The reality is that everyone at some point in their lives will have to deal with rejection, whether it is over a relationship or a college application. Knowing how to handle rejection can speed up recovery and lessen the pain that follows.
- Give yourself time to grieve. Only time can heal the feelings of humiliation and discouragement that rejection causes. Use this time to indulge on large amounts of ice cream or to cry out the pain in the shower. However do not allow yourself to grieve excessively, as this will only make matters worse.
- Accept the reasons for the rejection. Be honest with yourself and try to understand why you were rejected. Put things in perspective; the reasons may not even be personal. Do all that you can to learn from it and give yourself credit for at least trying to make things work. Think of what you can do differently to avoid being rejected in the future.
- Take your mind off of it. After the grieving period, do not obsess over the fact that you were rejected or fantasize about what could have been different. Instead participate in mindless activities to help yourself get over it. Playing video games or binge-watching Netflix can help ease recovery.
- Move on. Begin falling back into your normal routine but also do not be afraid to try new things. After taking steps one through three, the situation is now out of your control and the best thing you can do is move past the rejection. Explore new options and take this time to rethink your objectives.
- Get used to it. Rejection happens to everyone all of the time so expect it to happen again sometime in the future. Develop a healthy attitude toward rejection and you will realize that it is not as bad after going through it multiple times. Don’t let rejection discourage you from pursuing your goals but just know that it exists.
*This post was originally featured in The North Star, the school newspaper that I write for.