The 3 Best Ways to Deal With Rejection

Being socially uncomfortable can be very distressing.

Posted Jan 04, 2020

Feeling rejected is about as bad as it gets. Maybe you felt snubbed at a party, perhaps an old friend forgot to include you on the guest list, or someone walked into a room and greeted everyone but you.

Feeling rejected hurts on many levels. It makes us question ourselves, our social competence, our interpersonal relationships, our judgment, and is often deeply embarrassing. If your kids are being rejected it makes you question your parenting skills. If you don't get a second date with someone whom you thought you hit it off with, that too can lead to disappointment and feeling rejected.

Clearly, everyone deals with rejection in a different way and experiences it differently. Like with every other situation, people interpret things with their own unique style. If someone forgets to greet you, you may be devastated. Your husband, on the other hand, may not notice when that same person walks right past him and says nothing.

Your friend, in the same situation, may assume that the person who didn't say hello is simply having a bad day. Maybe a relative hasn't returned your call, or your friend from college hasn't responded to your text messages. This can lead to feelings of rejection, or you can simply remind yourself that your friend or relative may be overwhelmed by other events in their lives. 

Nonetheless, most of us will benefit from having tools to deal with those distressing feelings of rejection. Please let me help you here so that 2020 can be a better year for you. Here are three crucial things to think about:

1. Are you really being rejected, or are you perceiving rejection where it doesn't actually exist? If you are concerned about this, then consider a variety of perspectives. Ask yourself if you have a pattern of thinking the worst. Ask those around you whom you trust how they would interpret the situation.

Start considering a variety of perspectives. I am not suggesting that you are too sensitive. In fact, I never use that expression. I am suggesting, instead, that you may not be reading the situation accurately.

2. If you have considered a variety of possibilities and have determined that, yes, you are being rejected, then there are a number of things to consider. Do you want to continue to pursue someone who is rejecting you? Are you doing something that is problematic and is contributing to a problematic relationship and rejection? 

Do you need to modify any of your behaviors? Are you perhaps too much of a complainer, or are you oversharing or sharing too many of your feelings and/or details about your life? Are you a conversation stealer? Is the relationship even worth your continued energy? Perhaps there are times when you no longer have much in common with a friend, and it is time to change the expectations of the relationship.

3. Maybe the answer lies somewhere in the middle. There may be times when even the people you like the most may behave in a way that is, in fact, a bit rejecting. You may even behave that way at times.

There are all sorts of reasons for this type of behavior. We all have good moments and bad moments. We may all need to leave a little room for disappointing moments with the people in our lives who make us feel the best. Right? We can't always be on top of our collective games. That is an impossible expectation.

There are a few takeaway messages here. Do an assessment of yourself and others. Consider a variety of perspectives. Always think about what you bring to a situation.

Think about not only your interpretations but about your choices. You can phase out relationships or even lower your expectations. You may want to make friends with people with whom you have more in common. Or, you may want to consider the idea of letting things go at times.

Not every moment with every person needs to be analyzed and discussed. Sometimes it is best to simply let things go.