Throughout our lives, it’s likely we’ll all experience rejection in one form or another, and on many occasions. Whether it’s rejection from your parents, a friend, partner or even a potential employer, it can come as a heavy blow to our mental wellbeing and feel extremely painful. A recent study looked at the effects of rejection on social behaviour of women and how “humans have a strong need to belong and connect to others”. The results showed that the intensity of the rejection was integral to how the person coped following the experience.
What are the effects of rejection?Rejection can start from a young age, for example, when you’re a child and perhaps your parents have been to busy to play. Or maybe you’ve tried to make friends at school and weren’t accepted into the group. Ultimately, whatever the situation, rejection doesn’t feel great and can be damaging to our self-esteem. It can make us feel as though we’re not good enough, accepted or even loved. However, if we experience rejection on a regular basis, it can have a much greater impact on our mental health if we don’t find a way of dealing with it. These effects might include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Anger and aggression
- Feelings of loneliness
- Ways to overcome rejection
How we respond to rejection is really important as it can help us maintain a positive mindset and take care of our mental wellbeing. We’ve selected just a few techniques that you can practise to help you deal more effectively with rejection.
Feel your emotions
Understandably, some types of rejection can hit us hard and make us feel sad or angry. This is a natural response and it’s okay to allow yourself to feel those emotions. But what we must try to do once we’ve allowed ourselves to express our emotions, is to let them go and move on.
Change your way of thinking
Following on from the above point, we can choose how we react to rejection. How we choose to react can determine how long we suffer from the pain of rejection. Rather than trying to second guess why we’ve been rejected and criticising ourselves, we can learn from the experience and use it to grow and develop.
Try not to feel victimised
One of the most damaging things we can do to our mental health is to feel victimised. This is an extremely negative mindset that can lead to even more negative emotions. By showing ourselves compassion and respect, we are able to rise above those moments when we feel the urge to brood and wallow in negative thoughts.
Learn to love yourself
One of the best ways to deal with any kind of rejection is by learning to love yourself. When we are kind and empathetic to ourselves, over time, our self-esteem grows, making it easier to accept rejection from others.