By: Emily Roberts, Regular Contributor
As crazy as it sounds, rejection isn’t real. It’s simply a false belief that you have to be someone else to fit in with the “norm.” It’s completely based on fear. We’ve been hardwired since we were in preschool to want to fit in, and if you don’t, you get “rejected.” But, this isn’t the truth. The feeling of rejection is just the universe reminding you, all of us, that whatever you are striving for isn’t a good fit for you.
A few years ago, when rejection felt real, I was on the dating scene. I was super anxious about the possibility of being rejected. I constantly asked myself, “What if he doesn’t like me?” “What if we date, and then he breaks up with me?”
These real fears were putting the power into my date’s hands and tricking me into thinking that I needed to be someone different, someone they wanted. So silly, right? The truth is, if it didn’t work out with this dude (or dud in some instances), it was probably a blessing in disguise.
One Saturday night I had what I like to call a rejection reality check. I had been texting, emailing, and flirting with an online match who appeared to be everything I was looking for in a guy. A few hours before the date he texted me to ask about a meeting spot, and we decided on a place I was familiar with. My mind was filled with optimism. This guy just “got” me, and we hadn’t even met in person!
Fast-forward to 10PM, two hours after we were supposed to meet. I was alone in the bar, confused and angry, but oddly enough, I wasn’t feeling rejected. He never bothered to respond to my texts asking if he was okay, if I was at the right spot, or even to say, “Sorry I messed up.” You may be thinking, “Maybe something happened, an accident, or even worse.” But no, he was online the next day, new profile picture and fully alive. This wasn’t rejection. This was a sign. I was so grateful that someone like this didn’t make it to meet me. He showed his true colors. He didn’t deserve to meet me and most certainly didn’t deserve to be with me. It was a blessing in disguise.
If you are like the old me, then you’re probably rolling your eyes right now. That’s because we’ve put so much stock in the word “rejection.” I’ve always believed that if I didn’t get the job, the date, or the part it was because there was something wrong with me. When in reality, it just wasn’t the right person or situation for me.
You may desperately try to fit the mold of what you feel others want, but it never works out because fear, not reality, is running the show. Think about this, do you really want to alter your authentic self to be a part of something? Have you ever heard of a good relationship coming from someone changing themselves to please their partner? Instead of saying you are going to be rejected, or were rejected, let’s try a new way of thinking.
Turn your fears into learning experiences. If you didn’t get the part, the date, or the gig, what did you learn from the situation? Was it even the right person or situation for you? You deserve to feel like things are easy, the right fit. Don’t change yourself or beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out. It really is a blessing in disguise. Can you think of an experience that you look back on and feel rejected, but it really was a learning experience about yourself? Look back and start to reframe rejection in your life.
Let's Chat! How do you handle feeling rejected? What learning experiences have you undergone? Tell us about it here!
Emily Roberts is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in working with girls and women. Also known as The Guidance Girl, Emily has made it her career to help others feel confident in the skin they’re in. She and her dog fluffy dog Milo split their time between the busy streets of New York City and Austin, Texas. You can reach out to Emily on her Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
image via blessingindisguise.com