“What if instead of seeing rejection as a stop sign, you began to view it as a detour?”
Growing up, I got rejected A LOT. I was rejected by boys, girls who I wanted to be friends with, from opportunities I really wanted, and even by family members. I was an awkward child who was smart but not “cool”. Thankfully, I had tough skin so I just took it. I thought that if I ignored it and just made it out of each stage in life, then I would be fine. I really thought I could fake it until I made it. It worked for a while, up until around high school when I received my first young adult rejection.
I had a huge crush on a guy but he was into someone else. He was still in love with his ex and they were going back and forth. He strung me along as a backup plan and little ol naive me went along with it. I stuck it out for about six months. I was the person he vented to when stuff with her wasn’t going well. She had actually gotten into a relationship with someone else and he was still not over her. I thought for sure it was my turn and he just needed a little time. Well, to my surprise, she left the guy she was with for my guy and he dropped me like a mixtape. I was crushed to say the least. My immature brain couldn’t let go. Instead, I stayed in his life as a friend so I could be close because I just knew I would be next. Well, that never happened. We were actually friends for years after that incident. One day, he did decide that he wanted me, but not in the way I wanted him. When I was in college and had become sexually active, him and I did the do. I thought surely that would win him over. If you’re calling me an idiot and sighing really loudly, that’s exactly my reaction as I type this. After we had sex, his affection for me stopped and all talks of a relationship ceased. I had been played yet again by this same individual. What if I chose to accept my rejection in the beginning? I would’ve saved time, energy, and my vagina from that undeserving idiot.
“Rejection is sometimes a warning sign or a red flag that you’re going the wrong way.”
As I matured, I realized that most of us handle rejections in one or two ways.
- It’s a challenge…Rejection can be seen as a way to prove yourself worthy. This was my young mindset. I felt that the feeling of his rejection could be reversed if I just won him over, no matter how long it took. I spent years trying to win this guy over just to be left even more devastated in the end. I refused to accept the rejection because it made me feel invaluable. I felt taking on the challenge and winning would restore my value. I was so wrong. We have to stop trying to force people to want us and accept that this particular person just may not be for us. The same could go for a job or a promotion you didn’t get at work. I’ll dive deeper into my reasoning on this later.
- Your life is over and you suck…Rejection can also be seen as an end all be all. Many people take rejection way too personally and internalize it feeling as if there is something wrong with them. This is not always the case with rejection. Sometimes the timing could be off. Sometimes, the person could just not be a fit for you in terms of dating. Other times, it could be behind the scene forces working against you that you may not even know about. This is why people should avoid internalizing rejection because it can have very negative effects on your psyche.
If you see rejection as one of these two ways, let me expose you to a new way of thinking.
What if you viewed rejection as redirection? What if instead of seeing rejection as a stop sign, you began to view it as a detour? Rejection is sometimes a warning sign or a red flag that you’re going the wrong way. I think we become so distraught by receiving no that we ignore what comes after the no. Think about in high school or college when you were in love with that guy or girl. You wanted them so badly but you just couldn’t seem to get their attention or maybe they rejected you. But recently, you saw them out in the mall or on Facebook and they look awful or they have six kids with seven different baby daddies or baby mommas. The first thing you do is praise God for not opening that door because that could’ve been you stuck with that. How many time has your rejection turned out to be a blessing?
“Sometimes the no is because you aren’t prepared, not because you aren’t good enough.”
I can name many times where my no was the best answer I could’ve received. This has been in dating and career wise. I remember interviewing to be a flight attendant three times with three different companies and getting no from all of them. I was so confused because my background is in hospitality so why was I being rejected? I eventually stopped trying then God revealed to me why He said no. My next job after the three rejections was an Enrollment Concierge at a college. It’s a fancy way of saying Enrollment Assistant. At this college, I had the easiest job ever and I actually got paid more. I spent my days answering the phone, writing blogs, and finishing my first book. I even pursued my Masters in Positive Psychology for free. If I would’ve gotten a yes to the flight attendant position, I wouldn’t have had time to blog, finish my book, and I wouldn’t have a master’s degree. My no wasn’t rejection, it was redirection.
Next time you receive a no, ask yourself what God may be trying to do? Look at the bigger picture. For me, I wanted the flight attendant job to replace the job I was in. I also wanted the free flight benefits but that wasn’t what I needed. I had just started this blog and I was working on my first book. I needed a place where I had time to write and get better at my knowledge on human behavior. So God gave me a place that was chill enough for me to blog while at work plus receive a free education. Maybe this example isn’t resonating with you because your rejection was a romantic rejection. The same rules apply, look at the bigger picture. You wanted them because you wanted a happy and healthy relationship. Can they really give you that? What qualities in them make you so sure? What about you, are you really ready to give them everything a relationship requires? Are you fully healed from your past brokenness? What about your career, are you where you want to be and making the sort of income you’d like to be making? How about your financial stability? Are you in a financial place that won’t stress the relationship? Sometimes the no is because you aren’t prepared, not because you aren’t good enough. Again, this isn’t rejection, it’s redirection.
I am a huge advocate of viewing the glass as half full and the key to that is perspective. Being able to see your situation from a clearer view will help you cope with your nos. I hope I helped you shift your way of thinking so you now see a detour rather than a stop sign.
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