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Rejection - Why It Hurts and What To Do About The Pain

Jul 11, 2008
You can teach a child about life, about death, about good or bad, but teaching a child about rejection is something that many parents don't put on their little darling's educational calendar!

That's too bad.

Rejection is a part of life, and dealing with rejection successfully is a valuable skill set which could mean the difference between failure and high achievement in life. Under any circumstance, rejection should never be taken personally

Women have a slight advantage when it comes to dealing with rejection. The opportunity to recognize, deal with and sort out rejection, is often mastered through "girl talk." Women get together and vent their frustrations with men and feelings about their failed relationships to other females.

Women gain sympathetic support, are allowed to cry, explore their feelings without censure, and cheered when their friends rail against such "clueless assholes."

Women leave such ego boosting gatherings feeling confident that it's his loss and that she is a valuable, important person, a beautiful person, regardless of a man's rejection.

How Men Deal With Rejection

Sadly, the male community does not offer the same types of sympathetic support system that women provide each other. For most men the fear of being seen as weak strikes terror into the deepest part of a man's ego and thus forces him to often suffer in silence. Men are expected to "suck it up" and deal with the rejection without complaint "like a man should." Crying about being rejected is out of the question.

When an emotionally out of touch man is rejected, his ego is what gets hurt. But when a man who is in touch with his emotions gets rejected, his whole soul hurts. He withdraws to lick his wounds and becomes hesitant to risk enduring such pain again. Getting on with his life and trying again then becomes a major challenge.

Other guys turn the anger and pain of their rejection outward. They will purposely mistreat ("dog") women in a vain attempt to "get back" at the gender that they feel is responsible for his wounded broken heart. This man is often labeled a misogynist.

How to Move On From the Pain of Rejection

Men need to understand something that women have known for age... it is only when you have accepted that the pain of rejection needs attention and as such needs more than a quick leg over, a pint or three of beer or some silly and boyish antic, that you can start to address your own emotions and do so honestly.

It's a lot like when someone stands up at an AA meeting and says "Hi, my name is XXX, and I am an alcoholic!"

Self Love is the Best Love

Mending broken hearts is never an easy job, when it hurts, it hurts like hell, no matter which gender you are. On the road to healing we first have to deal with the truth about how we really feel about why we were rejected and the person who rejected us. How do we feel about the rejection we experienced? Most of all how we really feel about ourselves?

Each of us must love our self more than we love any other. And just because someone whose steps have crossed our path doesn't share our love of ourselves does not mean that each of us isn't worth loving.

Some men and women seek "closure" when a relationship ends in disappointment. What I wish they could understand is that even if such a closing conversation with their rejecter did take place, it is unlikely that they would ever get the whole truth anyway. Most people are not only dishonest with others, but with themselves.

Few of us want to intentionally hurt others, so it's safe to assume that whoever rejected you will most likely choose a method of rejection that causes them the least pain. Sadly this method might and probably will, be the way that causes you maximum discomfort.

Some will reject you to your face, but most will assume that you just know, that someone else will tell you, write to you, phone you. Letting you figure it out on your own may not be the kindest approach, but it is the path of least resistance and the route most often chosen.

However you were rejected and for whatever reason you were rejected, there are a few key steps to recovery. These steps won't stop it from happening again but they will make you a better person for your experience.

#1 Allow your anger to surface. Preferably not towards the direction of your rejecter initially, but you should let the world know that you are in pain and that if they can constructively help, you welcome the assistance.

#2 Be kind to yourself even if you know you're an asshole or bitch. You have to be honest, especially to yourself.

#3 You have to be prepared to accept that your rejecter might never know just how much they have hurt you, or want to know, or even care.

#4 You have to be prepared to feel the sting of rejection for some time.

#5 You have the right to be pissed off with those who say "you'll get over it."
About the Author
(c) 2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm PST.
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