If you’re dating or exploring a new relationship, it's so important to develop the ability to handle rejection. You’re not going to be the right fit for everyone, and they won’t be the right fit for you.
Very often, we take it as a sign that there’s something wrong with us or we weren’t good enough. Our own fears and insecurities rise to the surface, and we instantly tell ourselves we’re the problem. In reality though, we have no idea of what the other person is looking for in a partner, or what is currently going on in their life.
If you want to learn how to handle rejection, the first thing you need to remember is it’s hardly ever personal.
It is possible to build your capacity and inner strength to be able to handle any rejection with grace and compassion. Here's how:
Your feelings are valid, so it’s important that you feel them. Unfortunately, painful feelings are just that - very painful. Areas of the brain associated with pain really light up. But usually, they pass quickly, if you allow yourself to feel them. Notice where they come up in your body, pay attention to them and allow them to soften or even imagine them dissolving.
And don't forget, most important of all - be compassionate with yourself. If someone hasn’t picked you for a second date, look at it from all angles. Did you really want to see them again? Were they ready for a relationship? Had they just met someone and want to be in integrity with that person? Was it personal, or is this your inner critic coming out. Or, is this a very young part of you that feels scared of being not liked?
If that mean inner voice in your head is working overtime, why now try thanking it.
Your inner critic is only trying to keep you safe.
Ask it to quieten it down a little and let it know that you’ve got this.
Tell it that you’re planning on taking it slow and that you will be careful, and you’d really appreciate it if it could just wind back a little to let you explore your options.
Explore where your self-judgement is coming from. Are there old stories playing out?
Do you need to hug your inner child or simply need to choose to believe something different about yourself today?
Personally, I love The Work of Byron Katie for this kind of self-reflection.
Give yourself lots of credit for stepping out of your comfort zone! Now you’ve found the courage to step forward and build emotional resilience; you’re doing great. If you’re facing micro-rejections in a new relationship, you’re finding the maturity to navigate the ebb and flow of conscious, authentic relating.
People who criticise or are unkind are often doing so, because they are (or have been) hurt. Can you find it in your heart to empathise? If you have a big compassionate heart, use it to send them kindness and then move on. You may have had a lucky escape! Now is the time to focus on what you can offer to someone who is willing and open to receive it with appreciation.
During step 1, you may have noticed that your behaviour wasn’t something you were particularly proud of. Perhaps you talked a lot but didn’t listen deeply. Or maybe you moaned a lot about work. Can you use this as an opportunity to grow? How might this help you to move forward?
Remember - you’ve got this!
You’re worthy of healthy, nourishing connections.
If you’ve had a particularly painful experience, there are therapists and coaches who can offer support. By building some emotional resilience, you’ll find it easier to handle rejection, and you’ll have a much better chance of not settling too soon for someone who isn’t right for you.
If you would like some support, I offer personal coaching to help you overcome blocks or see where you get stuck and how to overcome it.
Check out my Coaching Intensives or contact me for something more bespoke.