Before we get into the topic of rejection, did you see that my new course “How to make friends and create better social circles” has launched? Click here for more info!
When you truly understand rejection, you’ll eventually stop feeling bad about it.
At least a couple of times a week, whether it’s in one of my Facebook groups, via emails or coaching calls, or it’s a student on one of my online courses, someone asks a question about how to deal with rejection.
Certainly, the feeling of rejection is not a lot of fun. We can feel rejected as a person. As a friend. Or as a potential partner. Perhaps as an employee. Or whatever else. And the main reason most people struggle with it is that they don’t truly understand what rejection is really about.
Most people believe that getting a no from someone says something about who they are as a person. That they’re not “good enough”, whether that’s smart enough, attractive enough, funny enough, or any such thing.
But that’s not what rejection is. At least not in the vast majority of cases.
In most cases, people are rejecting a situation – and not a person.
After all, how can anyone who doesn’t truly know who you are, deep down and all sides of you, make an accurate assessment of who you are and whether you’re a good fit for them?
They can’t. The only ones who can reject us as a person are our very closest people. The ones we’ve been truly honest and genuine with. And those people tend to love us, that’s why they’ve been able to get that close to us. (And if you keep letting people who don’t love you get that close, that’s a whole other issue you should be working on. Reach out and let me know if that’s the case!)
So what do I mean, they are rejecting a situation?
When two people meet – for any reason and in any circumstance – there’s a lot more going on than who they are. Yes, both are part of the situation that is being created, but only a small part of it.
Other things play an equally large role, like for example what each of them is thinking. Which experiences they’re having that day, and which they’ve had in similar situations before. Other people or distractions around us play a part. Any alcohol or other intoxicants play a huge role. How much energy they have, what mood they’re in, and so on also does.
If you walk up to a stranger to start a conversation with them, for example, you can only control a small part of that interaction. You can, to some extent, control what you say and do. That’s it. You can’t control what’s going on in their mind, in their day, in their emotions. And since you can’t control any of those things, you also can’t hold yourself responsible for them.
Now granted, if you walk up to a stranger and say something rude you can expect them to reject you. But as long as you’re acting within what’s genuine for you, you’re doing what you can do to attract those who are right for you.
Remember, if you are communicating in a way that’s right for you and the stranger doesn’t like it – they are showing you that they are not right for you. Why would you need acceptance from someone you can’t be yourself around? Why would you want a yes from someone if that’s only going to lead to a bad long-term experience?
So if that stranger doesn’t want to talk to you? Well, you can not take that as feedback on yourself as a person.
There could be a myriad of reasons that they don’t want to talk to you. And most of them have little to nothing to do with you. Their own insecurities. Bad past experiences. That they’re tired or distracted. Or maybe they make a wrong assumption about you. Or perhaps their jealous partner is nearby, and so on.
But still, the only thing people seem to think in that situation is, “they don’t like me, I’m not good enough.”
If you start to pay attention to what I’ve described in this article, all of this will start to change for you. From now on, whenever you see a rejection being made – whether it happens to you, a friend of yours, or a stranger that you just happened to notice – think about all the other factors you can see playing a part in that particular event.
Once you start reminding yourself of this regularly your brain will get better and better at noticing all these factors, and it will be more and more obvious to you that it’s not as much about the people as most people think. It’s about all the factors in the situation they happen to be in.
And it’s just as much – and usually much more – about the person giving the no, and the experience they’re having because of all of those different influential factors that exist in their life at that moment.
Spend a little time focusing on this, and that horrible feeling that often comes along with rejection will start to disappear.
There’s nothing to do here. Simply accepting and assimilating this mindset will start to create the change all on its own. Start paying attention to this, and you’ll see that soon enough – whenever you’re meeting new people (like you’ll learn how to do here in my newest course!) – the fear of rejection will be a thing of the past.