2 weeks ago · lizzie · 0 comments
Dealing With Rejection
Rejection comes in many forms:
– A partner letting you go
– A parent’s neglect
– A friend’s lack of respect, support or loyalty
These rejections can stay with you for days, week, months – even years and as a result they can negatively impact on your life.
Rejection is made up of 1 part: your interpretation of external behaviors and the other part: your expectation of people, circumstances and events.
With regards to the first part, we are often not trained from a young age to interpret the attitudes and behaviors of significant others accurately. For instance, parents rarely explain to their children that they are ‘snappy’ today due to their own underlying stress. As a result, children learn to interpret such behaviors as meaning there must be something wrong with them or that they have done something wrong.
With regard to the second part, your expectations also influence your interpretation of events. Thus, in the above example, children have the expectation that parents are there to love them unconditionally, so they need lots of reassurance that even when they misbehave or are spoken to in a less than patient manner – they are still loved.
Coping with rejection
In order to deal with rejection as an adults, it’s important to have realistic expectations and to explain events accurately. Let’s use a career example. When you put your heart and soul into work (as many people do), you are likely to have the expectation that hard work equals validation, recognition and financial rewards. However, this is not necessarily the case. Hard work gives you a better chance of attaining these things, however if you fail to take opportunities, voice your desire for financial incentives/promotions, or ensure the ‘right’ people at work are made aware of the great job you’re doing, you are less likely to achieve the accolades you desire. Consequently you are likely to feel rejected by your employer and may even start to doubt your abilities as a result. However, in the event that you were passed on for promotion, you have the option of viewing this as a sign of your inadequacies, or instead to view it as a reminder that you need to tweak your work process. Thus, your interpretation of the outcome will also influence how rejected you feel in that moment.
The same principles can be applied in relationships. Often in partnerships individuals do not take the time to address issues that are important to them and end up losing too much of themselves in the partnership – for fear of losing the person, or simply to keep the peace. This giving so much of themselves can lead to an expectation of receiving the same or more in return. However, often such grandiose gestures are not reciprocated. This in turn leads to feelings of rejection, as the lack of similar support is viewed as a reflection of themselves rather than of their partners inadequacies.
In order to avoid feeling rejected, you must change your mindset. Whilst no one likes to feel hurt by another persons actions, the way you respond to this hurt will dictate whether or not you interpret the other persons behavior as a personal rejection or just a problem the other person may need to address within themselves – in other words its their problem – not yours!
Lizzie O’Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac
Founder of Help For Mums