Certainly, for your romantic relationships, you can ease some, if not a lot, of the sting of rejection by evaluating the ‘perspective’ you’re using to judge yourself. Having your own aspirations, desires, and goals is fine. They’re actually separate from your dating and relationship experiences though. When you take rejection hard, you’re making some dangerous assumptions that tie your worth and what you think you’re capable of to unrelated external factors. That, and you look at life through a low self-esteem lens.

You have your own agenda as does everyone else and ultimately will find a greater level of happiness with someone who has a similar agenda. In over six and a half years of writing Baggage Reclaim, I am yet to come across one relationship where two people with different agendas worked out and are living harmoniously together. When you’re not on the same page, you’re incompatible.

Incompatibility doesn’t equal rejection; it means you don’t share core values where it counts.

I know you might want someone to have the same intentions, motives, beliefs and values as you … even if they don’t. The truth is, though, it’s much easier to form the foundation of a relationship with someone who wants similar things out of life as you. You can get on with enjoying yourself without waiting for ‘the catch’. You can also trust and be trusted,

It’s not that opposites don’t attract (they certainly do if this blog is anything to go by), but the opposites that attract and progress into mutually fulfilling relationships have different secondary ‘surface’ values but fundamentally share similar core values where it counts. Basically, they’re not that ‘opposite’ when you get down to the nuts and bolts.

Everything else is like trying to turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse. Or squeezing a square peg into a round hole. Or trying to drag a horse to water to force it to drink. You catch my drift.

When dates or relationships haven’t worked out, it’s not like they’ve been evaluating whether you should meet your aspirations, desires and goals. They have their own.

To assume otherwise is to treat it like This date didn’t work out. I’m obviously not good enough to have a relationship or get married or have children one day. I’m not good enough to have the life I want.That’s quite a leap, a big one. And you made that leap and connection, not them.

Think of your past relationships. Who’s really that special that the relationship not working out should equal You are not relationship worthy, end of? Who is that special that their lack of interest or compatibility should doom your future prospects?

If you take everything that doesn’t work out the way you would like as ‘rejection’, not only are you handing over your power by running with an immediate negative reaction and clinging hard to it, but you’re missing out on the opportunity to engage in that level of self-care that only comes with self-esteem where you speak with and listen with love to yourself.

If when things piss you off and disappoint you, or you make a mistake, you switch on the background music of…

  • Why Can’t You Just Get Your Sh*t Together?
  • Or Shouldn’t You Know Better By Now? I Can’t Believe You’re So Effin Stupid
  • Or You’re no good/good for nothing

…and other such tracks from your Greatest (S)hits Collection, how the hell can you have any self-esteem left to have some perspective?

Now imagine if you keep playing these tracks over and over. That’s torture.

It’s a change of habit, but changing your relationship with rejection comes down to mentally pulling over and turning off the track and speaking mentally and verbally with yourself with more self-compassion. And don’t pretend that you’re not capable. If you’ve ever displayed empathy and compassion towards others (you have), the ability to be self-compassionate exists. All it is that before, you just like to throw your kinder energies at everyone but yourself.

There’s a more balanced point of view in existence. I can assure you that a healthier perspective isn’t centred on the idea that ‘everything’ is about you and your fault.

When you lack self-trust, you end up ruminating about the judgements that you think ‘everyone’ is making about you.

Aside from this distorting your perspective further, what you’re actually doing is projecting the judgements you’re making about yourself onto others. It’s like unless you have a show of hands from everyone that something that you, for instance, think about your ex is true, you won’t sleep easy at night. Isn’t your ‘proof’ (your experience) good enough?

You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. It’s best to concern yourself with what’s going on behind your own door. If you don’t like it, it’s best to show the person the door and fix your broken windows. It doesn’t matter what everyone else does or might think about the same person. Your boundaries, your bandwidth, your self-care,

Now while you have a pattern to your relationship experiences, don’t just throw them all into the relationship pot like a big fat rejection. Your relationships were and are unique experiences. While they may share commonalities, they each have different feedback and lessons to take on board. Some are not even rejection; they’re just things not working out and for a very good reason that has nothing to do with your worth as a person anyway. You’re just not that powerful.

You don’t equal the relationship, so its ending or not coming to be cannot correlate directly to your worth as a person.

Unless you’re going out with yourself, to persist in absorbing all of the blame and being Oh, I’m so rejectionable is to neglect the other party’s existence. If it’s all about you, where do they fit in? Why are they left intact (and inflated) by you while you’ll bust yourself up? It (the relationship) is broken, you’re not.

Your ‘rejections’ may all look the same because you tell yourself the same message afterwards. For example, you’re not good enough. Or that you’ve been rejected, you’ve failed, you’re not up to standard, etc. But they’re not the same, and it will serve you well to distinguish between them. It will help you to not only deal with each experience but to cut to the heart of the original rejection and overcome it. An updated, more honest and compassionate perspective moves you forward.

Did the relationship have code amber or red issues? Did you have different core values?

With just one of these issues alone, you have answers that allow you to be more truthful and heal. Try to let go of the idea that it’s all about you and use the insights you gain by acknowledging the presence of the issue(s). What do they mean about the relationship (or your hopes for one with this person? What do you understand about the person and their values? Allowing you to entertain the idea, the truth, that it’s not all about you and rejection, will liberate you.

Hearing or experiencing NO doesn’t mean you’re not good enough or that you’re not supposed to have a relationship (or a job etc) ever, ever again. ‘No’ means that you can and will have a healthy relationship (if it’s what you want), just not this way or with this person.

Take some time out, gain positive lessons and then try again with your new insight applied.

Your thoughts?

Are you ready to stop silencing and hiding yourself in an attempt to ‘please’ or protect yourself from others? My book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon), is out now.

The Joy of Saying No by Natalie Lue book cover. Subtitle: A simple plan to stop people pleasing, reclaim boundaries, and say yes to the life you want.

Check out my book and ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl.

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