Overcoming Rejection

There is something that doesn’t sit well with the majority of people, it irks us when it happens to us and we can’t help but feel hurt by it, it’s called rejection.

Maybe you’ve experienced it at school, in the workplace, within your circle of friends, or from a date. The truth of the matter is that rejection causes a certain pain that the brain equates with physical pain. (Eisenburger et al, 2003.) That sounds pretty serious, right? At some point in our lives most people will experience it, so unfortunately this is not something that can be prevented – or is it?

Our reality is shaped by our perception. So in other words, what we perceive to be the world around us is what creates our reality. It’s not just our physical senses that contribute to our perception, but our values, beliefs, and general knowledge of the world. In terms of rejection, it is actually possible to shift your thinking or perception to help you overcome the feeling of being rejection.

How, you ask?

The most important thing is to understand your core strengths and abilities. You know yourself best, you’ve been there through good times and bad, and chances are you have overcome a whole lot to get to where you are now. It’s time to start giving yourself some more credit and appreciating the person you turned out to be, no matter what stage you are in life, what career you have, what your weight is, or how many friends you have. Stop living your life continuously looking for approval or validation from others and start living unapologetically yourself. I say this with caution because I am not trying to encourage people to be rude or harmful to others, but there are some things we just need to let go. If we truly know who we are, the good that we do, the positive things we contribute to the world, then what is there a need for recognition by others? And why is their opinion so important?

If there is someone in your circle of friends, an ex partner, a coworker that doesn’t like you, chances are there is very little that will change that. I say this because it doesn’t matter what you do, they have already made up their mind that you are on the list of people they don’t like. And it could anything: your hair, your skin colour, your religious background, your lack of religious background, your voice, your appearance, etc. the list could go on. So in other words, once someone has made up their mind that they don’t like you, move along from them. You do not need to convince anyone that you are worth their time. The most important thing is that you know and understand yourself, and know your worth. And if you have a close group of friends and family, consider this a blessing from the universe.

SourcesEisenberger, N. I., Lieberman, M. D., & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does rejection hurt? An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science, 302(5643), 290-292.

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