How to handle rejection?

Do you remember the familiar heart wrenching love story where the boy falls in love with a girl but is unable to express his feelings, lest she rejects him?  He does all kinds of crazy things for example buy gifts for the girl, impress the girl with palmistry or singing and sometimes even with an outlandish attempt at poetry. He follows her everywhere, does every unimaginable thing including the much dreaded shopping experience where he has to carry a hundred bags (well not exactly, but it feels that way anyways) and wait for an eternity for the shop hopping to get over, clings on to the notion of loving her and yet is mortified of spilling his heart out to her.

Soon enough he finds out that the girl is going out with someone else and after some time he learns that she is about to get married. Heartbroken, he makes a desperate attempt to salvage his love – he proposes and asks for her hand. She agrees, but only to give him her hand while the rest of her body and soul will be reserved for the other guy she is getting married with.

To cut the long story short, she rejects him. The ship has sailed and the boy lost the battle to win her heart. Out of despair the boy tries to commit suicide but fails again. The distraught family of the boy comes to his rescue and he settles for a cool gadget from his mother instead of the girl – the latest X Box 360, and he lives happily ever after.

What lessons can you learn from the story? I don’t know about you but I learnt two – A) Speak up. Say what’s in your heart. Ask whatever it is that you want. The worst that can happen is you won’t get what you are looking for. At least you will have the satisfaction of trying when it matters.

  1. B) Learn how to handle rejection. Rejection is a part of life. Everyone goes through it at some point or the other.

I also thought that a cool gadget isn’t a bad deal for a break up (albeit a theoretical one), especially where you never have to express your feelings and just take a calculated risk on the suicide attempt. But for the sake of safety, I had to omit that as a third lesson.

The important questions behind all this are – how much of rejection can you take? How much of it should you be prepared to take? In how many ways can you get rejected? What should you do when you get rejected (other than blackmailing your loved ones for I phone 8 may be)?

You may get rejected in any one or all of the following ways:

  • You propose and get rejected
  • You ask for money from friends and get rejected
  • You ask for money from your parents and get rejected
  • You apply for a job and get rejected
  • You apply for a loan from a bank and get rejected
  • You apply for admission to a college and get rejected
  • You try for a promotion and get rejected
  • You make a business proposal and get rejected

There are so many ways you can face rejection. I have been through all of the above mentioned rejections. What I have also noticed is that some people get grumpy and despondent upon facing rejection. And the sad part is that they chose to live that way for way too long. It is Ok to feel disappointed, that’s natural. But if you start to live life in that vein, you cut yourself off from the world and eventually end up missing more opportunities or destroying relationships which can lead to more depression. It is imperative to believe in yourself and not reject yourself.

Rejection in some form is inevitable to everyone. I think it is good to face a few rejections as well, because it tests your character. Success does not depend on only one way that you have tried and failed. There might be other avenues open. Explore them and persist – you may just get what you want. Rejection does not de-value us. It is our response to it that hurts our self-esteem or increases our determination. The great news is that you get to choose either of the two. So why do we choose to hurt our self-esteem? Is it because of our ego? I don’t know.

As for me, I simply move on to my next target when I get rejected. For example if I was looking for a job, and I tried in company X and got rejected, I would be disappointed for 60 seconds and then target company Y. Only this time I would be better prepared armed with the knowledge of what got me rejected at company X.

The only way to handle rejection that I know is to stay determined and keep trying. How did you handle rejection in the past? How would you respond to it the next time it shows up? Remember, you get to make a choice – Take a hit on your self-esteem or increase your determination.

On second thoughts – May be you can also try the suicide gimmick and settle for the cool gadget that you always wanted!

Feel free to share this article and share your thoughts on rejection. I would love to hear from you.

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