How to Deal With Rejection

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When you want to make progress in any aspect of your life, be it professional or social, you will at times be rejected. We’ve all been rejected at one time or another. Our ideas at work might get rejected. Our business proposition might get turned way. We might even get rejected in our love lives.

However, rejection isn’t something to be deflated about. Below are some tips on how you deal with rejection:

Take some time to reflect

If another person rejects you about something, it’s always worth spending some time reflecting what happened, objectively. Think about what you said and consider specific incidents of how you behaved, which may have caused the other person to reject you. By doing so, you give be able to change your approach the next time, so that you’re constantly learning and improving.

Ask for feedback

If you really want to increase the amount you learn during a rejection, ask others for feedback on the reasons for the rejection. When other people give you feedback in a constructive way, it can be a very powerful confidence boost and provide vital information for next time.

Apply the feedback

Next time you take similar action, ensure you use the information from the feedback you gained, both through reflecting on yourself and the feedback you got from other people. This is important to do as you want to ensure you don’t keep making the same mistakes.

Are you sure it’s even about you?

Another way you can use to deal with rejection is to consider whether it even has anything to do with you. What other issues and priorities might the person who turned you down be dealing with, which could explain the rejection?

Channel your feelings

Rejection never feels nice. Rather than allowing yourself to remain down through negative feelings, channel these feelings into those of determination to get what you want and bounce right back.

Congratulate yourself

Remember, by wanting approval for an idea, or by asking for something, you did the brave thing. Without asking you will never get. Even if you were rejected on this occasion, at least you gave it go. Congratulate yourself for doing so.

Redirect your thoughts

It can be easy to replay the event where you were rejected over in your mind. By doing so, you can end up feeling the unhelpful feelings associated with the particular occasion all over again. Your thoughts will impact how you feel. When you catch you mind going to the rejection again, send it to other places, such as thoughts of how much you already have in your life and can be grateful for.

Resist getting angry

When you get rejected, it can be easy to get angry or upset at the person who has done the rejection. Rather than choosing to get angry, choose to remain calm instead. Unhelpful emotions directed at others means you give up your responsibility for the way you think and feel. Instead, use the rejection as an opportunity to grow and develop your own inner strength.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• What other ways can we use to deal with rejection?
• Please share you valuable thoughts, experiences and views in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.

Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass

34 Comments
  1. Rejection is only permanent if you let it be. Many of the points you highlight, Hiten, make a point of how to move forward. This is essential to do. Equally important is to learn from the moments of rejection, refining if appropriate and re-centering when needed.

    Rejection is a part of life; it is what we do with it that makes a big difference in our life paths. We need to be strengthen by it.

    Great advice here. Thank you! Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      I loved what you wrote about rejection being permanent only if we let it be. It got me thinking of looking at rejection from a mindful perspective as something that won’t last.

      I also liked the way you explained learning from rejection, adapting and re-aligning as appropriate. This sounds like a neat little model to deal with rejection.

      Thanks a lot for leaving such a thought provoking comment. Have a great week, Jon!

  2. Hi Hten,

    Beautiful post yet again 🙂

    Just as Jon mentioned above, rejection is a part of life, and if there is someone who hasn’t been rejected, whether its regarding their home or work front, he or she hasn’t really learnt or grown as a person I feel.

    You said it all so well already, and the best part being that rejection makes you a better person because you learn so much – about your flaws, drawbacks, and all the places where you need to work on to make yourself better. It’s a very important aspect of self-development and and self-improvement I feel.

    I remember the time when during my freelancing career, my first article was rejected because it didn’t meet up with the client’s requirements. I made my edits and sent it again – this time again it was rejected, and because in my earlier mail I had requested him to let me know what was what he required, in this mail, he did send the edits to me, which helped me. I made those edits, and worked on the whole thing – all over again for the 3rd and final time, and it got accepted. That one client has been with me all through these years because he liked my honesty and straight forwardness I guess, and I got to learn a lot from him too.

    So, rejection surely has it’s plus points, and I feel it always makes me better and gives me a chance to improve myself and my skills too. It’s something I’m trying to teach my kids too, and what matters most is that you learn to take it all up in sporting spirit and not feel down by it.

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us. Have a nice week ahead. 🙂

    BTW – Love the new cover of your latest eBook – Awakening the Social Butterfly in you. And I’m sure you are working on yet another one 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      Absolutely, as you quite rightly said, if a person has never been rejected then that person hasn’t had an opportunity to experience much if any growth.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with your first freelancing assignment. The way you turned the initial couple of rejections into a strong willingness to learn and get it right, is brilliant and something we can all learn from. Indeed, as you pointed out, I’m sure it was your honesty and desire to improve, which helped this client to turn into a repeat one over a long period of time. The interesting thing about this experience is how it turned into a wonderful opportunity in the end.

