Dealing with Rejection: 18 Steps to Help You Recover

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Whether from a love interest or an employer, rejection is never easy to stomach. Asking someone on a date or applying for a job requires a level of vulnerability that, upon receiving a less-than-desirable response, can be crushing. Rather than dwelling in self-pity and resting on unhealthy habits, though, there are some practical steps to help you move forward. Read on to find out 18 ways to deal with and get over rejection in your life.

Share Your Feelings

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Bottling up frustration or disappointment will only result in emotional burnout. Instead, share with trusted friends, families, or professionals what you are going through and how rejection has affected you. It's likely that many people in your life have experienced something very similar and will be able to offer advice or be able to relate to what you're going through.

Get Active

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We know that exercise is as good for your mental and physical health. When rejection has got you down, rather than turning to isolation in your home, take the time to exercise every day. It may be a brisk walk around the local park, a yoga class, or an hour in the gym. Whichever form of exercise you like, commit to a regular habit and feel your endorphins and self-esteem rise accordingly.

Develop Friendships

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It can be tempting to retreat to a safe, solitary existence after rejection from a relationship or job. In fact, the very opposite is what is likely to get you back on your feet. Invest in your existing friendships and relationships to strengthen the connections you already have, reminding you that all is not lost with one rejection and that the people you care about are still present and willing to share their time with you.

Practice Self-Care

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There are many ways to practice self-care. Some people incorporate a yoga or meditation practice into their daily schedule, prioritizing time to themselves to quiet the chatter of the mind and develop their mindfulness. For others, treating themselves to a massage or a few days away is the key to recharging their batteries. Make your self-care a priority, and you will bounce back in no time.

Acknowledge What You Have Learned

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With rejection often comes a learning opportunity. This might be difficult to see in the wake of disappointment, but reframing a negative experience into a positive learning opportunity can make an otherwise frustrating rejection turn into a time of growth. Try switching your perspective for a faster recovery.

Set Realistic Goals

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Taking one knockback in your love life or career can leave you spinning. Focus instead on setting a small number of achievable goals that are realistic in scope and have a relatively short time frame. As you tick these off, you will start to grow in confidence and recognize that setbacks will always come, but that doesn't mean you will always fail.

Get Creative

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Take time to let your creativity flow. Identify your skills or interests and channel them into a project. Doing things you enjoy and using your creativity are great ways to release tension and stress associated with rejection. Equally, they might be the catalyst that opens up more opportunities in love and life in the future.

Start Journaling

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Journaling is a great way to take stock of your emotions and sort out your thoughts and feelings in a productive way. Rejection can cause us to question ourselves and become self-deprecating, creating a swirl of negative thoughts and feelings. Try writing them down in a regular journal to help you to process them. Journal prompts can be a great way to structure this, helping you to tease out what might be holding you back.

Focus on What You Can Control

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It is impossible to control the outcome of everything in your life. The person you like might not like you back, and the job you desperately want might not be the place for you at the moment. Instead of focusing on those uncontrollable elements of your life, choose instead to focus on what it is you can control. Your actions, habits, and choices are up to you. From being healthy to prioritizing your friendships, take the steps you can rather than lingering on the ones you can't.

Don't Stop Putting Yourself Out There

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Rejection can make us go inward and avoid the danger of facing it again. The challenge is to keep living as you would like to, even with the threat of rejection hanging over you. If you practice the other tips in this list, you are likely to become more resilient and less risk-averse. Shrinking your life to accommodate fear is no way to deal with rejection. Instead, develop the tools to face it if and when it arises.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

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Give yourself a positive environment in which you can recover and grow. Surround yourself with positive influences that will help to renew your confidence and give you the strength to face the next challenge. The more positive energy that is around you, the easier it will be for you to heal and start to develop positivity within yourself.

Help Others

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Volunteering or taking the time to help others is not only a great thing to do in its own right but is also a powerful tool for renewing self-confidence and developing resilience. There are any number of volunteer opportunities out there. Consider finding one that aligns with your values or uses your skills to help you continue on your path of learning and growth.

Practice Gratitude

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Rather than focusing on an opportunity lost, switch focus to what you already have. By practicing gratitude, you spend more time in the positive headspace of appreciating the blessings you have rather than mourning what could have been. This can open up a whole new perspective that is much more conducive to recovering from rejection, allowing you to be optimistic for the future.

Try New Things

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Give yourself the opportunity to discover new things and grow as a person by trying new experiences that could yield positive experiences and success in the future. Pick up a new sport or hobby, perhaps meet new positive influences, and take your mind off rejection. Broadening your horizons can give you a new sense of purpose.

Accept Your Emotions

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It is ok to feel dejected, disappointed, or angry after rejection. Give yourself space to acknowledge and accept that you have these feelings. That doesn't mean wallowing in them or refusing to take action, but it means not stifling them and finding ways to channel such thoughts into a productive, positive outlet.

Prioritize Your Health

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Prioritizing your health following rejection is essential for taking care of both your physical and emotional well-being, providing a solid foundation for resilience. By focusing on healthy practices such as proper nutrition and adequate rest, you can replenish your energy, manage stress, and bounce back with renewed vitality and strength. After all, as your health becomes less of a priority, your chances of success are also likely to diminish.

Replace Negative Thoughts

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By replacing negative thoughts, we don't mean to dismiss them and pretend they aren't there. Rather, explore new avenues of thinking that might lead to more positive conclusions. For instance, rather than thinking of rejection as a sign to give up entirely, you might try to think of it as a sign that an opportunity that is right for you will come up in the future. This mental rewiring goes a long way to recovering from rejection.

Take Breaks

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We are often in a rush to achieve the next thing. The next stage of a career or the next step in a relationship. When rejection has shocked you, give yourself the time to recover. Rather than rushing to the next thing in an attempt to reach success, consider taking the time to really assess your goals and desires, take care of yourself first, and develop your own confidence. Take a breather and recharge. This will only help bolster your resilience.

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