- No matter the circumstance, rejection may always be terrible.
- The emotions frequently cause old scars from childhood or adulthood to resurface. It’s crucial to be aware of your strongest sensitivities.
- It’s crucial to distinguish the past from the present, acknowledge what makes you and them different, and then behave differently.
When we look for a relationship and the intended partner declines us, we experience rejection. Every person encounters rejection at some point in their lives, whether it be being passed over for a desired job, being refused a date, or having a friend or romantic partner leave their relationship. Sometimes rejection is harsh, and the person who rejected you might have been impolite or unkind. Other times, they may have gently rejected us, yet we still have a powerful emotional response.
None of us are immune to rejection, but some people are more sensitive than others for a variety of valid reasons. Here, we enter the realm of childhood: criticising parents, never measuring up to that ideal older brother, bullying, or being perpetually excluded from peer groups. Or talking about former adult relationships- getting dumped painfully and unexpectedly or being ghosted too frequently. When it occurs again, those old wounds rapidly reawaken and bring with them regrets and emotions of injustice or loss.
Why Rejection Hurts So Much:
Even physical symptoms of emotional pain might be severe. According to research, there is considerable overlap between the brain areas responsible for physical and psychological pain. In other words, humans have the ability to physically experience something like rejection.1
- We frequently practise cognitive distortion: Sometimes we interpret a particular rejection as a rejection of all. For instance, if someone does not obtain the job they truly wanted, they can interpret the outcome as proof that they are unqualified for any position in their industry rather than seeing the job was just not a good fit. This is a type of cognitive distortion that exaggerates the size of the rejection.
- Sensitive to rejection dysphoria: RSD is a condition that affects some people, especially those with autism spectrum disorders or ADHD. Although RSD is not a recognised medical diagnosis, it is characterised by intense emotional pain that is caused by actual or perceived rejection. It can be challenging to deal with and elicit powerful emotional reactions. You might be more sensitive to rejection if you’ve experienced childhood trauma in the past because it might bring up unpleasant memories of being abused or mistreated. Additionally, some people are more sensitive to emotional pain than others, just as different people have various levels of pain tolerance for physical discomfort.
Categories of Rejection:
Rejection can occur in a variety of contexts and ways. Even though rejection hurts, you could react to some forms of rejection more strongly than others. In other words, depending on your sensitivity or investment, you might react differently to the same kind of rejection.
- Rejection in Relationships and Dating: Many people initially consider romantic relationships when they consider rejection. And rejection can happen in romantic relationships at various points during the dating phase. Additionally, some people are more sensitive to emotional pain than others, just as different people have various levels of pain tolerance for physical discomfort.
Here are some examples of rejection in relationships-
- When you ask a complete stranger out on a date and they decline, that is a sort of rejection. Although this could be disappointing, you might be able to accept it because they didn’t know you well and may have just not been interested.
- After a few dates, a person can accept your invitation to go on a date with them before declining to see you again or ghosting you. As the person got to know you better before deciding they did not want to see you any longer, this rejection usually hurts more than an initial one.
- Rejection from a committed, long-term spouse: The rejection you experience when your partner ends that relationship is more profound. Sometimes both partners may see that the connection is fading. Sometimes the split comes as a complete surprise to one party. No matter what, breakups are typically stressful and challenging for everyone concerned.
- Social Impediment: Relationships are not always romantic. For many people, social rejection can be just as painful—if not more so—than love rejection.
Following are a few instances of social rejection:
- When someone rejects your friendship: The anguish of being “dumped” by a friend can be excruciating. You can gradually lose touch with friends when friendships end due to circumstances, but there are other situations when friends have a disagreement and the friendship ends suddenly.
- Not receiving an invitation to an event or party: If you learn that some of your friends are organising a gathering but you have not received an invitation for some reason (maybe it’s a couple-only event and you’re single), you may feel unwelcomed.
- Some people continue to shun folks who have mental health disorders or are neurodiverse: If they are unable to disguise their autism and adapt to neurotypical communication and behaviour standards, autistic people frequently endure social rejection. If the autistic person does not comprehend what they did “wrong” or the reason the buddy stopped the relationship, it may leave them bewildered.
- Rejection on the job: Even in a work environment, rejection can happen.
Here are a few instances:
- Being rejected from the college of your choice: If you have your heart set on a certain institution and you are rejected, you could start to doubt your intelligence and your skills.
- Getting no job offer: If you are rejected for a job, you really wanted, it might sting and make you feel like you aren’t qualified for any other positions.
- Missing out on a promotion You may have worked hard and been expecting for a promotion, so you may feel deserving of professional success. It’s common to feel disappointed or even angry when you’re denied a promotion.
How Do I Get Over Rejection?
Since emotions don’t follow a strict timetable, you could feel wounded or upset after being rejected for a while. It’s OK even though this is unpleasant! Here are some constructive and destructive methods to deal with rejection and learn from it.
- How to Deal with Rejection in a Healthy Way:
- Let go of your own blame. Sometimes rejection results from a mistake we made, yet dwelling on blame might prevent us from moving on.
- Search for chances to advance. Even if you made a mistake that led to the rejection, you can still use the experience to improve future approaches to similar circumstances.
- Practise self-care. Particularly if you have dysphoria that is rejection-sensitive, it can be simple to become “stuck” in rejection-related emotions. Use coping mechanisms that will help you take care of yourself and be kind to yourself.
- Consider your feelings. Emotions compel us to feel them. It can be tempting to hold onto negative emotions in order to get beyond them more quickly, yet doing so can make them resurface later on with more ferocity. Respecting your feelings is acceptable.
- List your achievements. Even if it may seem bigger than it is, keep in mind that rejection is particular to the circumstance. Recalling instances when you were successful can be beneficial.
- Unhealthy Methods of Dealing with Rejection:
- Don’t let it bother you. Once more, a single rejection does not represent your overall value. Keep in mind that it is situational and specific, and that it probably has little to do with you.
- Don’t assess yourself against others. When we observe someone else thriving where we believe we fell short, rejection can sting even more. We are all travelling on our own paths, so it’s okay if your story differs from someone else’s.
- Don’t minimise your emotions. Rejection causes anguish. If you believe that others, have it worse than you do, you could be tempted to discount your emotional response; nonetheless, your sentiments are still legitimate and should be recognised.
How Do I Overcome My Fear of Being Rejected?
Rejection is something you will invariably experience in life. Recognise that you can get through these unpleasant emotions and go on. Always keep in mind that you are not alone and that your experience is real. When you keep trying despite being rejected, you can achieve remarkable things. It requires vulnerability and guts to do this.
- Know your triggers.
- Separate past from the present.
- Change your reaction.
- Realise it is also about the other person.
- Realise there are things you cannot control.