      I agree, experiencing rejection does make us better and allows us the ability to develop our skills. If we got upset and angry over rejection, then I’m sure we’d miss out on so many opportunities and feel bad in the process.

      Your kids are very lucky to have you as their mum, Harleena! Also, I’m glad you liked the new cover. Indeed, I’m planning another book and want to have a go at writing my first fiction piece. I’m still pondering on the storyline…

      I’m really glad you liked this post, Harleena and thank you for your wonderful comment. I much appreciate your support.

      Have a great week, too! 🙂

  3. Dr Hiten,
    Very informative post!
    A friend of mine has been experiencing a lot of rejection lately, just because she is single and trying out online dating. I think your point on redirect your thoughts will work perfectly for her at this present moment. I think she needs to work on her mindset. I also love your point on congratulate yourself. That picture is cool.
    I have nothing to add to this post, just perfect.
    Thanks for the share.

    1. Hi Seun,

      I’m so glad you found the post useful!

      Ah, dating is one I’m sure all of us have experienced rejection in. I certainly have, many times! 🙂 I hope your friend remains optimistic and I hope the redirecting of thoughts approach helps. Online dating can be both fun and tricky. It can be fun as it’s an interesting way to connect with people. I find it can also be tricky as we have a limited amount of time to attract attention through our profile. However, through improving the profile and adding decent photos etc., over time our successes increase.

      I’m glad you could resonate with the point about congratulating ourselves. Thanks a lot for commenting, Seun. I do appreciate your support, my friend.

      Enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday!

  4. Hiten – dealing with rejection must get easier with practice, no?

    I like what you ask if it is even about you. People ARE a product of their moods and it is worthwhile considering if someone is simply having a bad day. It can be easy to get into the blame game here though !

    1. Hi Razwana,

      Yes, dealing with rejection does get easier with practice. It’s like we become increasingly desensitised to the feelings associated with the rejection and are able to shrug it off quicker.

      You made such an excellent point, which I think explains how to deal with rejection. As you said, we can reflect upon the person doing the rejection and conclude that they could be just having a bad day. However, with such as an approach it’s important to refrain from blaming, which has its own unhelpful thoughts and emotions associated with it.

      Thanks for leaving such a great comment, Razwana!

  5. Over time you learn that “rejection” is not as harmful as you may have once thought. Having the self confidence to push through any so called rejection will develop, if you focus on what you are doing and not let others’ opinions distract you. ‘Rejection’ can also be a great learning tool and allow you to fine tune/make adjustments to your ‘work’ along the highway of Life.
    Be good to yourself Hiten,
    David
    Life Coach. Listener. Solution Finder.

    1. Hi David,

      I loved the way you explained the process of what happens when we experience rejection. I could really resonate with the point you made about pushing through rejection while ensuring not to let other’s views distract us. Whatever the perceived objection is, as you say, it’s important to stay focused and have faith in the knowledge that by trying again and again, success will be inevitable.

      Many thanks for adding some great, expert insights into rejection David. Much appreciated.

  6. Hiten – I think the natural response can be anger and offense at times. In the midst and aftermath of rejection I always try reflect on the reasons why I have been rejected to make sure there wasn’t a truth I needed to gain from the experience. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Luke,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Indeed, as you quite rightly said, anger and offense can be a normal reaction. In such cases we can learn to change the meanings of the rejection to help us remain resourceful.

      Thanks so much for sharing your approach of dealing with rejection. The way you reflect on the reasons why to check for any truths that need to be learnt makes so much sense.

      Many thanks for joining the discussions Luke, and for adding so much more to this post.

  7. Hello Hiten, great advice on an important topic that no human being can avoid. Two things come to mind in reading your list of recommendations. First, I’m thinking of one of the agreements in The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – Don’t take it personally. It’s related to your point about the rejection may not be about the person rejected. This couldn’t be emphasized enough, as it helps us to remember that there are many factors in a situation that may not be about us, even if we end up being the recipient of acceptance or rejection. The other thought is that the experiences of rejection are meant to set us up for success, by teaching us what we can do better on, clarifying what’s actually good for us, etc. Again, you covered these in different words, but I think it’s important to stress that no’s eventually turn into yes’s. Thank you, Hiten!

    1. Hi Alice,

      It’s so good to see you here, my friend.

      Thank you so much for adding such wonderful advice and insights into the area of rejection.

