Hello and welcome to The Scarlett Letter! If you are looking for dating and relationship advice, you’ve come to the right place. This column will cover lots of topics having to do with successfully dating and being in relationships, from how to communicate effectively to identifying red flags, and everything in between. I am always looking for ideas, so feel free to reach out if you have something you’d like to see covered!
We all know that rejection hurts, no matter how you look at it. It doesn’t just have to be rejection from a love interest either. Being rejected from a job or group of people you want to be friends with is tough to swallow, too. Any time you are told “no” after you’ve put yourself out there, it can be a heart-wrenching event. It can put a damper on your self-worth and tarnish your self-esteem. If you aren’t sure how to deal with rejection in a healthy way, it can negatively impact your ability to have successful personal relationships with others, or in some cases catapult you into depression or anxiety issues.
So why does rejection hurt so much? If you find your feelings hurt after being rejected, it doesn’t mean you are weak or overly sensitive. Rejection hurts no matter who you are or how strong you might be. While rejection in any form can be disheartening, romantic rejection can be more hurtful because we tend to be more vulnerable with our romantic partners than other people. Being rejected in regards to romantic feelings can lead to feelings of abandonment, which can then lead people to quickly jump into a new relationship before they are truly ready.
Trying to immediately start a new relationship after being rejected might feel natural and like a good way to dull the pain, but it can actually perpetuate an unhealthy cycle that will set you up for failure. You need to take some time to yourself to assess what led to the rejection in the first place. Self-reflect on your own part in the failure and give yourself some tough, yet gentle love. Be honest with yourself about your own emotions and intentions within the relationship and how those things did or did not match with the other person’s perspective.
If you want your next romantic endeavor to have the best chance possible, taking time for self-care can make a huge difference. Remember that your emotions are never right or wrong, they simply are. Coping with rejection requires paying attention to your emotions and remembering that you deserve love and happiness, while also having the emotional intelligence to own your part in the situation.
Don’t dwell on the negative thoughts and emotions that come along with being rejected. This process is called rumination, and it can cause you to feel worse. Being unkind to yourself won’t get you any closer to finding a fulfilling, happy relationship. If you find yourself in a cycle of negative emotions, try taking time to observe the thoughts and emotions and then challenge them. For example, if you find yourself thinking “I’m not worthy of being loved” after your partner ended a relationship, acknowledge the thought and remind yourself that it is simply a thought, and not a fact. You can feel unworthy of love while actually being worthy of love.
If you want to combat these negative thoughts and emotions after being rejected, try writing down positive things about yourself. You could list your strengths and other aspects about yourself that you feel make you a good person and possible partner for someone. Keep that list close at hand, and when you start to get those negative thoughts, use the list to remind yourself that you do have a lot to offer.
Rejection can make it hard for you to want to put yourself back out there, but it’s important to not give up just because something didn’t work out as intended. Rather than wallowing in the pain you may feel, ask yourself “What can I learn from this experience that can help me in the future?”
Remember that everyone experiences rejection and that it is an inevitable part of life. Even the most happy, successful people have gone through it, too. You can’t let being rejected, no matter the situation or reason, get the best of you. Take the lessons that come along with it and use them to better yourself. It can be nerve wracking to put yourself back out there after being rejected, but letting self-doubt take over will only rob you of chances to potentially be happy in the future.
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