How To Deal With Rejection

Rejection. It hurts. No matter what the size or severity, rejection is one of the biggest challenges to self-love. From not getting a call back after what you thought was a great first date, to not getting the job you thought you were perfect for, rejection triggers a dangerous dose of self-doubt. And it happens to all of us.  Often it is during the twenty-something years that one experiences a big rejection for the first time, such as getting dumped or being laid off. So it’s the perfect time to learn how to receive “perceived” rejection (and I will explain why I use the word “perceived”) in a way that brings you more peace rather than more pain.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “Rejection is God’s protection.” I believe this to be true, but like most clichés when recited to us in the midst of a big blow, it may sound more annoying than immediately comforting. First it’s important to just surrender to the fact that rejection does not feel good. A lot of self-help advice is geared toward feeling better quickly and sometimes that is not always possible. Accept the fact that you may feel hurt and angry. Give yourself permission to express those feelings in a healthy way such as journaling, speaking to a coach/counselor/mentor, taking it out in a kickboxing class or having a good cry. Resist the immediate temptation to pump yourself full of positive thinking or pontificate as to why this is happening. You are a human being and it’s natural if feeling rejected stings a bit. Feel your feelings without judgment or analysis so they can move up and out rather than suppressing them. Sometimes we experience things that feel hurtful because our soul is yearning to learn how to be compassionate toward ourselves and break patterns of feeling punished or victimized. 

Which brings me to the next important step in dealing with rejection: be compassionate with yourself. If you just got dumped, fired, left out or turned down, please do not add to your suffering by being hard on yourself. Going into self-blame and judgment continues to feed the rejection because now you are rejecting yourself! Be kind to yourself with your thoughts and actions. Witness your self-talk and redirect it when you begin to downward spiral into negativity. One of the most effective and compassionate things you can say to yourself is, “I did the best I could.” And believe it! Trust me, if you could have done better, you would have.

Next, do not take the rejection personally. Speaking from experience, I know this is extremely difficult. In my late twenties when my fiancé broke up with me six months before our wedding, I felt incredibly rejected and made it mean that I was a terrible, broken person unworthy of love. Personalizing the rejection made the heartache ten times harder. Luckily, I had a great coach who taught me the importance of not taking it personally. I learned how to be compassionate with myself and ask, “What am I learning from this and how can I love myself while I go through it?” I was able to see that the break-up was an outward manifestation of what I was doing internally to myself: I was withholding my own self-love from myself by being consistently hard on myself. My relationship with me was full of rejection, so no wonder it ended up happening in the main relationship I was in with another person.  

Furthermore, I totally understood how hard it was for my ex to be around a person who was not happy with herself. He was not necessarily rejecting me; he was doing the most self-honoring thing for himself and did me a HUGE favor. Granted, at the time it did not necessarily feel that way. Trust in the delayed blessings come with the initial burn of a rejection. 

Finally, understand and remind yourself that rejection often has nothing to do with you! People often have their own reasons for why they don’t behave in a way that you would categorize as accepting you or giving you what you want. And certain situations that trigger feelings of rejection are often based on so many external factors that, once again, have zero to do with anything you did or did not do. This is why I say that external rejection is “perceived” rather than being real. The truth is that no one and nothing can truly reject you. The only way to truly be rejected is when you deny yourself of your own love, forgiveness and acceptance. Like I mentioned earlier, we often draw in external events that feel like perceived rejection because our Higher Self is mirroring what we are doing inside ourselves. 

You belong. You are loved. You are accepted. You are worthy. You are enough. You are doing the best you can. But don’t just take my words for it; reject any resistance and accept these truths for yourself!  



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Christine Hassler is a certifed life and quarterlife coach. To visit her website click here.

  • Christine, this one really hit home for me today. Since April I have taken upon myself to stop the inner dialog that was having full blown negative dialog in my head. Thanks for reminding me today that people want to be around people who are happy with themselves!

  • Wow — I really needed this, especially this week! Thank you!

  • KS

    Thank you – I needed this reminder. I did the best I could.

  • Christine- I SOO needed to hear this! Being in business for myself comes with hearing many no’s. The sting of each rejection suddenly started to weigh on me. Now that I have an opportunity for a new client, I noticed myself backing away in fear of hearing no again. But I’m not going to personalize rejection anymore. Thank you for the help!! xox

  • Michelle

    Yes, Christine, I also SOOO needed to hear this today. Rejection is something I struggle with and it gets extremely difficult not to be self-judgmental. When the guy I like stops calling me literally out of the blue or doesn’t like me back, I normally go into depression-mode and ask myself, “What the hell is wrong with me??? What did I do wrong to turn him away? What did I say to turn him off?” Fortunately, I’m slowly (but surely) learning to say to myself, “Thank GOD he rejected me! If I said or did something he didn’t like, he’s clearly removing himself from the situation because he knows we’re not compatible.” And at the end of the day, I don’t consider myself desperate enough to be with someone who isn’t the right fit for me. I want to be able to be myself 100% and not apologize for who I am. After all, I would rather be alone and happy than to be with someone who makes me unhappy.

  • Daniela

    Good point:)

  • Bevan

    Definitely the perfect time for me to read this. Thank you.

  • puahslove

    this came on the right day. thank you.
    reminds me of what my friend TK used to say, “I am a perfect, worthwhile, lovable, fallible child of God. You are too.” Always made me feel better.

