How to deal with rejection: 7 tips to move on in life

Rejection is just another aspect of everyday life as normal as success is. We can move on by learning how to deal with rejection.
Deal with rejection with a positive attitude. Image courtesy: Freepik
Purvi Kalra Published: 9 Apr 2024, 05:20 pm IST
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We may all try to deal with life head-on, but there are times when things don’t go as planned. Just like success is a part of life, failure also has its equal share. Imagine feeling excited about something you put your heart and soul into, only to be told that it’s rejected! Rejection isn’t a pleasant feeling – whether it is being rejected by a loved one, being rejected for a new job, or being rejected for a business idea. But sometimes, even our good intentions may result in rejection. If you are mentally strong, you may deal with it with a clear and rational approach. However, if you are more emotional, it can leave you feeling uncomfortable. So, it is important that you train your mind on how to deal with rejection.

What does rejection feel like?

Rejection can be in any form – in a relationship, job, promotion, discrimination over skin colour, body shaming, new opportunities, and more But one of the most common rejections which people are unaware of is self-rejection, mental health and wellness counselor Suman Aggarwal tells HealthShots.

Self-rejection equals self-doubt. Rejection is something that everyone faces at some point in their lives. It’s a universal experience that can bring up feelings of sadness, frustration, and self-doubt. When we’re rejected, it’s natural to question our worth and wonder why things didn’t work out, says the expert.

But you shouldn’t let that feeling get the better of you and fall into that vicious whirlpool of self-doubt. You should always learn to come out stronger and wait for new and better doors to open for you.

You must deal with rejection. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Stages of rejection

Rejection gets processed within in various stages. Here are the five stages of rejection:

1. Denial

The very first stage of rejection is denial. When something unfortunate happens in any aspect of our lives, personal or professional, we live in a state of denial for long. We don’t let the happening pass through our hearts and try to live as if nothing has happened. It becomes hard to digest whatever wrong happened to you, so we tend to resist the passing of that event through our minds.

2. Anger

The next step of processing grief is anger. We tend to feel outraged after being rejected from our most sought-after project, or the person we love which further manifests in the form of outbreaks, reckless behaviour, or obsessions, etc.

3. Bargaining

As we proceed further to process grief, the next stage we tend to slip into is rejection. It is when we start holding ourselves responsible for the sad event that happened. Even though we have that time to act mature and wise by learning from our past mistakes and just moving on from them by letting it all go, we still try to the guilt and the pitfalls. We keep our life at half by not trying to move out of our bubble because change and the outside world feel scary.

4. Depression

This is one of the toughest stages of handling grief. Depression starts hitting us when we realize that something bad truly has happened and there’s no going back to change it. This stage usually makes us sedentary as we don’t even feel like moving out of our bed or interacting or socialize with others to go about with our lives.

5. Acceptance

The last stage of grief is acceptance. It is when we reach a better space in our mind to accept whatever that has happened, and we are willing to move ahead and fight back to emerge stronger and better. We are willing to give life a tough fight to change the trajectory of our lives and seek help wherever needed.

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Also read: 3 tips to remember when you are dealing with rejection

How to deal with rejection?

Facing rejection can be an emotional roller-coaster and finding healthy ways to cope with it is essential. Here are some strategies that can help build your confidence muscle and act as coping mechanism to handle rejection:

1. Be kind to yourself

Imagine treating yourself as you would treat a dear friend in need. Embrace self-compassion by acknowledging and accepting your pain and reassuring yourself that it’s okay to feel hurt.

2. Let it out

Picture expressing your feelings through art, journaling, or conversations with trusted friends or family. Alongside, you can also seek professional help where the professional will unveil some rational approaches to help you better deal with rushing emotions. Allowing yourself to let it out can provide a sense of relief.

You can cope with rejection in a better manner. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Give yourself a positive pep talk

Think of the little pep talks you would give to a loved one going through a tough time and give them to yourself. Challenge negative thoughts with positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem.

4. Tender Love and Care (TLC) for the body and mind

Engage in activities that make you feel good. It could be something as simple as going for a walk, engaging in meditation, getting enough rest, savouring nutritious meals, singing, and dancing, etc. Find pockets of happiness in activities that light you up, whether it’s painting, journaling, hiking, playing music or sharing laughter moments with loved ones. These moments of joy can provide solace during tough times. Nurturing your body and mind can help ease the emotional strain.

5. Lean on loved ones

Reaching out to someone you trust, whether it’s a close friend, family member, or a therapist can always come to your rescue in such grave times. Just having someone who listens to you with empathy can make a world of difference.

Also read: This magical mantra of dealing with rejection can change your life

6. Visualise new adventures

Shift your focus to new goals and dreams. It would be like turning the page to a fresh chapter. Having something to look forward to can provide a much-needed sense of purpose.

Each person’s path to healing is unique, and finding what works best for you in trying to cope with rejection, is what truly matters. If the impact of rejection seems overwhelming, seeking support from caring professionals is a brave and wise decision.

Purvi Kalra

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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