Last week, I was asked to participate in an Instagram Livestream series called “Reality of Life,” hosted by Jae Taft. The topic of our livestream was “Rejection.”
This blog is a written version of the topics we discussed relating to rejection, and my experiences relating to each topic. I hope you enjoy!
When you hear the word rejection, I’m sure there’s certain experiences that come to mind which you associate it with.
I know I definitely do.
I used to associate rejection in one specific way, but the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve started to realize that rejection occurs in so many ways.
When I started thinking about the topic of rejection and how it has effected me throughout life, I began categorizing my experiences with it which will hopefully help you guys out and be able to understand where I’m coming from.
For me personally, I’ve noticed that rejection comes in two main ways — rejection through others and rejecting yourself.
Rejection through others is obviously the most noticeable form, and most of you probably associate some kind of painful memories with that.
For me, there’s been a few different ways that rejection from others has occurred.
The first way is by just trying to fit in in general, mainly with people you don’t even know. this is one of the most common ways for people to get that feeling of rejection and to be honest, it’s usually all in their head.
It’s like you have a certain perception of someone and you feel that based off of the people they hang out with or what they post on social media, they wouldn’t want to be your friend or something like that.
For example, when I first met Jae I 100% did not think we were going to be as great of friends as we are now. My perception of her was that she was “too cool” for me (to be honest, she kind of is but it’s okay, she’s stuck with me now!). But, I had determined all of this before she even knew my name!
After a few car rides back and forth from school together, it was clear she wasn’t who I perceived she was. So much of the rejection from people you don’t know is in your head! Until you take the chance to get to know someone, you will always feel “less than.”
The second way you can experience rejection from others is by feeling left out. This typically occurs with people you already know, or friends you are close to. The feeling of being left out is something I definitely struggle with!
I’m the type of person who typically, wants an invite to hang out before I will actually go hang out with people. I don’t want them to feel like I’m intruding!
But ever since I started hanging out with the group of friends I have now, my eyes have kind of opened to the fact that sometimes, people just text each other to hang out and don’t think to send out some big invite to the entire group. But, if you just text them and ask if you can join, 99% of the time it’s a yes and everyone is happy you decided to join.
There’s other times with another group of friends I have where they go out to eat and don’t invite me or they go shopping without telling me and I’m like, “well that sucks…I wonder why they didn’t want me to come?” Sometimes I take it personally.
But again, 99% of the time, the 2 or 3 friends who are together didn’t intentionally leave you out. It was most likely a spur of the moment plan. Being in college has definitely made me get out of my comfort zone because I am SUCH a planner. But sometimes, your friends might decide all of the sudden to make a Target run or and ice cream run and since you’re all there together, you all go. Don’t assume that just because you weren’t invited meant they purposely planned to leave you out — it was probably just a last minute trip.
On the other hand…if you have a friends who make it a habit of leaving you out and not inviting you to join in whatever they’re doing, you miiiiiiight want to reconsider your friendships, friend!
The third way you can experience rejection from others and probably the most obvious way, is a breakup. They are the first thing I think of when I think of rejection. For me, this is the absolute hardest one to handle.
Being in a good and healthy relationship is an amazing thing that everyone deserves to experience. But there are so many times when, no matter how good the relationship is, things go wrong. (if you’re in a relationship that has never had an issue….hit me up and tell me your secret!).
When things go wrong it leaves you second-guessing yourself and wondering why the person you care about is rejecting you, whether that’s by them not caring about your opinion, them not putting any effort into spending quality time together, or the actual breakup itself.
Being rejected by the person you care so much about is probably one of the most heartbreaking things because you trust that person with your heart, basically.
But what I’ve realized is that no matter what you may have done or what may have went wrong in the relationship you were in, not everything is your fault.
I was in a relationship for a long time and we broke up. I constantly blamed myself and sometimes still do. But then I have to remember that there were times that the communication aspect wasn’t there, or other issues were occurring.
It’s so important to remember that is isn’t all your fault and you can’t take on the full responsibility for everything. That creates such a heavy burden on your shoulders. Instead, what you can do is take responsibility for the faults you had in the relationship and put your effort towards fixing those faults to better prepare yourself for your next relationship.
