Whether it’s being blown off by a friend, not getting the job we applied for, or being left on “read” by someone we care about, low-key rejection stings. In fact, it sucks. Especially when it’s something that’s not major enough to force us to stop life in its tracks, low-key rejection niggles on in the background of our life like a sore tooth, not necessarily bad enough to stop and fix, but bad enough to hurt us all the same.
If you feel overly sensitive to rejection, or it is something you struggle to deal with in daily life, here are 6 tips to help you resiliently deal with rejection and move on.
Rejection is wrapped up in humiliation, the feeling that we alone, against the entire world, have been rejected because we personally, are not good enough. This humiliation can only survive when it is kept in silence. Talk about your rejection with someone you trust. Own your feelings. Feel sad about it. Be honest. Don’t whine. Share, and allow someone else to bring a new perspective to what you are feeling. Allow someone else to say: “me too, I understand how you are feeling.”
No matter the situation you’ve experienced rejection, I bet there’ll be someone your rejection is pinned on. Pray for them. It might be the last thing you want to do, but do it all the same. Prayer humanizes the situation, and gives you something constructive to do when you feel powerless. Better still, it reminds you that God is working in both hearts, and working all things out for the good. (Romans 8:28). Prayer in this situation helps you forgive if you need to forgive, and move on if you need to move on. It reminds you that God is still in control.
What is rejection, really? Rejection is a part of life, and no matter how lonely it makes us feel, the truth is that everyone experiences rejection. We’re just really, really good as a species at glossing over rejection, so it feels something to be ashamed of, a curse that afflicts only the saddest of victims.
It’s not. Give yourself some tough love and ask yourself: “I’ve been rejected, so what? So what?!” After all, what is on the other side of rejection? Life is. Life, continuing, as it always has done. Embracing rejection is like jumping into a void and discovering that you are still safely caught at the bottom. And it’s your loving Father in heaven who will catch you, if you let Him.
I don’t care how old you are, everyone needs a hug from your mom sometimes. Rejection hurts no matter what age. Run to Our Lady. Pray a Rosary. Tell her how it hurts. Let her gently encourage you back to joy again.
I’m sorry that it sucks when rejection hits, but it is always a good opportunity to reflect on when we have unfairly rejected others. Remember what it feels like, and channel it into recommitting to reaching out to those who we don’t give enough time to. You know those people. The people in our lives, who through no fault of their own, we are not compassionate to, maybe because they just annoy us, or because we are jealous of them. Go the extra mile and ask for the grace to give them the love that they deserve. Don’t get dragged down into despair over your own hurt. Be generous instead!
Jesus experienced the ultimate rejection. Take your suffering to Him, and let Him transform all the little day-to-day ordinary rejections into moments of mercy. He is the one who will never reject us. He is the solid ground when everything is shifting around us.
“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures, we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son Jesus.” – St. John Paul II
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