When you learn how to deal with rejection, your whole life changes for the better
Have you ever been really mad at a friend, ignored them for a while to calm down and then just picked up the friendship again as if nothing happened? This is often the way that people learn how to deal with rejection. They get mad, stew over it for a while, feel bad later for ignoring the person who rejected them, then continue the friendship. However, the problem with doing this is there is built up resentment,
Learning how to deal with rejection is often associated with confrontation
One of the most difficult parts of friendships is dealing with confrontation. Often you can be scared to tell friends or partners they have hurt you, for fear you may be rejected. If you come from a family in which confrontation is not handled well, you are likely to take this awkwardness into your extended relationships. For instance, if every time you tell a family member she hurt you, you are attacked or criticised for being insensitive, you will be fearful of doing the same with others. Regardless of whether or not you believe you are right or wrong.
The problem with not standing up for yourself though, is that it builds up resentment. If you allow others to treat you disrespectfully on a regular basis, you are also likely to build low self esteem.
In this blog I am going to show you 3 easy and effective strategies you can use to stand up for yourself, without having to worry about what your friends might think or say. The key is in believing you deserve to be treated with respect and trusting you have a right to stand up for yourself when it’s appropriate and warranted.
The 3 Best Steps For Learning How To Deal With Rejection
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY
Think about what really matters to you and what’s worth fighting for. Some battles are best left alone. These are the ones that slightly bother you, but you don’t really care too much about them. For instance, whether your friend is 10 minutes late to pick you up from time to time. Others (particularly when there is a consequence) are important. These are worth taking a stand over. For example, being ignore by your best friend on a social outing with her new work friends.
Being late a few times is likely to be something you can laugh about or manage. However, being ignore by your best friend when she’s trying to impress others, is not acceptable. So the latter is important to talk about so that it doesn’t happen again.
It’s important to choose your battles wisely so that when you do stand up for yourself you have the impact you desire. This way, you won’t be viewed as someone who is ‘difficult’ or just complains a lot. Also, when you are standing up for something you really believe in, it gives you the confidence to say something without worrying about what other think. The cause you are standing up for outweighs the worry of upsetting someone else.
STEP 2: START EARLY
It’s important to respond to behaviour in the moment. It is much more difficult and stressful to stew over things and to then attempt to bring them up out of context.
Let’s look at an Example
Your friend organises with you to catch up in a few days time. You contact her the day before the event to finalise the arrangements. You hear nothing. The next day, you hear nothing until the afternoon. At this time she proceeds to tell you that something came up and she couldn’t make it, but she’s happy to meet another day.
What’s wrong here?
a) She never called you to explain her situation
b) She didn’t give you an opportunity to make other plans
c) She put her own needs above yours
d) She has assumed that you have nothing else to do and are happy to just go along with her reschedule
e) This is the 5th time she has done something like this to you
Based on items a) to e) above, it’s well above time to say something.
You have a number of options in such a scenario.
- Tell her you are no longer available and you had specifically put this time aside for her
- Ask her to explain why she never called you
- Ask her to give you some notice next time
It’s important in this scenario for your friend to understand the behaviour is disrespectful. However, it’s just as important for you to be assertive, otherwise your friend assumes you are just so easy going that anything goes.
It is an unfortunate part of human nature that some people will take advantage of others if they do not show how they really like to be treated. This is not because humans are inherently mean. It’s more a reflection of how busy everyone is and that people live in a world of competing demands. So you friend might rationalise that your needs are not as important, because you’ll accept anything.
STEP 3: ASSESS YOUR RELATIONSHIP EXPECTATIONS
This is a really important one and often gets people into trouble. It’s easy to expect that all friendships should be the same and subsequently all friends should treat you equally. However, this could not be further from the truth. There are the basics in relationships like kindness, fun, respect, but the time and priorities others have for you will differ depending on your level of friendship. So, it’s really important to categorise your friends and to raise or lower your expectations of these friendships accordingly.
Let’s look at an Example
A friend from school that you see occasionally for coffee, should not be expected to see you as often as a close friend that you have had for many years. This friend is also not expected to be as reliable, or someone you can confide in all the time, or ask for regular support. These should be reserved for closer friends that you have invested in over time and who have shown you they are invested in your friendship.
Start learning how to deal with rejection today
The next time you fee rejected by a friend, go through these three steps to ensure:
- The battle is worth having
- You stand up for yourself in-the-moment
- That you have assessed your level of frustration matches your level of friendship
Author of Perfect Mum & Refresh Your Life
Founder of Help For Mums