The last way I noticed people can experience rejection is through their family. This is probably the type of rejection which stings the most. It doesn’t necessarily hurt like heartbreak, but sometimes it just sucks.
I know that for me, even though I know that no matter what happens my family will be there for me, I constantly seek their approval.
My dad is a businessman and I am somewhat following in his footsteps. Because of this, I’m constantly checking with him to make sure I am going down the right path with moves for my career.
But there’s been times where I feel one way about a decision, and he feels another. Even though he’s still supportive, knowing that he didn’t 100% agree with it creates that feeling of rejection. Again, a lot of that is all in my head. By constantly seeking their approval on everything, it makes it difficult to make a decision that I know one of my family members doesn’t agree with because I am always wanting their full support, not just half of it.
And finally, the second form of rejection is by rejecting yourself. This seriously all stems from letting others opinions effect you (exhibit A….my last paragraph, lol). There are things I feel a certain way about whether it be politically, or about fashion, or whatever it may be, and I’m scared to speak up because someone might disagree.
That is literally me rejecting myself and keeping myself from being my own person. I’m sure there’s some of you who have felt that way too. The biggest thing is that as you grow and mature, you have to think and learn for yourself. You cannot let others dictate your feelings and opinions.
Over the past year, I’ve dealt with a lot when it comes to rejection, and I want to share a few tips on what I’ve found to be helpful.
The first way to help yourself is self confidence. It is the number one thing. You will not be able to overcome your fear of rejection or move past the hurt you’ve experienced from rejection without having confidence in yourself.
A lot of times, when we experience rejection it is like it forms a crack in the confidence we have which is why it hurts so much. We always manage to stay whole on the outside, but that doesn’t take away the emotional damage we feel.
You have to learn to be confident in yourself, your thoughts, your opinions, your body, your talents, or whatever it may be in order to be like, “Okay. That person doesn’t feel how I do but that’s okay because I am confident in (insert thing here).” (click here to see my blog about loving yourself even when it’s hard.)
You can also learn a lot from a person who has a different view than you, and apply it in the future when feelings of rejection arise again. Realizing that everyone has views and opinions because of certain life experiences and not specifically because they are “against” you, comes in handy the older you get.
The same thing applies to those of you who have experience rejection from a breakup and you’re blaming yourself. You have the capability to say to yourself, “Yes I messed up in these areas, but here’s what I can do to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.”
Changing your surroundings is the second thing I have learned. This can happen in multiple ways, too! A lot of times we get caught in the same routine with the same people all the time.
For those who are experiencing rejection through friendships where you have people constantly leaving you out or you don’t feel good enough, you have to find a way to jump out of that cycle and try new things!
When I went through my breakup last year, the only thing I could think about was transferring from my college. But, my school hadn’t done anything to me. The people there hadn’t done anything to me. It was simply a matter of my emotions acting crazy and I was associating the pain of the breakup with being at school, because it happened when I was there.
But, I ended up staying, and I ended up putting myself out there to meet new people…which kind of ties into my last point.
Trying new things = new people.
I made so many new friends in the last two months of my freshman year after my relationship ended. And it happened because I put myself out there and introduced myself to people I hadn’t actually gotten to know but was just seeing in passing.
Then, when fall of sophomore year came around, I joined a choir because I love singing and I realized how much I missed not being a part of one. I changed my major to Public Relations and got involved in the communications department which led to me meeting a lot more people too. I joined a student organization and met even more people.
My whole point is that even though I was going through a hard time emotionally because of the rejection I had face from my ex, I put myself out there and started doing new things — which resulted in me meeting new people and creating so many friendships that I know will be with me for a really long time.
So just knowing that even though I couldn’t change the one thing I wanted to (transferring, getting my ex back, etc.), I started changing little things (joining clubs on campus, meeting new people) and ultimately, those were some of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m seriously a completely different person. I’ve found passion for so many things that I didn’t even know I liked before.
All of this to say, even if you’re in the midst of hard times because of the rejection you’ve faced, you CAN do something about it.
You can learn from that experience and better yourself, all while taking chances and risks that yes — could also result in rejection — but if they don’t, then you’ve made some of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Until next time,