Being rejected is a horrible feeling that we can all sympathize with. While some rejections may just hurt a little, others leave long-term scars. Learning how to handle rejection, whether its life-changing or a minor inconvenience, is a valuable life skill to have.

Having a toolbox full of strategies to help you handle even the most painful of rejections will set you apart from everyone else. When you don’t fear the possible hurt, you’re going to be more willing to dive into risks and new chapters.

How to Handle Rejection

Know the Odds of Succeeding

Some might call it pessimistic, but it’s just realistic. When you enter into something new, know how likely you are to be rejected. It might be frightening to find out the odds of success, but it will be beneficial in the long run. When you go into something with too much excitement, you might just be setting yourself up for disappointment.

If you’re blindsided by a rejection, then you won’t know how to handle it. Have a healthy positivity towards your new adventure, there’s no need to doubt yourself, but do the math. Weigh up who else might be involved, and what it would take to be successful.

If you’re applying for a job, think about how many people might also want it too. There are often hundreds of people going after the very same job, so the employers have to be brutal. They have to cut the pool down to one single person, and this makes your odds pretty low, even if you’re highly qualified.

If you’re fearing rejection from a person, especially a romantic interest, you have to consider the signs. If you don’t have much evidence that they feel the same, then you should be aware that your likelihood of success isn’t all that high.

Remember – it’s not negativity. It’s realistic to go in knowing that you know how to deal with rejection if it doesn’t go your way.

Keep Your Options Open

Simply put, you’re less likely to be sad about rejection if you have more opportunities lined up. The saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” stands true here when we talk how to about rejection.

If you learn that something you’ve been dreaming of isn’t going to happen, you’re going to feel crushed. It’s going to be much easier to pick yourself up if you can immediately start looking forward to the next opportunity.

Talking about handling rejection, people also use the phrase “get back on the horse”. It’s no secret that to get over one rejection, you should brush yourself off and move quickly on to something else. This would particularly apply to job applications.

If one attempt results in a rejection, it’ll hurt much less knowing you have more opportunities for success in the pipeline. Get back to those job ads, and know that if you take more shots, you’re more likely to hit the target. With more to look forward too, you’ll barely notice one rejection in a sea of opportunities to come.

Don’t Take It Personally

When you’re rejected from something you had been hopeful about, it can be hard not to believe that it’s a reflection on yourself. Naturally, we blame ourselves for our rejections. We assume it’s down to our personalities and start to analyze all our possible flaws. If you’re struggling with dealing with rejection, the best thing you can do for yourself is to simply not take it personally.

When it comes to job rejection, there will have been hundreds of other people going after the very same one. Your rejection will have never been based on your personality. Unfortunately, these things are a lottery, and the odds are rarely in our favor.

Learning how to handle relationship rejection can be harder, though. Technically, it is personal. But it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. Sometimes, two people just don’t mesh. It’s never worth losing your sanity over things that are out of your control.

Shift to a Positive Perspective

In order to handle a negative experience like a rejection, you have to shift your thinking. It’s difficult to do, but not impossible. A healthy mindset means not dwelling on your downfalls. Instead, you should pick yourself up and dust yourself off. To handle rejection, you have to remember that when one door closes, another door opens.

This rejection serves as a perfect opportunity to rethink your path. Most people who have experienced a tough rejection end up grateful for it. Take this painful moment to slow down and think.

Is this route where I wanted to be anyway? Do I need to work harder, or change directions entirely? Though getting there may have been hurtful, this fresh start is something many would love to have.

Rejection Is Not Failure

We’re talking about handling rejection, not a failure. You didn’t fail at getting a job, it just didn’t work out. Failure suggests you did something wrong, and I can almost guarantee you didn’t. Going after something you want is not a win or lose situation. The right things will come to you at the right time, especially if you learn how to handle the initial rejection.

You are not a failure if you are rejected by a romantic interest, they just wanted something different. No college rejection or job rejection is a failure. Sometimes, life just isn’t going to go that way. It is not representative of who you are as a person.

See the Other Side

When you’ve been rejected, it’s easy to feel anger towards the person who caused your pain. You can calm this pain by understanding their views. You can handle the rejection better if you ask for reasons and use them to improve your chances next time. Seeing from other people’s point of view can help you understand why you were rejected and prevent you from spiraling out over it.

Remember though, that one person’s opinion is valid, but not representative.

Rejection is a painful but real part of our lives.

Learning to handle rejection will give you a healthier and more positive outlook on life, and even help you excel ahead of others. By being compassionate with yourself in the face of rejection, and not “counting your chickens before the eggs have hatched”, you’re going to be less afraid of the consequences.

When you don’t fear rejection, the world is your oyster. The opportunities are endless.

References:

  1. https://sites.umiacs.umd.edu
  2. https://www.inc.com
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