Rejection can take a huge toll on self esteem. I remember even at Primary School sitting with my best friend and 2 boys, and asking them which of us they would ‘go out with’, and them both choosing her. I still remember that moment, & my memory is terrible (!), which shows what a deep impact it had.
Love Island has got me thinking about this again, especially that awful part in the 1st episode where they step forward if they fancy the person (and they all have to be in swimwear!). Sometimes nobody steps forward and I cringe, as I know that scenario would have a huge impact on my self esteem.
Public or private, rejection hurts. Here are 5 ways you can deal with the aftermath…
1. Remember you’re not alone
You’re not the first person to be rejected by someone you like. Even the most stunningly attractive people are sometimes rejected (look at Love Island!). The person who is rejecting you has probably been rejected. Unfortunately it’s one of those hardships we must go through as humans. Don’t think it’s just you!
2. Talk to someone
A problem shared is a problem halved – don’t internalise all of your pain. Talk to someone who is a good listener and good at empathising with others. Acknowledging your feelings out load will help you come to terms with whatever happened and help you make sense of it all.
3. Remind yourself that you are enough
Rather than relying on external factors e.g. a boy/girl fancying you to make you feel good about yourself and happy, start to look to yourself for this. Start showing yourself that you are in control of your own happiness, which will make it easier to cope with rejection. Start by identifying hobbies/activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good. Throw yourself into these!
4. Challenge any negative thoughts
If this rejection has made you start thinking things like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I must be really boring’, ‘I’m not as attractive as other people’ etc, start challenging these thoughts. This link will take you to some great advice to do this effectively.
5. Learn from the experience
After some time, try to view what happened as a learning experience. Take some time to reflect on it. Is it the same type of person that you keep pursuing and end up getting rejected? Perhaps it’s time to pursue someone completely different…? Or perhaps it’s time for you to enjoy being single for a while because you’ve forgotten how to be happy on your own.