“Why did she reject me?” It’s a question I get asked a lot by my clients. Rejection is something that, no matter how often it happens, seems to leave an indelible etch on people. Rejection can make you shy away from dating and relationships, and it can even make you decide to avoid things like new job opportunities, new places to live, or taking chances on things you’re passionate about.
The thing is that rejection is a necessary — and even positive — part of life. Rejection can lead to growth and opportunity, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. I know all too well how painful rejection can be and how it can be difficult to see silver linings when it comes to rejection.
I once was rejected. Actually, I have been rejected a lot in my life. Whether I got rejected by a guy or a job or a competitive sport, it hurt. But I learned something big. Actually, I learned several things.
Rejection is Never Comfortable and That’s Ok
One of the first things I learned about rejection is that it’s never comfortable. You may be surprised to hear that I am uncomfortable with rejection, being that one of the fundamental parts of being a dating coach involves explaining rejection to people, teaching them how to overcome rejection, and helping them realize why rejection is actually a good thing.
Still, no matter how much I learn about it, no matter how much I explain it to others, I am still fundamentally uncomfortable with rejection. Does that lack of comfort suck? Absolutely. Should I beat myself up about it? No. Finally, should I avoid situations simply because I might get rejected? Absolutely not, and I’ll expand on the details of why later.
Why is Rejection so Uncomfortable?
One of the second things I learned about rejection is that — when rejected — I get scared that the reason for the rejection is that I, as a person, am not enough.
This is not true and logically I know this is not true. But I still feel like this is true. And that feeling feels bad. And that’s just what it is — a feeling.
When you have an emotional response to rejection, the logical voice that tells you that you are still worthy cannot outshout that harsh, bombastic voice that is telling you a rejection means you are not enough. In fact, any voices in your mind and heart that allow you to stand up for you seem like mere whispers next to the parts that are telling you that you’re not good enough.
I notice that even though I may agree with the person who has decided to reject me, I am still hurt by the rejection. That’s funny.
Shouldn’t I be able to feel good and not bad if I, too, agree that there is not a fit? Yes, I should. Logically, I should. But I don’t.
Those awful feelings of discomfort and self-doubt creep in regardless of the type of rejection or if I agreed with the rejection. And the reason for that is I’m worried the person who rejected me knows something bad about me that I don’t know. They see something wrong about me that makes me unworthy — this is what that insecure, uncomfortable voice tells me every single time.
But here’s the thing — I’m onto myself.
Understanding the Inner Critic
I know that this voice telling me that I’m not enough is just an a-hole critic inside of me that loves to acknowledge my failures.
I’ve realized that this voice is just that punk who never steps outside her comfort zone to truly experience life, out of fear that she might mess it all up.
Why is her voice the loudest one in the room though?
That ego. That loudmouth. That jerk. She doesn’t even know me.
Despite how loud and obnoxious this critical part can be, there is another part of me that I am extremely thankful for. This is the part that doesn’t allow the bombast and vitriol of that a-hole critic part keep me from knowing the truth deep down — that I can handle rejection and that I shouldn’t avoid risks or opportunities just because it could lead to disappointment.
I know that I can handle rejection because rejection is a gift. Rejection is the articulation that there is not a fit here. It is letting you know that values between you and that person, or that job, or that new opportunity are not in alignment here. Rejection is letting you know, “We, together, will never be happy here.”
And thank god that someone is willing to let me know that. Because when I get rejected, deep down I already knew that something or several things weren’t right. The reason I got rejected instead of doing the rejecting — or being happy about the rejection — is because my ego wouldn’t allow me to admit that things weren’t right.
Alternatively, if I admitted this to myself too soon, perhaps I would have missed out on that amazing thing that I’ve been looking for my whole life. And that — that would be a tragedy.
What Could Have Been
Another interesting thing tends to happen after rejection. The second we lose an opportunity, we seem to replace the space with our beliefs of how perfect things “could have been.”
You might have thoughts like:
- If only they’d known me better, it would have worked out.
- If only they’d given me one more chance, I wouldn’t be left with this feeling of discomfort and lack of self-worth.
- If only they’d seen my true self, they would have let me have this opportunity.
- It would have been perfect if she liked me.
- It would have been perfect to work there.
- It would have been perfect to marry that important guy.
But the thing is, none of this is true.
If it had truly been perfect, things would have gone perfectly. There would have been nothing anyone could have said or done to ruin it. If it had been perfect, it would have been easy. I promise you that.
When things are truly a perfect fit, you have nothing to hide. If it had been perfect, you would have had no tension. If it had been perfect, you would just know.
My theory is that we, as humans, are just filling in the blanks in our mind with fantasies of what could have been. We do this when we get rejected when we don’t understand a situation or simply just because.
What’s interesting to me is how it happens even when we’re content. The idea that life could be better, more fulfilling, more impressive, more exciting. Even when we get something that we want or have a success, it won’t take long until we’re wondering how we can get more out of life, how we can be happier and how we can have our dreams fulfilled the way that people do in television and movies. We focus on the things that we see on a screen instead of considering what’s really happening behind the scenes.
