Thursday, March 10, 2011

R stands for...

The feeling of being rejected is one of the most upsetting human emotions. Whether you don't get the job you applied for, are denied entrance at a club or get your heart broken after declaring your love; everyone will agree that rejection is like when a non smoker kisses someone who does: it leaves quite the vile aftertaste. Immediately, a small (or large) part of you is silenced to agony. Letting out a sigh, fighting the tears, feel like punching a wall or becoming red in the face sound familiar? Case in point, rejection is brutal. Ultimately, you are embarrassed -- even more so if you were unlucky to experience it in the presence of others. But you are not alone, because despite the fact that the feeling will always seem very personal, it remains a universal sensation: each person has  been rejected, gravely or not, at least once, at some point in his/her life.

People respond to rejection very differently: some, on one hand, go into denial. Curiously enough, pretending that such an incident never happened is not a very difficult task. They manage to bend the truth when they're asked about it. Other times, they even claim that getting dismissed doesn't affect them one bit. Depending on the gravity of the rejection, not caring about it is really the gospel truth. However, being in denial is more often a question of pride. They do not face the reality because no one in this world wants to confess he/she got hurt: swallowing one's pride truly doesn't come easy to everyone.

On the other hand, there are people who deal with rejection with a little more drama. Being very open about their feelings, they weep and confide in friends or loved-ones. This is a more humane approach to the matter and it is in fact true that getting support lifts one's spirits up. Once again, it is certain that your confidant knows what you're going through and his/her compassionate words are precisely what you need. Feeling rejected might still sting for a while, but after liberating your frustration to another party, it does not seem all that bad. Last but not least, there are those who prefer to go through the pain of rejection in silence. It affects them just as much -- maybe even more --  but they simply cope with unfriendly feelings behind closed doors.

No matter how you deal with rejection -- perhaps juggling between all three types contingent upon the situation -- there's no doubt that it's a horrifying process in any case. It makes you feel bad and it's humiliating. But most importantly, it's absurd how rejection has the ultimate power to crush your ego. It forces you to question everything you know about yourself. It does not matter how big the issue is, whether it's a small thing like getting turned down  by a total stranger or it's more serious like failing an audition, rejection lets others imply that you are not good enough -- in your career, in love, in social encounters, etc. Many don't believe in themselves to begin with and it is even worse for someone who thinks well of him/herself. Indeed, being rejected is one of the most disconcerting emotions.

Truth is, no one can prevent it from happening, in any given setting, even if you are very confident or the best. After all, the final decision is not up to you. Sometimes you were treated unfairly and it has nothing to do with what you can offer. And the other times when it really sends an arrow through your heart, find solace in the fact that you took a risk. You do not always get what you want or what you thought you deserve; and it is perfectly okay to have this whirlwind of feelings: sadness, shame, anger or distress. The trick is to deal with it in the way that suits you best and look ahead. In the end, you must not forget that being rejected also bears fruit -- it makes every time you're accepted more exceptional. Learning how to handle these emotions will also help you grow as person: you'll  definitely become a better (wo)man. Finally, a rejection can also only suggest the following: it wasn't meant for you. Life does treat you fairly, trust it. In a weird way, maybe they did you a favor because a rejection simply equals new possibilities.