How to Overcome Rejection

How to overcome rejection

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the secrets to overcoming rejection.

First a quick update:

“Why aren’t you good enough?”
Most of us subconsciously believe and feel that there is something wrong with us – that we are not good enough. Listen to the interview I gave to Jim Peake of about “The Law of Deservedness” which I reveal as the single most important law of success – for every area of your life.

Now, let’s talk about rejection and how to overcome it.

The dictionary defines the act of rejecting as “to refuse to accept, acknowledge, use, or believe; 2. to throw out as useless or worthless; discard; 3. to rebuff (a person.)

Unfortunately, most of us have come to view the experience of being rejected as the belief that we are useless, worthless or simply not good enough. And yes, as I have mentioned in other Success Newsletters, we do all have an emotional need of love and connection; we do want to belong and be accepted and, we do feel alive when we are giving and receiving love. Thus the feeling of being rejected can be devastating.

Before I explain how to handle and overcome rejection, let me point out that there are two types of rejection – romantic and interpersonal. The latter refers to when we feel rejected by peers, friends, colleagues, groups or family. Both forms of rejection can be devastating; some people isolate themselves because they feel rejected and then become extremely sensitive and even paralyzed by fear of further rejection.

Feeling rejected can lead to self-defeating and antisocial behavior:

  • Loneliness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Insecurity
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Intense anger
  • Despair
  • Social withdrawal
  • A victim mentality
  • Possible desire for revenge

Children who feel rejected respond with social anxiety and exhibit aggressive, disruptive and impulsive behavior. In a study of 15 school shootings between 1995 and 2001, it was found that peer rejection was evident in 13 of those 15 shootings.

Men are much more likely than women to react to rejection with rage and aggression, possibly because men in general receive many more rejections in total than women do.

On August 4, 2009, George Sodini, 48, entered a fitness club in Pennsylvania, calmly walked into an aerobics class, turned off the lights and fired 52 rounds of bullets on the 20 occupants, killing three women and injuring nine others, before turning the gun on himself. Sodini wrote on his blog about his growing rage at women for rejecting him and at the world which he felt had abandoned him. Read my insights here.

The more a person experiences rejection, the more he or she becomes sensitive to it, and the more easily he or she begins to take everything personally.

So what can you do to handle rejection, to overcome rejection and to prevent the experience from robbing you of happiness and fulfillment in life?

The answer to emotional freedom here rests purely in your perspective of the experience. Yes, you can feel rejected if someone lies, cheats, betrays, breaks up, forgets an important anniversary or birthday or simply does not respond to your romantic overtures, but, as I will explain, the key is to understand that it is really not about you.

Rejection paralyzes you when:

  • You place the other person on a pedestal – thus giving them power over you
  • You refuse to see and understand the real motivations behind their actions i.e. they have their own issues, insecurities or negative programming
  • You refuse to accept that you can’t control the other person – you can’t determine or be responsible for their actions; a person cheats, lies, steals or is abusive because of who they are and how they choose to respond to life
  • You falsely believe that he or she is the only one, your only source of love and happiness i.e. there is more than one person in the world with whom you can have a loving and happy relationship
  • You fear being alone – which is equivalent to believing that “if I am alone I will not be happy, I won’t be able to take care of myself and I will have no one to love me or take care of me, nor care for me”
  • You confuse what is really being rejected: is it you he or she is rejecting or rather is it love, intimacy, a relationship, commitment, responsibility that he or she is rejecting?
  • You trick yourself into thinking that this rejection means you will always experience rejection
  • You were not authentic in the relationship; you did whatever was necessary to gain their approval and acceptance only for them to reject the needy and desperate energy and message you were giving off; Jenny McCarthy, at age 37, woke up to realize that honesty is more empowering than trying to please: “I have been so open and truthful in this relationship – it is amazing…If he wants Chinese [food] and I don’t, I say it, If he wants to go out and I want to stay in and watch Dancing with the Stars, I tell him so … Sometimes we both want to play poker and we have a blast at home.”
  • You refuse to accept that differences in personality, temperament, values, religion, beliefs, interests or ambitions can all destroy a relationship; physical or chemical attraction or having fun are not enough to create a happy, lasting and fulfilling relationship
  • You fail to recognize that you physically gave yourself too easily and too quickly without giving yourself time to determine whether or not you both want the same thing from the relationship and interaction. He might simply want the physical from you and once he has had his fill, he is happy to look elsewhere leaving you feeling used, humiliated or rejected
  • You refuse to accept you made a mistake – you chose the wrong partner or trusted the wrong person. Learn from the mistake.
  • You already suffered from low self-esteem, lacked self-confidence, were not happy in yourself or you engaged in self-loathing
  • You don’t approve, accept and like yourself. Determine what it is that you think is wrong with you and work on forgiveness, acceptance and letting of the past.
  • You confuse the present experience with past experiences i.e. a present ‘rejection’ triggers past feelings or experiences of rejection
  • You create self-fulfilling prophecies by expressing a negative outlook about life and people around you, thus encouraging people to turn away from you
  • You are not clear about your self-image, self- concept and identity. Who are you? What is your identity, what is your motivation? Is it to be popular, to be liked or rather to help, make a difference, contribute and treat others in a positive way (as an individual, a father, husband, mother, wife, manager, etc.)

In conclusion, remember, it’s not always about you! People act their way because of their own reasons which often have nothing to do with you. When you are happy, confident and radiating, you become a magnet to others – to the right people.

You can comment on this newsletter by visiting my blog or directly to this article.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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