At some point, everyone experiences rejection. If someone tells you they haven't, let them know you have experience with this. Take a step back. Look away. Stop listening. Turn around. Walk off. Just kidding!
I got a dose of rejection very early in life and it did not stop there. Being a person with a "little" and a disproportional body, gives great opportunity for rejection before I ever open my mouth! Any time we stick out or stand out from the average in any way, we are typically seen first and evaluated as not "normal." Let the judging begin! Sometimes it can be favorable and sometimes it brings instant rejection. When that happens, some call this "prejudice." Some call it "ignorance." Some call it "fear."
There are different ways we can be who we are and the percentage of not being accepted rises. It may be the way you look, the way you talk, the job you do or don't have, the family you come from, the amount of money or education you do or don't have, and the list continues. Whatever the case, here are-
6 Things to Consider when Being Rejected:
- Remember that you will always be best at being who you are and not trying to be someone else. Do not settle for less in order to be accepted. When this happens, everyone gets cheated.
- Ask yourself, " How would being accepted in this situation make me feel or think?" Valued? Loved? At peace? Respected? Appreciated? Be honest with yourself, there are other ways to experience these same thoughts and feelings. This is not the one and only opportunity. Look around! There are as many opportunities to experience these feelings and reality as there are to experience the feeling and reality of rejection.
- In some cases being accepted or approved may only mean you are considered "normal." As an adjective "normal" means, "conforming to a standard; usual, typical or expected." As a noun, it means "the usual, average or typical state." Do you want to be usual, typical, expected, and average? If not, then let go of being considered "normal." If you aren't, it's not something you have to go out of your way to be but when you are not "normal" you will have to make the choice to graciously allow some people to reject you or to carry the burden of the hurt, anger, resentment and disappointment that rejection can offer.
- Sometimes being rejected is not about being rejected as a person but is simply someone disagreeing with your perspective or opinion. This does not make you a "reject." The one who is rejecting is not necessarily being ignorant or prejudiced. Learn to recognize the difference. A key factor of knowing you are not rejected for who you are- the relationship continues and you are respected as a person of worth.
- Assess whether the person or institution is important enough to make whatever changes you need to make in order to continue to be in relationship. If it is, do your part to understand their perspective and consider what changes you need to make which honor who you are and who the other person or institution is. Do not expect this way of relating to be adopted by the other person or institution. Just know that you have honored what or who is important to you. In this way you have also honored yourself. If it is not, then as graciously as possible let go.
- In every rejection there is a gift. Look for it until you find it. If necessary, recruit others to help you find it. I learned this from growing up with a brother who was "normal" height and voted "Best Looking" guy in his high school and college. There were people who wanted to be his friend or girlfriend based purely on his looks. It took time before he knew who really liked him for who he was and not purely his looks. (Funny part, when we were kids we envied each other!) My experiences of repeated rejection at an early age, taught me who and what really mattered with less time spent with false pretenses. Finding the gift in the experience of being rejected is worth it because you are worth it! Look until you find it.
Sure there's more to be considered...but this is a start!
Experiencing rejection? What is most important that you consider at this time? Have you found the gift this rejection brings? If not, keep looking. It is there!