In life, there are some unavoidable things we all have to deal with at some point and rejection is one of them. “It’s part of being a human. There’s no way to live your life without experiencing any kind of rejection,” explains psychotherapist Sharon Martin. And whether it’s not getting the dream job you applied for or being blindsided by a breakup, rejection never feels good.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you’re not good enough when you’re reeling from rejection, but there are things you can do to help put it behind you and get back to living your life. Experts recommend this step-by-step guide to dealing with rejection so you can move on with your life.
- Acknowledge your feelings - Treat it like a grieving process, let yourself feel the emotions, as uncomfortable as they may be.
- Figure out what the rejection means for you - Look at the situation and decide if it’s actually fair and accurate, or if you’re being too hard on yourself.
- Reach out for support - Some types of rejection are easier to see, like getting dumped, others are less obvious, like being passed over for a promotion. So if your loved ones aren’t giving you the support you need because they don’t recognize the loss or that you’re hurting, reach out and explain it so they can help support you.
- Ask for feedback - Jia Jiang, founder of Rejection Therapy, suggests framing your request for feedback by saying you’re hoping to learn something from the rejection. She advises saying something like, “I would love to have some feedback for my own benefit, so I can improve on my end.” Or for a personal relationship, try saying, “I would really like to know what happened, it would make me feel better about moving on and not holding it in.”
- Put it behind you - The final step is finding acceptance and moving on. “Sometimes people say the best way to get over getting dumped is to find another love,” Jiang says. “Or the best way to overcome a job you didn’t get is to find a dream job.” It may not be quite that simple, but putting it into perspective, that the world is much bigger than one person, one job, or one relationship, can help.