Rejection: the one thing that yearning singles fear most. The dreaded prospect of having their affections completely turned down by the person they want to be with. A single “I don’t see you that way” can be a quick swan dive into a pool of shattered self esteem, leaving many paralyzed by fear and unable to move on.
Let me tell you something: you don’t have to feel this way.
Rejection sucks, believe it or not I’m very familiar with rejection. Contrary to popular belief, being moderately attractive doesn’t instantly secure you a spot at the side of the person you’re interested in. For me, the last two years have been an ongoing trend of: “The guys that like me, I don’t like. But the guys I do like don’t like me.” It’s definitely frustrating, but it has taught me a lot about myself and about dating in general, knowledge that has restored my self esteem and actually made me more confident. Believe it or not, rejection has actually helped me by humbling me, by showing me where I can improve, and even by teaching me that, sometimes, being rejected has nothing to with me, but the person I’m pursuing.
Too many people treat rejection like a failure and something to get bitter over, but it doesn’t need to be that way; rejection can be a helpful learning tool by highlighting where your weaknesses are and by making you a stronger person.
It challenges you to use your perspective and even question your own standards and strengths, which you can redevelop to create more success for the future. It also helps weed out the kind of people that are actually wrong for you. But, so few people actually do this; rather they become scared, bitter, hopeless and jaded, some even give up on the prospect of ever finding somebody because they have been rejected so many times.
Once again, you don’t have to feel that way.
You see, courtship is a lot like riding a bike; you may fall down and scrape your knee (rejection) but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning how to ride (relationships). It’ll hurt, it’ll suck, you may even feel stupid for it – but what you’ve gained is far more than the pain of the cuts and bruises.
You learn to access your weaknesses by reflection and learn how to improve. You also learn how to actually HANDLE rejection, an underutilized skill that can actually build up your confidence and thus increase your potential for success in the future. Rather than allowing it to destroy you and your confidence, you can use it to make yourself stronger as a person. All it takes is a little perspective.
First and foremost, there are some things you need to understand about being rejected: the most important thing that I think people overlook or assume is that the person who rejected them is somehow in the wrong. Or, in laymen’s terms: is a heart-breaking asshole. It’s too easy to sit there and blame the other person for the rejection, chocking it up to being their own self-centered nature, stupidity, ridiculous standards and so on. The problem with this is that the “rejectee” is not only waving their responsibility, but they’re also turning it into a much more negative experience than it needs to be by demonizing the person in the situation.
In actuality, they’re only hurting themselves more by making a simple lack of chemistry an issue of intelligence and morals.
The only time you’re allowed to actually call someone an asshole for rejecting you is if they are actually an asshole about it, then have at er’.
On the flipside of this, another mistake people make is actually taking the situation too personally; they make it about their worth or lack of materials, experience, and so on, basically beating their self esteem into the ground for their so-called failure. The problem with this is that it instills a negative mentality towards dating, which adds to the common fear of asking somebody out because of the possibility of rejection. In truth, rejection CAN actually be about the other person just as much as the person being rejected. They may have their own issues, they may actually have silly standards, they may have gotten cold feet – whatever the reason is, and it’s something to consider, but remember not to demonize them or ignore your own involvement. It’s just good to keep in mind that the fault isn’t always just on your shoulders; it takes two to make a relationship work after all.
The last thing that people need to understand is that a single rejection is not indicative to how your entire dating experience is going to be going forward. It may be easy to fall into the mentality of: I really loved this person … I thought they were the one. If they don’t want me … nobody else will – I don’t even know if I want anyone else! I suck at this. I don’t see why I bother....
Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t fall into that mindset. They weren’t the only person in the world who was suitable for you, and you’re not suddenly cursed to forever fail in the dating world. It may take practice, but you can have a future with somebody out who was just as good or even better than the person you were pinning for. You just have to learn how to deal with rejection, and subsequently: rejection phobia.
I know what you’re thinking: Well RJ, this is all well and good, but what steps can I take to actually handling a rejection situation? You’ve done a ton of talking but I want this shit step by step!
Your wish is my command.
Step #1 – Be calm, be cool, be respectful
Like I mentioned before, at no point should you be lashing out at this person, even if you felt lead on or used. The reason I say this is because being the better person not only helps prevent you from becoming that bitter guy/gal, but it also shows the person what a mature, sincere person they’re missing out on. Seriously, twice I have been rejected and then asked out again by the same people based on how I handled their rejection. Not only that, but being able to smile and thank that person for their honesty exudes confidence: they don’t have control over your emotions, you aren’t losing out on the best thing ever – you’re awesome, mature, and can handle when someone says no. That’s a pretty sexy thing.
Step #2 – Let it out, but get over it, trout
f you were really emotionally invested in this person, no one can blame you for needing to cry it out. It’s completely healthy to allow yourself to wallow in a bit of self pity for a while, but it becomes unhealthy when you become CONSUMED by it. This is why I give myself a deadline: I’ll give myself a day to cry it out and anywhere from a few days to a week to let myself wallow. Typically, all I need is a little TLC, a pity party, a pizza, a stiff drink, and some time to think about things before I’ll start to feel better. After I reach that deadline however, I force myself to begin picking up the pieces and begin moving on with my life. At this point, you need to start putting the situation out of your mind and focusing on other things, even if the hurt is still fresh. So, cram as much ice cream in your face as possible in that time frame and get ready for step #3.
Step #3 – Letting go, moving on, fading out
This is the time where you need to decide whether or not this person is going to stay in your life and in what capacity; if you know you can’t be friends without there being romantic feelings or pain, then you have to fade out – which I’ll get to. But if you feel that you’ll still be able to remain friends in some respect, then you are at liberty to do that, but you need to remove all romanticism from that relationship. That means deleting old texts and messages, removing them from your social media (if you choose not to be friends) and refusing to obsess over them. Don’t stalk their social media, don’t reread old conversations, don’t give in to the temptation of guilt tripping them – just take a step back from their lives, allow yourself to heal, and go from there.
If you realize you can’t be friends, then it may be most effective for you to simply fade out, which entails lowering contact gradually before you all but slip away from their every day lives and go full no contact. If they question you about it, be honest and tell them that you can't be friends with them because of your feelings, and that it's in your best interest to simply move on. They may not understand, but you know what? They'll have to get over it.
Step #4 – Getting back to it
After you’ve had an adequate amount of time to “grieve” and sort things through, it’s time to move-on.com. That doesn’t mean you need to jump into hunting another person, but it does mean you need to work on becoming open to the idea of being with somebody else/pursuing someone else. Perhaps begin going out again, or maybe even getting to know that cutie from your one class who you always overlooked, but always seemed nice. Once you get past the idea that you LOST something, the easier it’ll be to WIN in the future.
I know this was another long one but I wanted to cover all of the possible bases for this take – no half-assing on this Friday for me! I hope you all found this insightful and you enjoyed because I enjoyed making it. TGIF and have yourselves a great day!