By: Claire Cook, Regular Contributor
Image from querytracker.blogspot.com
Everyone gets rejected. From professional to friendly to romantic rejection, they all just plain hurt. However, rather than allowing yourself to marinate in your bruised ego and self-pity, I suggest you celebrate the rejection. Not every job, friendship, or relationship is meant to be. That’s okay because rejection usually clears the way for something or someone better to come along!
Embracing your emotions is healthy, however obsessing over them is not. So when you get rejected, allow yourself to feel the hurt for a day or two and then move on. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself, but that does not help you get back on your feet. Make the harder choice: Get up and choose to celebrate what is no longer as well as what is next. Each person has a different method of feeling better and all of them are fine. My personal method is a long run followed by a longer drive while singing at the top of my lungs to girl power music. Current girl power music choice: Haim.
Do not allow yourself to overanalyze a rejection because it’s a black and white situation. If a company wanted to hire you, they would. If someone you were dating wanted to be with you, he or she would be with you. Friendship is the most black and white of them all: If someone isn't acting like your friend, he or she is not your friend. Period. Situations become "complicated" because the other party doesn't want to hire, befriend, or date you enough. Do you really want to be in a situation where the other party doesn’t want you enough? The answer is no. Are there exceptional circumstances? Yes, of course, but don't hold your breath for them.
Choose to look at the positives of the rejection. What did you learn from the interview process or relationship? How are you a better and stronger person because of the rejection? Sometimes the lesson won’t be immediate, but will become evident in the future.
I burned over fifteen rejection letters in my high school’s rejection letter bonfire. As defeated as I felt at age 17, my college rejection process gave me the freedom and courage to explore what and where I wanted to study. During the five years I took to earn a degree, I studied and lived in Indiana, China, Russia, Viet Nam and finally my home state of Connecticut. I learned far more during college from living rather than studying. Graduating with a BA cum laude in Theater and Film Studies, I moved to New York City and was hired at Columbia Records, my post college dream job. Although my college process was imperfect by most standards, I still ended up exactly where I wanted to be.
On the romantic rejection front, I recently was rejected by a person I had grown to care about and trust. I was very sad at first but realize it’s for the best as I now can fully embrace my new job, city, and friends. Moreover, it was the first time I had allowed myself to be romantically vulnerable. Now that my barriers are down, I’ll be more capable of being open and intimate with the next person that comes along. Turns out the person I thought was Mr. Right was just clearing the path for the real Mr. Right.
When it comes to rejection, trust that every cloud has a silver lining and that every rejection has a lesson behind it. One day, you’ll look back on each and every rejection with the peace of mind and understanding that it helped build the life and person you’ve become. Those scars are a sign of a life well lived.
About Claire: Claire “Bear” Cook is a regular contributor to I Am That Girl who spends her days working in marketing at a multimedia company in Los Angeles. Having lived in New York City for 3 years and grown up on the East Coast, she moved to LA in 2013 on a leap of faith to build her career and broaden her perspective. Claire is passionate about travel, running, music, karaoke, walruses & wine and enjoys spending her free time with free-thinking, creative & positive people.