Rejection. It happens.
It’s sort of one of those inevitable things in life. Not everyone is gonna like you. Not everyone is gonna agree with you or go along with what you want. Not everyone is gonna support you or root for you.
It sucks. I mean rejection hurts. It does.
Doesn’t matter how tough you may be or how thick your skin is, when you’re rejected, you’re gonna feel pain. And if you don’t, well, either you’re a psychopath or just lying to yourself.
It not only cuts deep into our self esteem, but actually triggers a survival panic mechanism. When you get rejected, you literally feel like you’re gonna die. This traces back to the time of our ancestors when being rejected by your tribe literally meant the difference between life or death. You couldn’t survive alone; you needed a tribe for protection. Our brains are basically pre-wired to associate rejection with death and trigger a sense of nerve wracking panic when we face rejection.
You’re, in most cases of rejection, not at all going to die. But that doesn’t mean we don’t feel that pain. It’s a natural part of being human.
Look, we’ve all been rejected in some way or another. Even the best and the brightest among us have had their fair share of rejection, if not more so than the average person.
It’s not so much about avoiding rejection entirely, but about being able to handle it when it happens. Today, we’re gonna take a look at how to do just that - how to face rejection using what I like to call the “lazy method”.
The lazy method is all about minimizing effort and maximizing results. Handling rejection is not something you’re gonna have to work hard to try and attain. It’ll be nice n’ easy. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
There’s no doubt you’re gonna feel pretty shitty when you get rejected. No one likes being rejected.
I mean, I don’t know anyone pretty gun-ho about that sort of thing, like “Oooh I can’t wait ‘til someone turns me down again. What a great experience that it is!”
That just isn’t how it goes. Rejection sucks. The way it makes you feel sucks.
That much is unavoidable, unfortunately.
And while you can’t change the person’s mind nor can you change the way you feel, you can change how you react to it. Your reaction to rejection is completely under your control.
The key is to not try and alter your emotions. That’s way too much work to try and do. Don’t kid yourself and say “this is fine” or pretend to be happy.
Trying to change how you feel is strenuous and more often than not, completely ineffective. It’s a waste of time and energy.
Instead, take the lazy path. Just accept it.
Be hurt. Accept the pain. Accept the fact that you just got rejected. Accept the way it makes you feel.
You don’t have to like it, but just accept it. Feel it but don’t wallow in it. Acknowledge your emotions but drown yourself in them. Be hurt, but don’t worry. When you worry, you constantly pick at a scab and don’t let it heal. You’ll heal, eventually, but not if you keep picking, so don’t worry.
Take the attitude of “That’s a shame, but okay.” It’s a bit of a disappointment, sure, but doesn’t have any sort of detrimental impact on you. You approach rejection with a stoic calmness, able to welcome it with open arms, like your cousin you don’t really like that you see at a family reunion. You suck up and just greet him and don’t whine about it.
Acceptance of rejection is Smooth. Being able to feel the pain without letting it control you is part of embracing your Inner-Sloth. Leaning back and saying “whatever” instead of jumping up to beg “please” is the lazy way.
Remember, despite every instinct in your body telling you “I AM GOING TO DIE”. You’re not, I assure you, NOT going to die. You don’t need a tribe to survive in the modern world.
Rejection is not the end of you,nor should you make it out to be that way. Rejection is just a thing.
You’re not going to say yes to everybody, so don’t expect everybody to say yes to you. You’re gonna make someone else feel bad about your rejection of them (even if it’s something as simple as an annoying sales call), and someone else is gonna make you feel bad when they reject you. It’s the circle of life.
Always do “just enough.” Never too much. That’s a pretty standard principle when it comes to being lazy.
You don’t want to emotionally invest too much into getting the sort of acceptance that you’re looking for.
Like say you want to ask someone out.They pique your interest. You’re hopeful about meeting them for a date. But you’re not planning out a wedding, kids, and whole life. Because if they do happen to say “No” now instead of saying “No” to a fun night out on town, they’re saying no to your entire future.
If you do imagine a BIG result in earning their approval, you’ve made the stakes high in your own head. You pictured the outcome larger than it needed to be, larger than it really is.
Part of handling your emotions AFTER rejection is to get your hopes up so high BEFORE it even happens.
In other words, don’t make things a big deal in the first place. You must approach the situation with the attitude of “Let’s see what happens” rather than “I have in my head exactly what I want to happen.” Be open to how the story unfolds and don’t try to write it yourself.
Approach things with curiosity rather than expectation. Pain from rejection is worsened by expecting things to go a certain way, and when they don’t, we’re left feeling extremely down. Ease the impact of rejection by taking expectation out of the equation. Now you’re left with just “finding out” how it goes instead of holding out hope for an outcome that might not even happen.
If you must expect something, then expect everything. Every possible scenario, including getting rejected. Now it won’t hit you as a surprise if and when you do get rejected, you’ll just be like “I saw this coming. No big deal.”
That’s not to say you should always expect to get slapped in the face with rejection. No. But do not rule it out as a possibility.
Possibilities are unlimited. Things could go your way...or not. Either way, it’s all good.
Ask yourself WHY you are getting rejected.
I don’t mean in the sort of negative connotation of “Oh woe is me. Why am I not good enough?”
You have to believe you are good enough. You’re just getting better.
Rejection happened because of something you did or said or the way you did or said it, or it could just be an incompatibility issue between you and the other person. Whatever the case may be, rejection is not at all an indicator of your worthiness or lack thereof.
The person rejected the thing you did, not you. You have to keep that in mind. They are rejecting your words and actions, not you as a person.