      Indeed, I loved what you wrote about not taking it personally. We as humans have the ability to make meanings of whatever happens to us, in just the way we want to. Not taking it personally is a great and quick way to shrug off rejection, enabling us to stay positive. As you quite rightly said, there are so many factors that are playing in any one situation. It takes practice to train the mind to do this type of refection and it certainly can be done.

      Ah, what you wrote about rejection being a setup for success is wonderful and so true, as well! In fact, let’s all face rejection with a smile; knowing full well that success is just around the corner!

      Thank you so much for your brilliant advice, Alice! You’ve added so much more to this post.

  8. This is a very interesting topic and it affects all of us in every aspects of life. I think one should look at rejection as a stepping stone for success. Once rejected, one should reflect on it as and then take it from there and move on.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      I’m so glad you found this topic interesting. As you said, rejection is something we all experience. I loved what you wrote about looking at rejection as providing the basis for success. Indeed, any type of success worth having will take a number of rejections and failures. Being able to learn lessons from the rejection and moving on, is the way to go.

      Thanks so much for sharing your great insights on this topic.

  9. hey Hiten! I think others have remarked, rejection is not as bad as you’d think, It can lead to growth, improvement, and learning! I think Harleena’s example is a particularly good one of how her project helped her get better and improved her skills.

    I try to look at it more in a big picture kind of way. Like if you get rejected for a loan application, housing loan or job, it’s really not the end of the world. In fact, you only need one of those. So you just keep applying til you get it. There’s many opportunities but it may take us some rejection to get to that opportunity. And again, you only need to land one of those opportunities – not many!

    And I’ve always taken the approach that if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. If too much rejection on the way to the goal, the universe could also be telling you, ‘this isn’t quite right for you’ 🙂

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      Absolutely, rejection isn’t as bad as we might think and you’re quite right, it can lead to so much more learning and enhancements. Indeed, Harleena gave a great example of what can emerge from rejection.

      I loved the way you explained about looking at rejection from a bigger picture perspective, and what you said about landing just one opportunity out of the attempts we make, makes a lot of sense. And the impact of landing the one opportunity can be huge.

      I agree with what you said about experiencing too many rejections. As you stated brilliantly, even too many rejections can be dealt with from an empowered perspective, which is the universe telling us that what we’re doing just might not be right for us.

      Many thanks for adding some great insights into rejection, what it means and how we can deal with it, Vishnu! 🙂

  10. Greetings Hiten. Wonderful topic. I deal with rejection as follows… First, I whine and moan about it. Sometimes to myself and other times, outwardly. Then, I reject the rejection and sometimes the “rejector”. There are those instances where I will give the rejector the benefit of the doubt and assume that they only rejected me or my ideas or point of view, because they didn’t really “get it”. In those cases, I explain myself to them in several different ways, because obviously they would have accepted what I had to contribute if I had chosen my words better. When that doesn’t work, I go back to sulking. Finally, I will review the issue as objectively as possible and try to determine if there is as much as a kernel of truth or obvious reason for the rejection. If there is and it something I can or am willing to change, I make adjustments. If it is something out of my control or something I am unwilling to change, I let it go. There is too much living to do to get weighed down by others opinions of me.

    1. Hi Dwayne,

      Welcome to the blog and so I’m glad you enjoyed the topic of the post!

      I really do appreciate you sharing your approach to dealing with rejection. What you wrote sounds like such an empowering way to deal with rejection and I loved the way you reject the rejection and the rejector. With such an attitude being able to bounce back quickly from rejection is inevitable.

      Indeed, I really liked what you stated about letting go when we are unwilling to change. At times when we are in situations where we might get rejected, our beliefs and opinions could be very strong. Therefore, it makes no sense to compromise our integrity just to become accepted.

      Thank you so much for leaving such a wonderful comment, Dwayne!

  11. I think knowing it will happen can prepare us for when it does happen. We have to remember we can’t please everyone and not everyone will like us so knowing that can greatly reduce the impact of a rejection.

    I really like your point about choosing not to get angry. Anger is a emotion that can be controlled and we must resist giving into our anger if we are going to make the best out of the situation.

    Great post and thoughts!

    1. Hi Dan,

      Ah, what you said about not being able to please everyone and not everyone liking us is so true! I just tried this attitude on myself and indeed, as you said, this can greatly reduce the effect that rejection can have on us.

      I’m glad you could resonate with the point about not choosing anger. You’re right. Anger can be controlled. Sometimes anger can be valid, too. However, I personally just look at it as another way of giving up our ability to respond in healthier ways and giving up our responsibility for the way we feel to others.

      Thanks a lot for commenting, Dan! I appreciate your support and have a great weekend. 🙂

  12. Sometimes rejection is justified, and we need to realise this if we’re going to react sensibly towards it. I’d rather someone said my idea was terrible, than to merely think it (and keep quiet) and allow me to go out spreading it to the rest of the world.

