How to Avoid Rejection Infection
We have all been rejected at some point in our lives.
For some of us, the rejection came at a young age. For others, it’s a far too recent memory. For some, it came from a family member. For others, it was a co-worker or friend. For some, it stung. For others, it stuck with you for years and you may even still struggle with it today.
It has happened to us all.
In my early 20’s, I was very interested in the political scene. In fact, I thought that at some point I would run for public office. When I was invited to a campaign event for a guy I really wanted to meet, I thought that this was going to be my big break. He was going to meet me, we were going to hit it off, and I would be on my way to being a senator or governor.
As I walked into the event, I immediately spotted him. I was nervous, but excited. As I made my way through the crowd, I finally was close enough to be introduced. We shook hands and the moment was over in less than 5 seconds. He couldn’t have seemed more disinterested in meeting me. As the night went on, I remained hopeful, only to be disappointed when the night ended and there was no magical connection.
I felt rejected. Why didn’t he like me? Why didn’t he want to get to know me? Was it that I was too young? Am I not personable enough? Did I look poor or incapable of helping him in a tangible way? I was crushed.
Since then, I have been rejected more times than I can count.
Sometimes it was an insignificant rejection by someone I didn’t know well. But, often, the most painful rejections come from those who are closest to us.
In those moments, I have found there are four steps I can take to heal from the hurt.
If it’s possible, go directly to the person who rejected you. Clarify what happened and find out if it was a misunderstanding or if you misinterpreted what was said or done. Sometimes you can feel rejected when the other person meant nothing by it.
Forgiving a person who has rejected you is hard and requires grace and humility. Forgiveness in this context most often happens without an apology from the offender. However, forgiveness will help you avoid the infection that can so easily settle into our hearts and minds.
3. Move On.
Sometimes this is the only solution possible. You’ve been hurt. You’ve been rejected. Move on. It’s your choice to hang on to the hurt and allow it to paralyze you or move on and find what’s next.
4. Let Go.
Even after you confront, forgive and move on, the memories still linger. You can find yourself reflecting on what you wish would have happened. Letting go requires you give up control. Letting go means giving up your entitlement to retribution. Letting go means you stop feeling sorry for yourself. Letting go requires the most of us, but also brings closure.
As you consider the rejection you’ve faced in your life, which of these four steps do you think you most need to take?
I would encourage you to take at least one step and navigate your way to avoiding the rejection infection. You will find on the other side that you are healthier, stronger and better positioned to experience success.