In part 1 of this article, “How to Deal with Rejection”, based on a personal story, I shared a personal story about one of my childhood experiences of rejection. I’m certain that you or someone you know has gone through similar or maybe even worse experiences.
In this article, I share 4 tips that helped me deal with rejection and build a healthier self-esteem. And although I appreciate the fact that your experiences or those of your loved ones might be different, I’m also certain that anyone will be able to customize these tips and make them their own in order to resolve any rejection related emotional issues that they might be experiencing.
Tip 1: Know That no one can Reject You.
As weird as it might sound, believe me when I say that no one can actually reject you. One of the meanings of rejection is to be eliminated. And in my opinion, no one can eliminate you per-say. One might eliminate your presence from a scene, or disregard what you say, but he/she can never eliminate your existence. Chances are that what you perceive as rejection is an incident where someone probably did not resonate with, understand, or agree with whatever you were presenting or offering. However, with all due respect, this doesn’t mean that the entire awesome you was discarded.
Therefore, the first tip you can employ to deal with rejection-related emotions is to change your perception of the word, rejection and how it applies to you as an individual.
Tip 2: Know that People’s Actions are Their Business.
As you deal with the rejection-related emotions, understand that perception is projection. Behavior is founded on internal representations: meaning that people behave as they have learned to, based on their beliefs and thought processes, mental, emotional and spiritual states. Everyone is doing the best they can with the internal resources they have. I’m sure you’ve heard the statement, “squeeze an orange and you get orange juice.”
When someone is filled with anger, sadness or whatever other emotions that they might have, that’s exactly what’s going to come out of them as they perceive the world, as well as act. Therefore, if someone rejects something about you, this has nothing to do with you. It is their business. That’s how they know how to operate. Note that at that point in time, your presence or whatever they rejected triggered a decision within them to reject. Consequently, you can’t take things personally. And most importantly, you have to forgive them for their actions because they probably didn’t even realize that there was anything wrong with the way they acted. Just as you can’t expect mango juice to come out of an orange, you can’t expect a person filled with rudeness or anger to treat you with kindness or non-judgment.
Tip 3: Take 100% Responsibility Of Your Emotions:
When we take full responsibility of our negative emotions, we take our power back from whoever we have blamed for the way we feel. By taking full responsibility for the rejection-related negative emotions, we get to understand that no one has the power to make us feel a certain way; and that we have the power to heal ourselves. This process begins by identifying all those negative emotions that you are feeling. Write them down. Examine each one of them to identify the root causes. Establish if the root causes are really based on truths. For instance, if one of the negative related emotions you are dealing with is sadness, the root cause is what the person said or did, that made you believe that you are a reject.
When you examine tip 1, you realize that you are not really a reject. Tip 2, is telling you that whatever the person did is not your business. Consequently, your perceptions are not founded on the truth. You are not a reject. Therefore, you just have to let the sadness go because it is built on lies.
The next step is to forgive yourself for being sad for the wrong reasons. Below is a video of a forgiveness process that I recorded a few years ago. Tip # 4 is continued below the video.
Tip 4: Know That You Can Create a New And Better Story About Your Self-Image
The thoughts and related beliefs about being rejection are founded on a story you created based on an experience that you believed to be the truth. Note that just as you created this story, you also have the power to erase it and then create a new and better story about how you want to feel about yourself. You can do this by thinking about how you want to perceive your self-image.
Decide how you want to be perceived. Write these attributes down. Read them to yourself every day until you believe them as the truth. For instance, you can write statements such; I accept and love myself just as I am. I am worthy. I deserve to be treated with respect. I respect myself—you get the idea. The fundamental thing to do is to think and believe these statements as the truth. And by doing this, you will be writing a better story that will improve your perception of yourself.
Please note that although these tips are simplified, they helped me deal with my rejection-related negative emotions and I believe they can help you or anyone else. The idea is to make the tips your own, do the work on yourself, and remember that persistence and repetition are necessary ingredients required to establish and reinforce desired change.
About the Author: Dr. Jacinta M. MPALYENKANA specializes in counseling for abuse and co-dependence on alcohol or drugs and is based in Los Angeles, California. After completing two PhD’s, one in Counseling and another in Philosophy, Jacinta chose to become a personal transformational coach, mentor, and public speaker. Her mission is to help make a positive difference in the world by counseling, coaching and empowering women.