relationship. It’s tough to not automatically assume things about ourselves because it’s human nature to self-assess and nitpick our shortcomings. 

“The greatest damage rejection causes is usually self-inflicted and just when our self-esteem is hurting most, we go and damage it even further.”

It’s important to recognize that rejection is a necessary part of life and it’s a lesson we all need to learn at some point. Here are just some of the things to keep in mind as you deal with rejection:

Recognize that many factors come into play and rejection does not equate your self-worth. I know it’s a tough relation to distinguish, but just because you did not get that position or that person did not accept you, does not mean you are any less of a human being. 

Some people take rejection harder than others and that’s okay. Everyone has their own path moving forward but we shouldn’t judge other people for that. We all understand that it can be difficult. But just because you’re already past the forest, don’t assume everyone else is out of the forest too.

Along with the previous point, give yourself a break if you are not recovering as fast as you were hoping for. Especially for the vets who’ve experienced rejection over and over again. That shit can get hard. Don’t automatically assume the same recovery time for yourself. Allow yourself to wallow a little bit. It’s okay to be upset, but just know that there are better things ahead.

Use this time to practice self-love. What better time to love yourself than facing a rejection? It’s the best time to build or rebuild your self-esteem because whatever psychological damage that’s hindering you now won’t go away through anyone’s doing but your own. It takes incredible strength to get your mind from a lower state of being and into a positive mindset. If you can repair yourself through this experience, you’ll also be surprised to find how much easier it will be to deal with other disappointments in your life, and you can even find yourself being more open to new experiences.

Practice humility and empathy too. This is a great time to reflect on your experiences and admit that not everything will always go as planned. And that’s okay. The world will keep spinning and you’ll keep living your life. There will also be other people in your same boat, whether you know it at that moment or not and this experience will just help you find that connection with everyone else who feels the same as you.

What I’ve found with most people I have met is that one of the biggest barriers people tend to face is rejection. It is a fear that many people have but don’t like to admit. It is what prevents people from trying new things, applying for that job, or searching for that special someone. But once people learn what it means to deal with rejection, you find that it’s not a door closed if you change your mindset to be on the other side. 

Janine Urgello is a writer for Her Campus at Saint Louis University. She is studying to be a Physical Therapist and earning a Film Studies minor on the side. She is a self-proclaimed film buff and a dedicated advocate for social justice.
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