You have to seriously ask yourself WHAT you did wrong, so you can learn from it. Rejection is an opportunity to learn WHY you were rejected, not to see yourself as someone who gets rejected.
You may not ever be able to change that person’s mind and in all honesty, it ain’t worth the effort to do so. You can change yourself based on the reason WHY you were rejected in the first place though, so that you won’t be rejected for the same REASON in the future.
Don’t base your self worth on someone else’s approval.
No one can tell you what you’re worth unless you let them. No one’s opinion of you matters, beside your own.
Rejection is harsher when you reject yourself.
Like I said, more often than not, the person is rejecting a thing (you did or said), not a person (you). You are the only person rejecting yourself when it really comes down to it.
The more you beat yourself up about a rejection, the more, in turn, you become the rejector, rejecting your own worthiness, telling yourself that you just aren’t good enough. It’s a terrible loop of thought to trap yourself in.
You’re placing your self esteem on some other person’s acceptance. That, my friend, is completely outside of your control. They have free will too, ya know? They can choose to reject your offer, as much as you can choose to reject theirs.
You can’t control someone else’s behavior, nor can they control yours. What you can control is your own behavior, your own thoughts and words, your own reaction to things, including the rejection itself.
If someone doesn’t give you approval, let it slide, man. Don’t disapprove of yourself just because someone else does.
Doesn’t sound like too lazy of a thing to take risks, does it? I mean getting up, out of your way to “put yourself out there”
Look, laziness isn’t about doing nothing; it’s about doing the thing that takes the least amount of effort and yields the biggest results.
So ya gotta look at what takes more effort: taking a bit of risk or pining over the possibility of rejection.
Look, chances are, ruminating over facing rejection is actually worse than the actual rejection itself. And by worse, I mean it takes a helluva lot more emotional energy. Be lazy and save your energy. Take risks and face that rejection, rather than “working” yourself up about how it might happen.
And that’s the thing: it might happen. It might not. You don’t know. Like we said, it’s all about possibility. Taking risk means being open to possibility, both good and bad. That’s all.
Remember, if you fear rejection, you are only focused on one single possibility in the millions that could happen. Don’t be afraid. Again, you’re not gonna die from it. Worse case scenario, literally worse case, is the person turns you down.
OH NO! Scary stuff. ZOINKS! Like really? C’mon now. Expand your comfort zone.
Let’s imagine your “comfort zone” as a bed. Now, I don’t know about you, but I prefer a bigger bed. Bigger bed = more comfort.
“Breaking outside of your comfort zone” is then in a sense, sleeping on a bigger bed. You have more room to put up pillows and be cozy. By taking risks, you are creating that bigger bed.
It’s No Big Deal
It may be sort of difficult to think “Ah, no big deal” when you get rejected at first. You’re not used to it. You’re...comfortable in a small ass bed. You haven’t expanded your limitations.
But here’s the thing, while you can’t change how rejection feels, you can reach the point where that feeling just doesn’t affect you.
It’s sort of a numbers game, the more rejection you face, the less impact it has on you. Think of it like eating spicy food. At first, it burns your mouth like a fiery volcano, but eventually, your tongue becomes sort of numb to it. Eat enough spicy stuff and you’ll actually begin to crave hot flavor.
Similarly, rejection may burn you, but keep eating it up and you’ll begin to actually crave it.
That nerve wracking feeling, it’s an energy , adrenaline. It fires you up, like some good hot sauce. Yeah, the burn is still there, but you’ve adapted your taste to enjoy it. It’s not a big deal. It’s not unbearable, a bit of heat but not scorching your balls off in an inferno.
Relax, rejection isn’t a big deal, and if you think it is, then you just haven’t faced enough of it yet.
It’s not all about you. Seriously. Get out of your goodman Ego!
Earlier, we talked about how it’s important to take a lesson and learn from rejection, by asking yourself WHY you got rejected.
But sometimes, you can do everything right. You can say everything right. All things are right on your side.
But the other person still rejects you. Uh oh! Now what?
Listen up. It ain’t about you! Don’t take it personally. Don’t take it to heart. Just. Move. On.
They may be having a bad day. They may have just lost their dog or their brother was in a car accident or maybe they got in a fight with their mother. You don’t know their story or where they’re at emotionally.
Sometimes there are external circumstances that lead to rejection and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Accept it (as with any rejection).
Even IF it was something you actually did or said wrong that got you rejected. Still. Don’t take it personally. Criticize the THING you did or said, not yourself.
It’s just trial and error
If you’ve ever played any of the “hard” games like Dark Souls, Cuphead, Super Meat Boy or really any classic video game, you’ll know you’re not going to win on your first try.
You’re gonna see that “Game Over” screen as much as you see the background image of your own phone. You’re gonna die and you’re gonna die a lot.
But dying, getting that Game Over, that’s part of playing the game. You don’t earn that Platinum Trophy without fucking up a thousand times.
You win the game by memorizing enemy patterns and level layouts. That doesn’t happen in just one try.
Approach life just like a video game. Game Over, rejection, just means it’s time to try again. It’s all trial and error and you’ll hit the mark..eventually.
Learn from it
Of course, trial and error is two parts. There’s trial and then there’s error.
It’s not error error. In other words, if you get rejected because of one thing, don’t do it again. Learn from it. Level up.
Rejection and mistakes go hand in hand, and both are meh. It’s more of an opportunity to learn and grow then it is of any sort of catastrophe.
Rejection won’t destroy you. Your own mental attitude will.
Take it easy,