4 Steps To Get Back on Your Feet After a Rejection

4 Steps To Get Back on Your Feet After a Rejection
Love, Heartbreak

Rejection can impede growth and can happen to everyone, whether you are single or in a relationship.

Sometimes after a breakup or a rejection it can take an awfully long time to get back into either the dating game or just into feeling secure with yourself as a whole again.

Rejection can happen in any relationship, it can happen in long-term relationships and it can happen in dating, it can happen through friends and family, it can happen in the workplace. Rejection is somewhat a part of life, however, quite often, rejection is internalized somewhere so deep we don't even realize the effect it has taken on us.

The natural human desire is to avoid rejection via various forms of self-protection. Self-protection can be seen in many ways, and most people don't even realize they are doing it. Sometimes apathy is a form of self-protection. Quite often these people may appear cold, callous, uninterested in relationships, aloof, disinterested. Another self-protection may be in the form of being a player, sleeping around, with many women (or men) with no intention of following through and often with the intention of actually doing some harm, doing some form of rejecting in return, which may often make some people feel better. Other forms of self-protection include isolation, avoidance, staying away from social situations, avoiding dating and any signs of love, intimacy and relationships altogether. Self-protection occurs because people no longer wish to be harmed, and feel they must somehow take a more active stance in their own protection. However, in the long run, this often leaves people angry, bitter and disillusioned. There is a certain amount of dishonesty with the self that actually goes on when we try our darnd-est to avoid getting hurt.  So perhaps we avoid getting hurt, but at what cost? At the cost of being vulnerable, at the cost of surrendering, at the cost of finding a true connection with someone, and at the cost of true growth.

So, how do we move on from rejection? Well, first, it is important to recognize that rejection is a universal experience. People in the dating world have to face rejection, and people in relationships also face rejection from time to time from their lover or partner. We do not control when someone may turn their back on us, or when someone may simply just be busy doing something else.

The second thing to do is to look at rejection as a form of trauma. Rejection can be severe to mild. Just because it's not of the violent or physical nature, being rejected from love, romance, passion or sex sometimes has even longer standing effects. For many people love is the only thing that matters. Therefore these traumatic experiences related to the heart, do quite often set us back. And really by looking at the experience and acknowledging the pain of the experience, understanding the severity of the pain is the only way we can begin to heal.

The third thing is to be open and observant to new experiences. Even the smallest of positive exchanges with people can remind us that life ebbs and flows and provide us with a corrective emotional experience which has the effect of negating the trauma. Spending time with friends and loved ones can remind us that we deserve to be treated well and with respect, and if applicable, maybe not to take the rejections so deeply to heart. Spending time with people who are reciprocators is so important to happiness and health, and this can shed the light on the rejector, is he/she rejecting you on an ongoing basis vs one time or one aspect? 

And finally, forgiveness is key. Forgiving the person who rejected us, of course, this is mainly for ourselves.  Knowing their rejection is more about them than it is about us, and then of course forgiving ourselves. We are human, we all crave love, but sometimes it's  not the right time, place or person. And that is okay too. We can get rejected and also move on. 

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Moushumi Ghose is a sex therapist based in Los Angeles. She can be seen on the sex education web series : The Sex Talk.