    Sometimes others’ opinions can really help us think clearly. If we have a stupid idea or thought, having someone bring us down to earth about it is actually a gift. Of course, they could be tactful or not, but our responsibility is to actually take their message on board if it makes sense. Not everyone is tactful.

    I trust the people I love not to reject me. But if they do reject something I offer, then I hope I’m sensible enough to understand that there’s probably a good reason for it.

    1. Hi Anne,

      Absolutely, at times rejection certainly can be justified. I agree it is better to have someone point out what we’re doing wrong, rather than us continuing using the same approaches and not getting anywhere.

      When we give feedback constructively to others on their mistakes and when they do the same to us, it is the mature thing to do. However, often people can be afraid to actually reject out of fear of hurting the other person. This is an aspect that I’m working on more myself.

      What you wrote about understanding that those who are close to us and who reject our ideas, do so because there is a good reason is a wonderful way to look at rejection.

      Many thanks for sharing your views and experiences in this area, Anne and for adding so much more value to the post.

  13. Wonderful advice Hiten! I especially like your point about the rejection may not even being about you – so true. You also make a good point about asking for feedback, however that isn’t always possible. Anyone who’s published a book knows all too well what one-way rejection feels like when you get a bad review. The sage advice is don’t respond to a bad review no matter how unfair, but writing is such a personal process, and readers don’t have to worry about being kind or professional so it can get pretty brutal. On the other side of that coin, it really is an empowering feeling to get to the point where you have so many positive reviews the occasional stinker no longer matters. 🙂

    1. Hi Marty,

      I’m so glad you liked the advice and could resonate in particular, with the point about understanding that the rejection might not even be about us.

      Thanks so much for commenting about the area of bad reviews for books. I know exactly what this feels like. Indeed, when I got my first one I felt like responding back. I then remembered David Gaughran’s words about not responding and I resisted. It was a shocking when I saw the review. However, I reminded myself that I can’t please everyone with my work and that I need to get to shrug off bad reviews as quick as possible and continue writing. So, the next time I got a review from a reader who didn’t like a book of mine, I got over it pretty quickly.

      Indeed, I agree with what you said about the great feeling when our book has had a lot of good reviews, and the occasional bad one not making much difference at all.

      Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences Marty and for adding so much more to this post.

  14. Hello Hiten

    I love it when a post rings a bell for me! I heard the Cambridge Chimes ringing all the way down the page! 😉

    Your post reminds me of the endless job interviews I’ve gone on where I wasn’t selected for positions I had applied for. I don’t care what anyone says, it stinks when you’re rejected for a job you know you’re more than qualified for.

    You know what I say every time this happens, Hiten? I say, “Their loss!” By choosing another candidate, they’ve just lost out on a valuable asset to the company — namely, ME.

    I know that attitude may sound smug to some of your readers but I don’t see it that way. I’m genuinely not an arrogant individual. I deal with rejection this way because it works for me. It works because it allows me to maintain my confidence and I don’t lose sight of the skills and talents I possess that another employer will appreciate.

    Very helpful tips in this post!

    1. Hi Mel,

      It’s wonderful to see you here! I was thinking of you recently and was planning to pop over to you blog either today or tomorrow.

      I’m so glad you could resonate with this post and thanks so much for sharing your experiences with job interviews and how you dealt with them. I’m totally with you. It is their lost and I definitely don’t believe this attitude to be smug. It is one I’ve also used and I agree, it is a wonderful way to remain resourceful and focus on the amazing things that we can do, and as you said, would be appreciated by someone else.

      Many thanks for sharing your experiences and for writing such a wonderful comment, Mel! 🙂

      1. Continue to plant seeds for the soul, Hiten! You’re growing a beautiful garden here. 🙂

        1. Thank you so much, Mel! I really appreciate you saying that.

          As you say, I will continue planting the seeds for the soul! 🙂

  15. Hi,

    As everyone knows Rejection hurts any one and off course it should hurt because you worked for it and you ae not getting results.
    The only solution is that you should look to your problem and you could know by Feedback, Applying for Feedback,asking from your friends,reviewing yourself.

    Regards
    Siddhartha SInha

    1. Hi Siddhartha,

      I just loved your comment! As you quite rightly said, rejection can hurt, especially when we’ve put in a lot of effort to get something done. I think what really helps is if we can quickly shrug off the rejection and bounce right back. Doing so ensures we don’t remain feeling down about the rejection. As you brilliantly pointed out, asking for feedback and applying the feedback is the best solution.

      Thanks so much for commenting, Siddhartha and for adding so much more to this post.

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