One incident of rejection can be hard to swallow, but repeated rejection can make you feel as if you are fighting an uphill battle. Whether you are failing to win a girl's affections or just can't seem to find a place on your school's sports team, rejection can drag down your self esteem if you allow negativity to run wild. Instead, learn a few strategies that can help you cope with consistent rejection and keep pushing forward.
Avoid Self-Image Distortions
When you're exposed to multiple incidents of rejection, it's easy to begin to develop distortions about yourself. For example, you might label yourself in a negative way or take blame for an external event, warns social psychologist Jeremy Nicholson in the Psychology Today article, "Dealing with Rejection Part 1: Handling Others' Rejecting Behavior." Avoid the impression that rejection is always about you as a person, or always your fault. For example, if several girls turn down your offer to dance, acknowledge that perhaps they already have their eyes on someone else, or they have made a decision based only on very limited knowledge about you.
Breathe It Out
You can increase your resilience to rejection by limiting your body's responses to it, suggests psychologist Deborah Khoshaba in the Psychology in Everyday Life article, "Rejection Sensitivity: Three Ways to Beat It!" For example, Khoshaba recommends using a breathing exercise, such as alternate nostril breathing, to find a sense of calm after each rejection. In time, you will find that rejection is not only physically harmless, but also emotionally harmless to you as long as you can regain your sense of peace.
Ask for Feedback
Begin to problem-solve by asking for feedback, suggests behavioral scientist Christie Hartman in her blog post, "Handling Repeated Rejection in Dating, Part 2." For example, if you keep failing to make a sports team, talk to the coach about what you can do to improve your chances. The same strategy can be used when it comes to dating. Ask your close friends what seems to hold you back from success. As previously stated, you aren't always at fault for your rejection, but in some cases, a different approach might help.
Make Positivity Your Goal
Make it a personal goal to not allow rejection to ruin your positive attitude, suggests psychologist Alice Boyes in the PsychCentral article, "7 Tips to Avoid Personalizing Rejection." You don't have to keep a smile on your face when you face rejection, but keep your head up, avoid slouching and try to maintain a calm expression. Picture yourself being as emotionally sturdy and professional as you can. Not only will confident body language help you feel more confident, but when people see that you are capable of handling negative feedback, they will offer more honest opinions. You can then use those opinions to change your approach to issues like dating and to solve problems more effectively.
- Psychology Today: Dealing with Rejection Part 1: Handling Others' Rejecting Behavior
- Psychology in Everyday Life: Rejection Sensitivity: Three Ways to Beat It!
- Christie Hartman PHD: Handling Repeated Rejection in Dating, Part 2
- PsychCentral: 7 Tips to Avoid Personalizing Rejection
- YouTube: Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
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