Most of us don’t like rejection. Being rejected, in any sense, upsets us and makes us feel bad, even when it’s something trivial. We know that everything isn’t always going to go our way or that we can’t be liked by everyone but nonetheless, we still don’t like it. So it’s difficult to believe that actually, not all types of rejection are bad for us.
The first thing to do is to understand what rejection really is. A pretty standard definition would be that in essence, something or someone is not wanted. In real terms, it means that we are being pushed away which is why it’s so painful.
It’s important to point out that whilst we can all at times get the impression that we are not particularly wanted or appreciated and this isn’t necessarily rejection, more our perception of something that isn’t really happening. Make sure to follow your gut instinct instead of feeding your paranoia…
Some rejections are pretty obvious and would be seen as quite major such as the end of a relationship, being excluded from our family, a circle of friends, from a group we belonged to, or even a job. If it’s something that you consider to be a major part of your life, it will affect you deeply, leaving you feeling like everything around you has crumbled and gone. In less evident types of rejections, the effect can be felt like a drip effect and happen slowly over time. It is often the combination of lots of little things that can end up leaving us feeling pretty unworthy.
In both cases, the main reason why rejection feels so bad is because we don’t have control and also, because the power of making the decision was taken away from us.
It’s essential to look at the situation in a different light because as I said earlier, not all rejections are bad and I personally think that we can all be guilty at times of wanting to fit in where we don’t belong. Think of the square peg/ round hole type of scenario. In that case, the rejection you are experiencing is not real so to speak, it’s just that you are not aligned with the beliefs and values of a particular group or person.
I know I have experienced this a number of times when I was younger, as I repeatedly tried to be liked by certain people or get into some groups. And the truth is that we weren’t on the same page. They were actually doing me a favour by pushing me away or making me feel like I didn’t belong, because I didn’t. But at the time, I wasn’t listening to it… Worse still, I was probably trying to change myself to fit in with them, creating an even bigger incongruency.
And this is the thing, we do change… But not always in the same direction. Our goals or ways of being evolve, which can sometimes affect the way we feel towards certain people (or the way they feel towards us) and why some friendships or relationships don’t last forever.
Like every painful emotion, it needs to be acknowledged and assessed, we need to understand why it’s making us feel that way. The thing is, despite all appearances, we are not always the problem but in order to know that, we need to confront it. Are you seeing a pattern? Are you pushing yourself onto the wrong people or trying to change to be accepted? If the same situation keeps on presenting itself to you, it’s because a lesson needs to be learnt. Hindsight is a wonderful thing so use it to your advantage and take a long hard look at yourself. Only then will you stop repeating the mistakes from the past and grow…