Hey All! Hope everyone has had an amazing week. Today, I want to take the opportunity to go over something that is extremely hard for me and something I still struggle with to this day. Rejection.
I am talking all kinds of rejection. Romantic, Work, Friends, Family, being picked as the last team member, I mean all of them.
Rejection, is one of those items in which as much as I want to irradiate it, it’s a necessary evil.
Oh, dear god, did I just say that?
Yes, unfortunately, I did.
So, let’s talk about it. Let’s dive deep and explore rejection. I have to say that I am slightly embarrassed about what I have to share, but we are here to learn and if my stories can help someone out there and let them feel connected, then I am happy to do so.
What is rejection?
the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.
“the Union decided last night to recommend rejection of the offer “synonyms: refusal, nonacceptance, declining, turning down, no, dismissal, spurning, rebuff;
the spurning of a person’s affections.
“some people are reluctant to try it, because they fear rejection”
Can we just agree that it sucks? It’s awful and it hurts. No matter the form of how it happens, from verbal to non verbal rejection is painful.
Why is it so painful?
Studies show that when a person is rejected, the part of the brain in which physical pain is registered is also the same part in which emotional pain is registered as well. Fascinating right? So, whenever we experience even emotional pain, it becomes a physical element to us.
Another part is something ingrained in all of us. In the era of the caveman, to be casted away and rejected from a tribe was a death sentence. Alone, surviving was futile. The lone wolf dies, the pack survives. We fear rejection because rejection is fear of being alone and dying. Wow, that just got dark really fast…
Here is a Ted Article relating to the hurt we experience:
Over the years, I have experienced many forms of rejection. By far, the ones that have hurt the most have been the romantic ones.
To All The Boys I’ve Crushed On Before
I can remember with excruciating detail every crush I had since Kindergarten. Seriously, I had a crush on at least one guy once a year since Kindergarten. Only when I got in High School did the amount diminish. With each September when school started, in a matter of days I had goo goo eyed a guy and immediately I was infatuated. My heart would soar as I imagined the day when they would realize, it is you Angelica *grand arm gestures, kneeling* you are the one that I want, and sweep me off my feet.
And with each passing year, I was reminded of why they were called crushes. Granted for the most part, I said absolutely nothing to the guy to indicate I had a crush on them. Naturally, they were supposed to know that I liked them, and they of course, would just feel so compelled to love me in return. Kindergarten me had high hopes.
As years passed, my self worth took some critical hits. I watched as my friends started dating and having relationships. I wondered when it would be my turn.
Fast forward 28 years. I still never had a boyfriend.
What happened next, I was not expecting nor had I planned for it. I developed feelings for someone that I had known for quite some time. I had grown to like them in a way I hadn’t before. I didn’t even realize I liked them until the threat of them no longer being in my life was presented. I was scared and anxious. For the first time, I felt like I had to do something about it.
One day I had the courage, I found myself with a guitar in hand, playing Wild Thing to the guy on a dare we had come up with together. As he walked to my car, my heart was pounding, it was shouting, tell him! tell him! tell him now!!!!! I confessed my feelings “I like you”, He told me he liked me too. Of course, I was not expecting this, it had to be he only liked me as a person. I further clarified, I mean I like you, like I want to be your girlfriend. He smiled. That is how after 28 years, I finally, had a boyfriend.
9 months later, it was over. and it was all my fault. At least, thats what my brain told me. It told me I f**ked up. Big time. Even as he sat on my couch giving me the “it’s not you, it’s me” I felt the pain in my chest as if someone had kicked me, and my blood felt like someone replaced it with liquid nitrogen. I thought I was doing well. I nodded and let him tell me how it just wasn’t going to work out. I envisioned me being one of those women who would remain calm and not get emotional/berate the guy/bring up the past/beg him to stay with me. Until I thought of my dad and how that was the only boyfriend he would ever meet. That’s when I completely lost it, ugly cried and almost threw up in the span of 20 seconds. I felt bad for what he was witnessing. I remembering walking to my door ready to show him out, and stopping and crying, knowing as soon as I open that door he will walk out and I will never see him again. But I did it, he apologized and left.
How could I let this happen? I f**ked up. Big Time. Thats what my brain told me. You shouldn’t have pushed him, you shouldn’t have asked to meet his friends, you shouldn’t have done xyz. You should have let it go. You should have let him just do his thing. The relationship ended because I just wasn’t good enough.
For months, that was my mental state, I wasn’t good enough. Day after day that was what I told myself. I was rejected, it must be my fault. If I was good enough, he would have stayed. If he truly loved me, he would have fought for me and we would have worked it out. I even went down my list of qualities, if I was nice, beautiful, funny, if any of those things were enough, it would have worked out.
I am telling you all this because I feel like this is something that everyone goes through. This inner self talk of not feeling good enough after rejection. I want to let you, you the reader know, this is not how this has to be.
I recognize, as part of my journey, that the way I talk to myself does not have to be like that.
Now, in terms of dating I am no expert by any means and I can’t sit here and tell you, well based on what he said… and it is you and not him… I’m sorry, I am clueless when it comes to that. What I want to focus on is the mental talk that goes inside.
Enter my current dating life. It’s going. I have already experienced what I have deemed a rejection in a way, no call or text within a week. Now I can tell you, I was upset and very much was on overthinking overload. But you know what didn’t cross my mind? That I wasn’t good enough. In fact, it was the opposite.
The compassionate part of myself told me although this is rejection, I am an amazing unique human being and if that person can’t see that, it’s their loss. I am more than worth it.
I found myself instead of tearing myself down, I was building myself up. Sometimes, it felt fake, other times it felt great, reassuring, Yes I am! I am worth it! Rinse and Repeat!
I found a great article that deals with Rejection and what we can do to combat it. https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/5-ways-mentally-strong-people-deal-with-rejection.html
In short, the article breaks down 5 ways to deal with rejection
1. Acknowledge your emotions
2. Rejection is a way to show you are living outside your comfort zone, in a good way.
3. Treat Yourself with Compassion
4. Rejection does not define you
5. Learn from rejection
So, as this is a lesson I believe that I am still learning I don’t feel like I should write Golden Gelly Nuggets. Instead I would like to give my take aways from what I have learned thus far.
- Rejection does not define who I am. How I let it effect me, does.
- My worth is not defined by others.
- I do not need others to affirm who I am.
- Rejection is a way to show I am pushing my limits and building character.
- I am an amazing unique individual, any guy who can’t see that, it’s their lost. I am worth it.