This is fictional. And that fictional something that we’re always searching for is the premise of the pain that we feel when we get rejected. It isn’t reality.
Separate yourself from those fictional, unrealistic aspirations for a minute and it will be easier to see that rejection isn’t a bad thing at all and it’s certainly not a reflection of your worth or chances for fulfillment in the real world.
I don’t actually believe that it’s disheartening to get rejected in reality. When you get rejected, all this rejection is telling you is that it just wasn’t a fit.
End of story.
The reason that it always feels disheartening is that you think that something you imagined is not possible due to a lack of worth. You believe you are unworthy, and that belief manifests itself as the pain that we feel when we get rejected.
It’s imaginary pain.
It’s pain that we create.
And if you think about it, it’s pain that can be alchemized into potential.
Use Rejection to Transform Your Life
In rejection, we believe that we are unworthy of a wonderful possibility. But in real life, we can use this fantasy that our minds have given us — the fantasy of this perfect reality — and we can use it to transform our lives.
Ok, so this beautiful blonde with a killer personality liked you for a date or two. Just because she rejected you on date three does not mean there is not another woman who is just like her. In fact, there is a woman out there that has all the traits you liked about her and who you will actually like a hell of a lot more because she will be the right fit for you.
Just because you have not received a response on Match.com does not mean that you are destined to die alone. I promise you.
All rejections are gifts because they are informative. Let’s say that something that you are doing, or something in the way that you present yourself, is not being received the same way that you would hope that it would be. Take that information and fix the thing that is leading you be perceived in a way that is not favorable.
That is the gift of rejection. It alerts you that something is out of alignment.
If you want the fantasy in your mind to turn into reality, you have to align your desires with your presentation. You have to show the world your value because they’ll never be able to guess it on their own. And you have to learn to select and pursue the things that are fully in alignment with your true self.
One of the Most Important Lessons Rejection Teaches Us
Rejection teaches us to pursue things that are fully in alignment with our true selves, but here’s an even greater lesson that can come from that: Sometimes rejection happens because we have not figured out who exactly our true self is. And that’s ok.
We all have our own individual journeys and discovering ourselves through that journey is something that is a struggle for everyone at some point in their lives. Rejection is something that is more painful the less we know ourselves, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid opportunities.
Avoidance is the worst thing you can do because it won’t allow you to work through the pain of rejection and grow from it. Moreover, avoidance can lead to things that extreme anxiety and panic attacks.
This may sound counterintuitive, being that many people avoid situations where they could get rejected as a way to prevent the anxiety that can come from being turned down and feeling unworthy because of it. But according to Alice Boyes, Ph.D., of Psychology Today, avoidance coping is one trait that is extremely characteristic of anxiety and panic disorders, including eating disorders.
When you use avoidance coping as a way of eliminating uncomfortable situations, you only intensify your anxiety.
Think of avoidance coping as putting a pair of dirty socks or a dirty shirt in the corner of your room to avoid doing laundry. Over time, you continually put these dirty items in that corner. That pile just gets bigger and bigger and bigger, to the point that you really haven’t done anything to help allay your discomfort of adding laundry as something on your To Do list — now that task is monumental, whereas it wouldn’t have been a big deal if you hadn’t avoided things in the first place.
Rumination (overthinking) is another form of avoidance coping. When you ruminate about rejection, that ugly voice telling you that you are undeserving and should just give up is loud as it can be.
Instead of avoiding and ruminating, try to allow that voice that is one of your authentic self to break through the bullshit — that voice that tells you the reason you got rejected is because something was simply not the right fit, and you can use the information gleaned from that rejection to grow and move forward.
My Message to Myself
The advice I’ve given in this article can help you grow and find opportunity through rejection — that’s what I hope you gain from it. But this article is also a message for myself because today I’m disappointed.
I didn’t get approval from a big shot and that rejection left me feeling dejected. But guess what? That’s ok. Just because I didn’t get approval for something doesn’t mean I’m not on the right path in my life. In fact, it actually solidified that I was.
It helped me to clarify exactly where I’m headed and I’m grateful for that, even though I’m uncomfortable.
More importantly, I agree with the rejection. There wasn’t a fit with me and this situation I wanted approval on. That’s not comfortable, but I know that there’s nothing wrong with who I am as a person. This rejection is one more piece of information that can help me go down the best path for myself and my future.
Why Did She Reject Me Wrap-Up: Find More Opportunities Today
If you want to learn more about overcoming rejection and find more success in your dating life, I’m here to help. I’ve helped men all over the world discover more fulfillment in dating and how to find a girlfriend, wife, and/or long term partner.
Ready to get started? Head over to my calendar and book a 1-on-1 Skype session with me today. During our 50-minute session, we will create an action plan to help you overcome your dating roadblocks so that you can crush your goals.
I look forward to connecting with you and helping you find the best path for your life and circumstances.