When we feel rejected by others, it can trigger some of our deepest feelings of abandonment, sadness, hurt and shame.
When we feel rejected by others, we barely take pause before we head down self-rejection alley. This is a sad, anxiety provoking and depressing place to be, it can be very damaging to your self esteem and I don't recommend spending much time there!
So, without further ado here's some awesome tips that can help you bounce back quicker from rejection.
When someone shouts at you, judges you /criticises you harshly - it's NEVER about you
It may sound hard to believe but it's true! If someone treats you like this, it's not because there is anything wrong with you - repeat there's nothing wrong with you - it's because they're having a bad day, they're experiencing stress or it might be something deeper.
Bottom line - no one has the right to talk down to you, to shout at you or criticise you constantly. If you're in a relationship like this, it's a toxic & controlling relationship and it's only going to get worse. Holding on to hope in a relationship like this is the worst thing you can do. It will drag your self esteem down one criticism at a time. If you find yourself thinking "oh if only I were better/smarter/skinnier/ more considerate then we'd have a great relationship", you've in deep water. Be courageous and get out now while you've still got some self esteem.
Next time a person shouts at you or criticises you remind yourself"it's not about me" and take a few minutes to take care of yourself. Whether that's taking yourself to the bathroom to give yourself some space from the situation, taking some nice slow deep breaths down (which will move you through those intense feelings & fight or flight and soothe and calm your body and mind so you can respond in a calmer way to the situation.
Perfectionism = self rejection + too much pressure!
There's a false underlying assumption that being perfect will make us feel good enough. Fortunately, for the likes of you and me the opposite is true! When we give ourselves permission to cock up, to fall short of the mark and dust ourselves off again knowing we're giving it our best, we can stop all the self rejection and start growing healthy self esteem.
In this age of ridiculous standards, I also encourage my clients to aim to be a bit sh*t at something. This can be quite challenging for people! Giving yourself permission to fail and screw up (perhaps while learning something new) gives you a wonderful sense of freedom, takes a load of that pressure off and is an important part of our journey to wholeness.
If you've just broken up from a relationship, it's important to take time to be kind to yourself. Say comforting things to yourself instead of criticising yourself.
Hang out with close friends you can talk to about things.
Take some time for self care - getting out in nature, doing some cardio exercise (to boost your mood and help release painful emotions) and eating well will all help speed your recovery.
The sting of self rejection can often cause much more pain than the sting of losing the relationship.
Know that even though it hurts a lot right now, these intense feelings will pass.
Ask yourself - was he/she really that amazing??
If you think your relationship was amazing and you've been dumped, I bet you're missing some useful insights about your relationship that can lessen the hurt and make you feel better about yourself too. I don't mean this in a callous way, but there is often a tendency to idealise past relationships or putting all the blame on ourselves that can cause us a lot more needless pain.
Clients are often amused and surprised after sessions when we explore the nuts and bolts of the relationship, it's shortfalls and what they actually want in a relationship in the long run.
When we spin into self rejection we look for ways to soothe the pain - often through a default coping mechanism such as burying ourselves in our work, drinking or taking drugs to numb the pain, looking for validation from others - having an affair, overeating etc. While coping mechanisms like these can ease the pain somewhat they can often be harmful to our overall well-being and happiness.
So is it possible to avoid this tailspin into self rejection after we have been rejected in some way by a loved one or colleague? I've got some good news for you, yes it is possible. You can save yourself from the pain that hurts the most - the sting of self rejection, and you can also learn to soothe the pain of being rejected by someone else.
Firstly it requires a shift in how we think about rejection.
What if rejection is an invitation or an opportunity? An invitation to change our self talk when we feel rejected. An opportunity for us to be gentler and kinder to ourselves - even though we feel rejected by another? What would it look like if you are able to bring kindness and forgiveness to yourself for being an imperfect human who's still deserving of love?
Next time you feel rejected - instead of going in to a tailspin of self analysis and self criticism, see if you can instead find a way to cultivate an inner voice that's compassionate and caring towards yourself.
This new self talk could be the start of unconditional self love. And that's truly something worth striving for.