REJECTION – that is a word that hurts just looking at it. Why does it hurt to just look at that word? Could it be because as humans we all have been on the receiving end of rejection and it brings to mind all those painful feelings. I don’t know about you but it sure does me.
My bible study delved into this very sensitive subject recently and shed some wonderful light on different areas of my life. It spoke to me personally and professionally. One thing we all know is that rejection in any area can be taken very personally. If we extend our heart to someone we love and it is not accepted, it hurts. If we extend the hand of friendship and it is not accepted, it hurts. If we extend ourselves professionally and it is not accepted, it hurts. We internalize these hurts and it tends to color the way we deal with others in the future.
A person in a relationship gets rejected and the relationship ends one of two things usually happens:
- We try and recover the relationship by doing things we would not normally do in order please that other person, ie; accepting behavior that is detrimental to us or acting in a manner that is in conflict with who we are or what we stand for.
- We reject the person who rejected us and sometimes end up cutting off our nose to spite our face by possibly being vengeful or ending up in a rebound situation.
In either case our life is negatively impacted and future relationships can be also.
From our perspective it is hard to see the rejection may not really have anything to do with a failing on our part but an issue the other person may be dealing with. Now I am not a proponent of being a doormat but I do think we should give ourselves and others a little slack. We might need to step back and get a little space and try and see what really happened and why.
Case in point…. I have a facebook page that I use to inform people about health & wellness issues and as I am in that industry I also will occasionally (maybe 5%) post something about my business. Yesterday I was going to other pages and posting a suggestion that they check out my page. On one page I was accused by 4 separate people of just trying to sell them something, when they had not even bothered to look at my page. At first it hurt my feelings and made me angry and I wanted to lash back at them. Then I wanted to justify myself and finally I realized that those people had problems in their lives that they were dealing with and had just fed off the first negative comment that had been posted. I replied to their comments by apologizing for any offense I might have caused, letting them know that my intent was to provide information that could help their health and finally wishing them well on their life quest. Do I wish that their response had been different, yes. Does that mean I should quit trying to share helpful information with people, no.
Space, time, and persepective is what we need to use to deal with people who reject us. Will we ever stop receiving rejection…no, but hopefully we will learn how to handle that rejection in an appropriate and emotionally healthy manner.