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How to Handle Rejection

by Evalyne Ndanu
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As long as we are in this world, we are bound to experience rejection in one way or another. It can range from rejection at work, business rejection, family and friends rejection to even things that we may consider small like your friend forgetting to invite you or save a chair for you. Whether ‘big’ or ‘small’, rejection hurts and we need to handle it.

While sometimes rejection is inevitable, how we choose to handle it is what matters. Here are some tips on How to handle rejection.

Process the emotions

It is very tempting to sweep things under the carpet. To throw them away. To put them at the back of our ends. Sometimes our reflex can be to flee. Especially if it something that has deeply wounded us, whether we saw it coming or not. We may also still be in a state of denial.

Well, bad news alert, You cannot heal your wounds if you are busy hiding them. Choose to go through the emotions. Hiding them doesn’t eliminate them, it only postpones the processing time and leads to more damage. Allow yourself to feel and process what you are going through.

If you write, you can choose to journal about it, you can record it as an audio, you can seek the services of a counsellor or therapist. You can talk to a trusted friend or family member and you can pray about it. Of importance is to let it out of your chest atleast.

Think through the ‘why’

In moments of rejection, we are easy to see all the faults in the other people. And this is not to say that they may not be at fault. Most likely they are, however though their life may be continuing as normal while you remain stuck. Therefore this issue is majorly for you to deal with and dig through.

Look at the rejection from the rejectors point of view. It is a hard exercise. Notice some weaknesses that you may have presented to make them reject you. Take heed of the vulnerabilities that you may have presented. Process why the rejection may have happened.

Even if you may not get full closure, and in most cases you will rarely get it, you will at least identify some things that may have contributed.


Be kind to Yourself

Thinking through the ‘Why’ isn’t a certificate to self blame and self pity. Instead it is an opportunity to identify the areas that you can work on and it only goes to show that we are all human. We are allowed to feel things and rejection is part of the things we may come face to face at some point in our lives.

Therefore, cut yourself some slack, and additionally identify the things you did right and applaud yourself for them. Be kind to yourself even as you face the situation. Practice self-care and indulge in activities that you like, swimming, a hike, reading books, cooking, going out with a friend, you choose.

Allow yourself to realise and acknowledge that you are still worthy and confident. Don’t entertain the thoughts of  ‘Maybe I am just an unworthy and I deserved the rejection.’ No. Be kind by speaking positive words and looking at your strengths and what you did right. Kindness is a tool to handle rejection.

Spend time with your loved ones

Spending time with loved ones is great medicine, even when we are not going through rejection. Being around the people we love allows us to be ourselves, it allows us to feel loved and cared once again. It is a breath of fresh air indeed to have someone who cares for you, knows and loves you for who you are.

Take in and embrace the love that you receive from your loved ones. You could use the opportunity to speak to them as well and engage in activities that will make you feel alive once more. Love is a great way to handle rejection.

loved ones

Not allowing it to define you

While you may have been rejected, it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. It doesn’t mean that good things cannot happen to you. Let go of the weight that comes with rejection.

In the first place the rejection wasn’t initiated by you, it came from another source. It defines the rejector not you. It portrays who they are, their values and attitudes and in most cases it has nothing to do with you, you only happened to be in their way of expressing their true selves.

You define you. You set the boundaries and limits and you determine the extent to which you allow another person impact your life.

Learning from it

After processing your emotions, digging deep to the ‘why’, not allowing the rejection to define your and being kind to yourself, now it is time to pick up the lessons. 

We are responsible of our own lives and the power of reaction lays purely in our courts.

The rejection can be used to your advantage. With the lessons learnt now you know how to do better next time, alternatively you also are aware of what not to do. And yes we may fall down a thousand times, yet again we rise up, dust off and march forward.

The other side of Rejection is really Redirection.

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