How to deal with rejection


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
How to deal with rejection

It was her closest friend's birthday party and Anjali (name changed) had worked hard for it to be successful. All she wanted at the end of it was a note of appreciation from her friend publicly. But Anjali found her more involved with office colleagues rather than paying attention to her. She felt ignored and eventually, their friendship went through a downslide.

Rejection Sensitivity (RS)
Rejection is a common feeling that most of us have experienced at some point of time in life. When your sister doesn't return a phone call or when your boss prefers a co-worker to you for a project-each of these situations has the potential to make you feel left out. This is what we call rejection sensitivity-a concept made popular by the well-known psychoanalyst, Karen Horney. Heightened perception of rejection can be a major cause for distress, sometimes with serious consequences. For example, brain imaging studies of people with high rejection perception show lower activity in the part of the brain concerned with emotional regulation.
Triggers Behind High RS
Childhood rejection experiences may be a prelude to high rejection sensitivity. In fact, research shows that individuals who have experienced rejection at a very tender age are always anxious about being refused. Not only do they readily perceive any sort of denial but also react sharply at the slightest feeling of rejection. They may completely cut off relationships, fly into a rage or become utterly depressed over being rejected.

Cope with it
Amp up your awareness
This is the first step. Becoming aware that you are over-reacting is half the battle won.

Identify the recurrent cause.
It could be a person or a situation that tends to evoke feelings of rejection in you. Remember, one tends to react to rejection most when it comes from the person she values above others. So identifying this person will help you to be on your guard in advance.

Work on your soft skills.
This will help you forge better interpersonal bonding with people who matter to you. It will minimise their chances of rejecting you.

Learn the art of being neutral.
Discussing your problem with an unbiased person will also help.

Try the three Rs- reflect, reconsider and respond.
Do not react instantly. When rejected, people respond with hostility or anger. But this may increase your chances of being rejected in future.

Distance yourself from the situation for the time being.
This gives you objectivity. Think of the reasons for a person's behaviour rather than assuming that he/she has denied you.

You cannot change the situation but you can control your reaction to it. It is important to regulate our emotions and not let them spiral out of control.

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