Patrica Omoqui: When dem tell you NO: 5 Life-Changing ways to handle rejection

A long-term relationship with him would have limited my life!  His rejection was a gift to me!

Can you relate to any of these rejection scenarios?

Parents disapprove of us, even walk out of our lives or force us out of theirs.

Friends call us names on the playground and gossip behind our backs. 

We hit puberty and our boyfriends and girlfriends leave us.  (I’m sure you remember your first break-up as if it was yesterday, don’t you?)

Papers we submit are returned to us with low marks and negative comments from the teacher.

We get rejected as grown-ups too!

Business proposals get tossed aside by potential investors. 

Our friends and family members mock our dreams. 

Manuscripts we’ve written get thrown into a slush pile, never getting a second look. 

Even minor snubs upset us: the okada we desperately needed passes us by. 

Ouch! Help me please. When will this rejection EVER stop?!

It won’t stop! Getting rejected is part of life.

There are 6 billion people on this planet—and each of us is entitled to his or her opinion.  We each make choices every minute of every day.  Sometimes the choices people make means we are left out.  When we take such choices as a personal rejection, we suffer and feel deep pain.

Rejection need not be personal unless we choose to see it that way.  As a hiring manager, I often interviewed dozens of candidates for one open position.  Though I liked many of them and found their skills impressive, I could hire only one.  It wasn’t personal.

As a college girl, I fell in love with a smart, good-looking athlete and I knew he was “the one.”  However, after a year of dating he dumped me.  Soon after, he began dating another girl on campus.  I shed many tears thinking there was something wrong or inadequate about me.  Now, more than 15 years later, I am grateful he was honest and moved on when he did.  A long-term relationship with him would have limited my life!  His rejection was a gift to me!

I am thankful to have learned that rejection is not personal.  If someone rejects me I have come to understand that it is not about me.  If a parent or a spouse leaves, it’s not because of some lack in you, it’s because of their own inner issues.  Notice how different you would feel inside if you could accept that as true.  Rejection offers clarity and a new direction.

Here are 5 life-changing perspectives on getting rejected: 

1. Rejection is not about you.  A refusal is someone making a choice based on their own needs and goals.  It’s futile to try to control another person.  People think what they think and want what they want.  What we can change is the way we choose to interpret another person’s choice and how we respond to them.

2. Rejection shows us our next opportunities for growth.  It guides us to the wounds that we have within that need to be healed.  The suffering we feel can lead us to greater levels of self-awareness.  When someone rejects us it shows us our sensitive spots and the ways we are probably still questioning and doubting ourselves.

3. If you don’t reject you, nobody else can either.  You can move beyond rejection when you learn to love and accept yourself for who you are and where you are in life.   If you accept and love yourself fully, would it matter if someone says “no” or even walks out on you?  Of course, it might be painful; it need not be devastating.  When you are happy with you, people can say or do anything to you and it really doesn’t affect you as much.  You listen to their comments as observations.  Thank them for their honesty.  Smile or shrug, and then move on with your day (or life).

4. Rejection is a blessing.  Seems strange to say, but it is actually truly wonderful when someone honestly tells you they aren’t interested in you!  It opens the door for new things, better-suited friends and partners, and fresh experiences to enter your life.  When people tell the truth and say what they are thinking, they save us precious time and energy.

5. Rejection can turn to inspiration.  Actor Sylvester Stallone once said, “I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.”  When someone turns you down, rise to the occasion!  Get even more focused on living your best life.

Food For Thought

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”

–Bo Bennett, business man & author.


Comments (3)

  1. Simply On point! Great article for the Faint at heart who might take Rejection badly.

  2. The pain of rejection stems from our desire for approval yes, but that stems from our intolerance for losing. If we could accept that we mustn't always win, we mustn't be loved by everyone, our proposals mustn't always be accepted, that it's ok to lose some, we could avoid some of the hurt.

  3. Rejection sometimes means that someone disapproves of you. So whether or not it is based on their own needs and goals, it still hurts to be disapproved of.

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