Rejection is something that we all have experienced (and will likely continue to experience) at some point in our lives. It may come in many forms, but no matter what the circumstance, there can always be a bit of difficulty or resistance with accepting it, especially if it’s something that we strongly desire such as a job, an apartment, a relationship or a friendship.
Whatever the circumstance, rejection is a tough pill to swallow. However, we have to learn to accept that rejection is simply a part of life and we have to deal with it just as we deal with any obstacle that we encounter in life. It’s just that learning how to handle it gracefully can be the tricky part.
We won’t always get the things that we want in life because frankly, it’s not always up to us. When it comes to searching for a job, or an apartment, or a relationship or friendship, there is always another party involved. Yes, we are in control of the things that happen prior in terms of how much we’ve prepared beforehand, but we aren’t necessarily the final decision maker.
When it comes to searching for a job, we could have all of the right qualifications, the right experience, and done well during the interview process, but we also don’t know what are the other factors at stake. We don’t know if there are other stronger candidates or if we left a lasting impression on the person who’s hiring us. It’s not up to us to make the final offer.
When it comes to relationships (friendships included), we can only invest so much of our time into it as we can, but it’s not solely up to us to ensure that the relationship continues to thrive— it works both ways. The other person needs to be equally invested as well. Otherwise, it falls apart.
Or when it comes to dating, which can in some ways be one of the most sensitive situations in terms of dealing with rejection, we may repeatedly experience rejection because it could take a very long time to finally find the person who’s right for us. And that’s because we may not know what the other person is looking for, if they feel the same way, or if they’re even on the same page.
All of these situations have the common thread of uncertainty in relying on someone else. And the truth is that in the end, the final decision is just not up to us. And that’s what we need to understand and eventually learn to accept .
The key to how to gracefully handling rejection is just a matter of acceptance.
It’s a matter of understanding that not everything we seek will be the right fit. In life, it not so much about what happens to you, but instead what you do in reaction to the things that happen to you. It’s about how we handle all of the adversity, conflict, and setbacks that are thrown our way.
It’s about learning how to overcome in the midst of failure and rejection. It’s about learning how to turn failure and rejection into opportunity. It’s everything that we do after we experience failure or rejection that will make or break us. Because in the end, it’s the things that tear us down that make stronger — that’s how we grow.
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat” — F. Scott Fitzgerald