By Jahirah Jalal Abidin
Ever feeling rejected? Rejection seems one of our greatest fears, a fear that can have a very damaging impact on us. When dealing with dating matters, rejection is a subject which is never very far away. Being rejected by someone makes us feel small, worthless, insecure and unwanted. We lose our self confidence and want to crawl into our shell until we feel strong again. We may do something outrageous instead, something on the rebound to exact some form of revenge.
No matter how we react, no matter who we are, the fact is being rejected hurts.
Most people like being loved and like being popular. It makes us feel good about ourselves. We sometimes meet grumpy people who say that they don’t care what others think of them, and while there may be one or two who do think that way, most of us want to be liked. So the way we handle rejection can be very complex. It is dependent on many factors, including our personality, childhood and earliest relationships.
Rejection comes in many forms. It could be a huge blow, like a partner being unfaithful to a loved one moving out and calling off a relationship for good. Rejection may come in the smallest of ways, from someone forgetting about an important occasion to a partner who simply falls out of love. Rejection can be a date who doesn’t show up or a date who says that he or she doesn’t want to take things further.
But whatever the scenario, if you are on the receiving end of rejection, you need to keep things in perspective by looking at the bigger picture and focusing on the many positive aspects of your life. Otherwise, you might lose your balance.
The way we handle rejection is important in helping us keep our self-esteem and dignity. When we are rejected, we often want to go crazy and blame ourselves for being rejected. But the reality is that it’s usually the other person’s problem, not ours. When we are rejected we may try to forgive and forget and make excuses for the person rejecting us. If we do that we are not helping ourselves. The best thing we can do is to face reality and move on with life.
Being rejected hurts. The person you entrusted with your hopes, desires and feelings has turned round and said that he doesn’t want to be involved with you any more. When this happens you immediately move into blame mode. It must be, in one way or another, your fault for being rejected. May be it’s the way you look, your shape or height, your hair or lack of it. May be the way you acted, the things you said or the things you did that caused the rejection. You wonder yourself if there’s anything you could have done to prevent it. These are all natural questions we ask ourselves in the rejection process. But we shouldn’t dwell on them.
The fear of rejection is a debilitating issue. It stops us from making the next move. It stops us from approaching another person we really like. If rejection is the curse, confidence is the cure. The way to fix rejection is to balance it with confidence by investing in fun activities and positive thinking. If you feel good about yourself, you’ll be able to recognise the great truths about yourself too. May be you are good at your job, you’re organised, well dressed or in shape. You don’t need to worry about what other people think about you to be happy with yourself. Then, if a date doesn’t go well or someone simply doesn’t like you, you can embrace that it’s impossible to please everyone all the time. The more confident you are, the better you will be able to cope with most forms of rejection.
It is beyond the scope of this brief article to suggest ways of dealing with the feelings of rejection from the failure of a marriage or long-term relationship, from infidelity or major domestic drama. But what is true in most cases is that when we are rejected, we will come back stronger than ever in the end. Rejection in many instances moves us into a time of reflection and thought, of new perspectives and inner learning. It is a useful process because it also allows us to learn about ourselves.
The thing that annoys me most about rejection is the lack of honesty in some people. When someone doesn’t like you he should say so. When he doesn’t intend to see you again he should say that. If he is not going to call then he should admit it. There is nothing more refreshing on a single date than being honest and saying he would prefer to leave it there. When we are lied to, the feeling of rejection is further compounded.
Another interesting facet of rejection is that there are people out there who will try to reject you so they themselves are not rejected. It’s a kind of defence mechanism. If they feel they are not doing too well, they will dump you, before you may possibly dump them. I know some people who have told me that they have never been rejected or dumped because they always do it first. So keep that in mind if someone rejects you.
I don’t have all the quick answers to this complex subject. But I will say that if you learn about yourself, get to know your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, things will be much easier. Stay open, be realistic, maintain your sense of humour, be confident and rejection will wash over you when it happens.
Looking back on my life, if I were to imagine myself with most of the people who have rejected me, I wouldn’t be happy. That is because they were never right for me in the first place.
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