Being rejected is hard. It stings. We all like to be liked. It’s normal! In fact, it stems from survival instinct. In ancient times people relied on their tribe to help ward off threats, but this sense of belonging also gave them pride and security, a sense of something bigger than themselves.
So what do you do when life doesn’t grant you this acceptance? You’re rejected for a job. Your boss refuses your pitch. You’re turned down by someone you’re interested in. It hurts, that’s for sure—but is there any way of channelling that negativity to get some useful out of the situation? Furthermore, could some level of romantic rejection even be good for you? Beyond the initial sting, it may be that rejection forces you to reevaluate your behaviours and thought processes, and come out the other side. It can be empowering to face the truth of how potential partners perceive you—and much as we often hate to admit it, the pain and heartache are embedded in this journey to self-understanding.
1) Rejection is a way to get on the right track
You offered something up—and sadly it wasn’t wanted. Just as someone may have offered you something romantic in the past, only for you to have turned them down. We all want different things. It comes down to this: the person you were interested in decided something was missing. Was it a shortcoming in your personality, or were the two of you just fundamentally different? It’s often not a character judgement exactly; rather, they may have just foreseen clashes arising from your incompatible lifestyles, values, beliefs.
When we’re hurt by rejection, we want to say, “Why can’t you see past our differences?” But perhaps they did try to do that, but couldn’t, because the prospective relationship just wasn’t realistic. It’s painful, there’s no doubt about it—but it may also be a blessing in disguise. Because if you can harness the experience and self-reflect, you boost your odds of finding someone whose outlook and principles better align with yours. You increase your chances of finding someone who sees your potential and—most importantly—simply appreciates you for you. Because as much as rejection hurts at the time, remember: you’d never have been happy in a relationship in which you didn’t feel valued just for who you are.
2) Rejection can help you refocus your energy
We’re all guilty of obsessing over retrospect from time to time. When we’re turned down romantically, we often wish we’d done things another way. ‘I shouldn’t have been so forward’. ‘I really should have phrased that better.’
But the truth is—it’s unlikely things would have turned out differently. Because we’re all clumsy with our words when we’re around someone we like—often that’s how we end up endearing ourselves to them! But you liked this person—so credit them with the intelligence to have been able to realise that a relationship just wouldn’t have been right. Hanging on to what ifs is a surefire way to turn rejection into an all-out roadblock. People who can’t let go of unresolved regrets are more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms. It’s important to replay a situation to understand it, sure, but fixating on it only inhibits your potential to learn, grow, and find someone who is right for you.
3) Rejection makes the good moments all the sweeter
If everything worked out how we wanted all the time, we’d lose all drive and motivation to get up in the morning and strive to be our best. There’d be no reason to savour the moment when we get what we want (and what we feel we deserve). In his book Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness, Dr Tal Ben-Shahar reminds us that every one of the world’s most successful people experienced countless failures before landing the gig we know them for today. J. K. Rowling? 12 publishers turned down Harry Potter before Bloomsbury took a chance on it. Walt Disney? 302 bankers decided against funding Disneyland. How much more poignant was it when they finally heard that one word they’d been dreaming of for so many years?
4) Rejection inspires you to get back out there
Being turned down gets easier with experience. In a professional context, losing out on job after job may be happening because you’re putting so many applications out there—compared to the person who casually sends out a single form, doesn’t hear back, and thinks no more of it. It can be the same with love: perhaps you’ve run into rejection because you’ve had the bravery to try something nerve-wracking. If so, you should commend yourself. And every time you’re rebuffed, you can come back a little stronger. It means that next time you face rejection, you’re better equipped to handle it with grace, then move on. No one encapsulates this better than Jia Jiang, speaker and author of Rejection-Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection, who put himself out there 100 days straight in a variety of anxiety-inducing situations to get over the pain of being told “No”.
A romantic proposition is a risk—and taking risks is like developing a muscle: it gets that much easier every time you do it. You can take the good parts of bad experiences and shape them into new successes in your life, while keeping in mind that being rejected often even isn’t a reflection of you, but rather of them. We all have unique, incredibly nuanced wants and needs, and it can seem arbitrary to outsiders whether someone meets our romantic criteria! This is something we absolutely understand at Maclynn International. Get in touch today, and meet your very own dedicated matchmaker who, among our vast network of attractive and eligible singles, will find you that one person who ‘gets’ you, who accepts and loves you for who you are—and whose highly specific criteria you also meet, of course!