  • Lani

    “I was able to see that the break-up was an outward manifestation of what I was doing internally to myself: I was withholding my own self-love from myself by being consistently hard on myself. My relationship with me was full of rejection, so no wonder it ended up happening in the main relationship I was in with another person. ”

    oh yeah. duh.

    thank you.

  • Kelley

    I needed to read this tonight

  • joanne Dagenais

    Christine, Thank you ! Thank you ! and Thank you. Wishing you a Splendid Day !!!

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  • Alix

    I wish I could have read this 5 months ago! Spot on!

  • Alana

    Thank you, Christine. I needed to read this. I had two nice dates with a guy and it appears he’s not going to call me again. This would be the 20th guy in the past few years to do the same thing. But I won’t personalise this rejection.

  • Lesac_1

    I did try the best that I could with my ex of almost 7 years. I was devastated when he broke things off with me when I had no idea it was coming.  It’s been about a week since our break-up and it’s been very difficult on every aspect of my life. At times, I understand his feelings for the break-up and last night I agreed with that for a few minutes until the loss of him during the holiday season returned.

    It is hard to truly commit myself to work, my studies, and myself right now. Every where I go I am reminded of him. I feel like I need to get away from my hometown, so I can move onto something new, to replace the old memories with new memories.

    I feel as though there is a wall in front of me which I have not been able to scale. Hopefully, I’ll be able to scale that wall sooner than later because this recovery process is unbearable at times.

    • Angieg

      Thank you. Your words will become my new mantra to myself. I am enough.

      • cutie

        im a very good looking girl.. so many guys are attracted to my physical appearance but then after two dates and sometimes after the first date they dump me! i think that im the most rejected girl in the world 🙂 im 25 yrs nd the longest relationship i had was for nine also socially rejected i have no friends and girls dont really like me.. i did everything i could to change this but nothing worked.. i went through sadness low self esteem but now i stopped feeling.. rejection is something i ve got used to. whenever i meet a guy i just pray he dumps me from the second date not the first one 😀

        • Caz

          Hi, I know how you feel, this happens to me as well – I get a lot of attention from guys only to go out once or twice and then have them ignore me or not talk to me again. I am intelligent, well-travelled, everyone says I am sweet…but I feel like it is only for my looks and not the person I am inside. Women also don’t tend to like me pretty much for the same reasons, and I don’t have many women friends. Rejection began for me in high school and has been a constant throughout my whole life. I have also tried many things, not a lot works, but it has made me incredibly grateful for the few friends I do have. I hope one day I can meet someone who will see past my looks and will take the time to dig a bit deeper to get to know me. I do like myself and accept myself for who I am, so I really have never figured out what the problem is.

        • kman

          How are things going in your life now? Did they get better?

  • Alic88

    Thank you I am from Pakistan and I really appreciate this article. God bless

  • Dawn

    Thank you so much for writing this. It has helped me take the first step to moving on. Lotsa love

  • Deadwednesdays

    Thank so much. This is really helping me to deal with my broken heart. 🙂

  • Kristinstone

    Thank you so much I finally understand now

  • Kristi

    Thank you so much for this blessing. Long story short, my mom left when I was five. I am now 43. I have struggled greatly with rejection all my life. Just a year into my 2nd divorce and seaching for love again. It isn’t working out. I went on a date, had a great time…assumed he felt the same and he never talked to me or returned my calls or text. I felt that something must be wrong with me that someone didn’t think I was good enough. However, I am a loving Christian, Mother of 2 amazing girls, a teacher for 17 years and a very giving person. Why does this hurt so bad from just a couple of dates with a stranger? This article has helped. I will continue to seek the love I need to find within me and not through someone else.

    • Coco

      I am 32 yrs old but your story sounds as good as mine. At time it feels like every time when I fall in love it seems to never last. Now so scared to fall in love , and why does it hurt so bas.

  • Yolanda_dl

    thank u so much, this is amazing. fell inlove soo deeply with the love of my life whilst living in the UK when visiting home, after my holidays ended we kept in touch and things were fine but four months on when i visited again she had completely changed. very ‘cold’, busy with other things n paid no attention to me whatsoever.

    when i asked she never seem bothered, felt like she could cut my head off n laugh while doing it bt thank u

  • Jac

    Thank you! I’m crawling out of a depression completely fueled by feelings of rejection, all that I needed was a change in perception and this fills the bill. 

  • Nice! Thank you!

  • David

    Greetings from Brazil. Thank you very much Christine for your words! They´ll help me a lot! May God bless you!

  • Jeric Villareal

    thank u for this blog,,
    i really felt all of this.
    and it was so sad for me
    but now “i realize true rejection”

  • Diana

    Thank you so much for positing this. I really needed to come across this today. I appreciate your kind words.

  • Guest

    I know that im probably not as experienced many of you nor is my situation anywhere near as important as

  • adeline

    Hi christine,
    in terms of ur relationship with ex fiance, what happened after?

  • pearl surendran

    Fine, and you r right on many counts, but love does not always mean youth.luv cud come at any age,any time.rejection after an intense affection & luv for real and imaginary reasons cud be excruciatingly painful and fatal.The young has buoyancy but the elders are not. Love yourself as you say is good bit and helpful but think of someone who lost his heart to another and she turns up one day to tell u how many minus points you have and she has a Mr. ‘perfect’ in mind!!!!

  • Christy Hicks Cagle

    I have been rejected my whole life and at 50 it’s harder than ever. I dont understand still.