Many people, especially those with a penchant for unavailable relationships, struggle with rejection and take it very personally, which is unsurprising when they also fear making mistakes and engage in trying to ‘win’ people over.
Rejection is feeling that you’ve not been shown due care (hence you feel uncared for) or being turned down which leaves you feeling that you weren’t up to ‘standard’.
Things not working out and hearing/experiencing NO is a part of life. We all go through it although you’ll notice that those who cope with rejection, don’t call it ‘rejection’. They call it ‘breaking up’, ‘it not working out’, ‘not getting the job’, ‘the friendship growing apart’, ‘different priorities’, ‘a disagreement’, ‘they said NO’ etc.
In dating and relationships, ‘rejection’ is impossible to avoid because not all dates and relationships are supposed to work out – that’s why dating is a discovery phase and even if it progresses into a relationship, it might not work.
Short of only ever being with one person, you will have to turn people down, let go, and break up with them and vice versa.
It’s unavoidable and being able to say NO, to opt out of situations, to admit when something isn’t working, is part of the natural order of freeing yourself up to be available for a mutual relationship.
Unfortunately, if you have found yourself in unavailable relationships, especially as a Fallback Girl (or guy), you have some major issues with rejection, either taking it too hard and being derailed by it, or busting a gut to ensure that you don’t experience it, even though you actually are.
Every day I hear stories of people who are completely overwhelmed by rejection or repeatedly throwing themselves under the same rejection bus because they don’t want to deal with the pain of accepting someone’s choice in another person or their treatment of them.
They think they can make one or a number of rejections right by trying to get this person to validate them and unfortunately end up experiencing even more pain.
Or…they languish in the sorrow of the rejection and they end up living in the past, thinking about the coulda, woulda, shoulda, shaming and blaming themselves, and avoiding their present and future. The rejection triggers a previous rejection plunging them into more pain.
What you need to realise about avoiding rejection, whether it’s by living in the past, fearing starting over and giving yourself a hard time about all of the things that you perceive as a rejection of you, or you’ve been clinging to a one trick three legged horse and refusing to fold on a relationship that’s completely detracting from you, is:
All of this trying to dodge the rejection bullet is actually doing anything but what you intended because you are rejecting yourself.
The mindset that surrounds someone that thinks they’ve been rejected, are rejectionable and that there is external evidence to support their mindset means that the unhealthy beliefs and feeding the self-fulfilling prophecy automatically opt them out of anything that contradicts this, not least because they’re not participating actively in their lives and moving forward.
The two easiest ways to avoid rejection in relationships – don’t have any relationships or get involved with someone who offers the least likely prospect of commitment or a relationship – it’s ‘safe rejection’ but both still wind up being self-rejection.
I’ve had to learn to stop taking things to the nth degree, making everything about me, and seeing things not going my way as ‘rejection’. I’m pretty sure I used to get abandonment and rejection confused hence why I’d feel so terrible – they’re two different things but also people not doing what you want isn’t rejection or abandonment; it’s just people doing their own thing.
Rejection paves the way to opening a new door in your life. While it can and often does hurt, them doing what you may not be able to do for yourself, frees you up to gain perspective and be available for yourself and a more fulfilling relationship…if you don’t avoid it.
The fact is that while occasionally I see people being torn up about a relationship not working out with someone they had a mutual one with love, care, trust, and respect that has for whatever reason not worked out, the overwhelming majority of people I witness struggling with ‘rejection’, are struggling with feeling that they weren’t up to ‘standard’ for someone and a relationship that they shouldn’t have been available for in the first place. It’s back to ‘I can’t believe they don’t want me’ syndrome.
“Why am I not up to standard for someone and a situation that was undeserving me? OMG! I must be highly rejectionable!”
If you were actually in something that detracted from you and had a load of code amber and red warnings, them ‘turning you down’ is actually a blessing in disguise. Let them skip on down the street and find someone else to mess with.
Stop feeling bad about the fact that someone who you knew (whether you choose to admit it or not) had clear signs that they weren’t capable of being the person you wanted them to be or giving you the relationship you want, didn’t ‘change’ for you.
The funny thing is – you not accepting someone is…rejection. You’re feeling rejected about the fact that they didn’t change from what you find rejectionable.
You don’t have to see rejection as something terrible.
You were in this relationship too. Instead of rejecting the truth of who they are or your relationship, accept it and recognise that you’re ‘out’ for a damn good reason!
People are allowed to say NO to you. They are. Don’t panic though – it cuts both ways!
You can’t just wallow in pain or stick to a relationship that detracts from you like glue just because it’s better than feeling ‘rejection rejection‘.
Some of the things you see as rejection aren’t rejection – it’s giving you an Early Opt Out with no penalties, a difference of opinion, or NO.
Them not changing = them not changing.
Different values = wanted different things.
Disagreement = disagreement.
They couldn’t give you what you want (even if they talked out of their bum) = overestimated capacity and Betting On Potential
Even if they were ‘great’, they’re just not that special that you should deem yourself as being some sort of ‘rejection case’. You wanted different things – that sounds a hell of a lot better than “They rejected me” especially because rejection automatically creates the assumption that you are wholly and solely responsible for why the relationship hasn’t worked out or why they behave as they do – you’re not.
Don’t see your relationships as a ‘waste’ or that you are now ‘rejectionable’ – that’s writing off both bad and good times. Not all relationships can or are meant to last and to wallow in rejection or to avoid it, is to also disregard the truth. Maybe there are things you could have done differently but guess what? You weren’t alone. Whatever your relationship was supposed to be, it’s been even if you would have preferred it to be something different.
Instead of feeling crap about everything you didn’t get that you think you were entitled to – remember who they were and why it’s over. If there’s some good in there, great, but if what you’re mourning is the loss of what didn’t happen, don’t ‘waste’ your life by devoting it to taking up pain and rejection solitude as a vocation.
Same goes for dates – dating is a discovery phase! Trust me when I say you haven’t discovered anything so fabulous about a date that warrants you carrying on like they were the last chance saloon!
You wanted different things. You had a difference of opinion. They’re not ready for commitment whether it’s you in the hot seat or The Most Perfect Person in the Universe. Whatever it is – it’s not the definition of you.