Why Rejection Hurts So Much & How to Deal It in the Right Way
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Rejection hurts! There is no way to avoid the pain. Most people have had to face the pain of rejection, as this is an unavoidable part of life. It is difficult to succeed in love or life without facing rejection.
So, most of you have been there, from being ghosted upon after a date you concluded went well to being rejected after confessing your feelings to a friend you assumed liked you back.
Rejection isn’t a pleasant experience, but it isn’t something to fear as it can hold you back from achieving your goals or meeting someone that genuinely cares for you. Instead, you can learn to deal with the hurt of being rejected
So you may wonder why rejection hurts so bad, and is it possible to overcome the pain of rejection?
Why rejection hurts
You can’t get past the pain of rejection irrespective of the situation, whether it is getting picked last for a sport, receiving a rejection letter or politely told no after asking your crush out. Not only do you get hurt, but your self-esteem also takes a hit.
So let’s jump to why rejection hurts.
Rejection is simply dismissing or refusing a proposal. It can also mean the action of declining a person’s affections. When you are rejected, your relational value, how much value you attached to the relationship, drops.
The sting of rejection can cut deep and why rejection hurts is because it activates the region in the brain that physical pain does. So the same pain signals when you slice a finger while cutting vegetables or when you stub your toes get activated when you’re rejected.
A study has shown activity in the pain-related brain regions when a person is rejected.
Rejection also affects a person’s psychological state. Humans need to have feelings of connection with others; there is just a need to belong.
Some effects of rejection include
It creates trauma
Rejection trauma can develop due to constant rejection and can affect the person’s mental health going through it. So what does constant rejection do to a person? It leads to a chronic fear of rejection and a fear of putting yourself out there
Anxiety and depression: rejection can lead to depression, anxiety and stress. Social rejection can also affect a person’s performance and productivity.
After being rejected, the pain you feel is biological, and it is impossible to control it immediately. It is, however, possible to stop hurting after rejection if you know the right tips to follow.
How do I stop hurting after rejection?
Feeling rejected hurts, but that doesn’t mean the pain has to last forever. Why rejection hurts has been explained above, but you should know this pain isn’t permanent, and there are steps you can take to stop the pain of rejection
Don’t run away from the pain
Ignoring the pain is not productive and will prevent you from moving on. Instead, you must accept the pain you are going through and accept the hurt.
You can control how your feelings affect your actions, but you mustn’t shut off your emotions.
Related Reading: 9 Effective Ways of Dealing With Rejection
Don’t play the victim card
It is necessary to avoid a victimized mindset. You can get stuck in your pain if you wallow or brood over the rejection and play the victim card.
Rejection is part of life and might not be the fault of any parties involved. you can try to understand why the rejection occurred and learn from the experience
Related Reading: How to Overcome Fear of Rejection in Any Aspect of Life
You are not alone in this
Rejection is experienced by everybody and not only you. It can be akin to a rite of passage. There is nothing to be embarrassed about because everybody experiences this hurtful action. Major rejections and minor rejections invoke the same pain. Any form of rejection can cause pain, such as
- A person not accepting your romantic advances
- A friend refusing to hang out with you
- Receiving a rejection letter
Rejection doesn’t reflect poorly on you, and it is a part of life.
Related Reading: How to Handle a Marriage Proposal Rejection
5 ways to adjust your mentality to overcome rejection
Rejection can’t be avoided, and the pain that comes with it. The positive news is that you can heal after rejection if you know why rejection hurts and how to adjust your mentality.
You can overcome rejection and not let the fear prevent you from putting yourself out there and missing out on the best things of life. Here are a few ways how to deal with rejection;
1. Silence your inner critic
As per the research, Human beings are likely to blame themselves, and the psychological effects of rejection include feeling embarrassed or guilty after being rejected. But it is important to know that how a situation affects you is determined by the filter through which you view such a situation.
If you want to overcome rejection, you must silence your inner critic. Don’t blame yourself or result in insulting yourself after a rejection. Instead, always be on your toes, prepared to silence any negative voice in your head.
Your inner critic is always ready to attack you when you’re most vulnerable, making it difficult to overcome rejection and encouraging you to wallow in self-pity. This voice promotes a cycle of self-destructive thinking and will not allow you to move on.
The rejection doesn’t necessarily have to be your fault, and even if it is, beating yourself over it won’t make any difference. Instead, you have to be conducive to real change by reviewing the situation and what led to the rejection.
It is also possible the person that rejected you wasn’t prepared for a serious relationship or needed to develop themselves first before jumping into a relationship.
Do away with self-destructive thoughts and attack rejection with a positive mindset. If you want to know other ways of silencing your inner critic, then this video is perfect for you:
2. Improve your self-esteem
It’s hard to overcome rejection if you think you are undeserving. So instead, confirm that you matter and that the rejection doesn’t reflect negatively on you. One of the best ways to overcome rejection is to practice self-love.
You can start with daily affirmations as words have power. Write down a list of things you are good at or positive statements and affirm them daily. This is a great way to boost your self-esteem and overcome rejection. The benefits of self-affirmation include
- It helps you to feel positive about yourself and increases your self-esteem
- Turns negative thoughts into positive thoughts
- Trains your subconscious mind to silence your inner critic with positive thoughts
- It helps you move on from rejection and focus on achieving your goals
Your perspective on a situation determines your reaction to it. Increasing your self-worth will help you overcome the pain of rejection by preventing you from feeling like you failed.
Related Reading: 8 Things Young People Do When Suffering Low Self-Esteem
3. Strengthen your social circle
As human beings, we crave social interaction and feelings of connection. In addition, research has shown that having a strong social network is necessary for psychological and physical health.
Unfortunately, why rejection hurts is because it affects your sense of belonging and can make you feel isolated. Therefore, if you want to adjust your mentality and overcome rejection, you must strengthen your social connection.
Get in contact with your friends and family to feel less alone and isolated. This will remind you that you are important in your social circle, and a rejection cannot change that.
4. There is a learning opportunity
Experiencing pain doesn’t have to be in vain; it can provide an opportunity for growth. For example, facing rejection can help you build mental resilience and help increase productivity.
The University of Bath Center for Pain Research states that pain is designed to be an alarm system. Therefore, it is essential to ask yourself, how do you grow through suffering in whatever situation you face?
After rejection, it is beneficial to go over your approach and determine what led to the rejection in the first place. This can help you change your method and improve as a person. In addition, it can help you work through the fear of rejection and find someone who is a great fit for you.
5. Change your perspective
Stanford researchers found that people who have a fixed mindset are more likely to blame themselves after facing rejection. People that fall in this category are more likely to criticize themselves for the rejection.
In contrast, people with a growth mindset view rejection as an opportunity to learn and develop. Conversely, seeing things as adjustable or ever-changing affects how we respond to rejection.
Seeing life as flexible can help you grow when you face obstacles, and you are likely to recover from rejection.
Rejection is a part of being human and can help you grow as a person. However, blaming yourself for the rejection is unhealthy and will prevent you from moving on from the pain.
Although the pain that comes with rejection cannot be avoided, you can overcome it—knowing why rejection hurts and how to heal after rejection puts you on the right path.
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