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Overcoming Rejection by Cultivating High Self-Compassion

Aug 18, 2007
How does one go about overcoming rejection? We all encounter rejection at sometime in our lives - we could be at a check-out counter and the clerk ignores us because she is too busy talking to someone else. Or perhaps we rush home to our parents with a great report card, only to be brushed aside because they are busy doing something more important. We react to situations when we are rejected with one or more of the following defensive responses:

1) You try to get clarity - this means attempting to find out what you did to make the other person reject you this way. This is because you want to be able to rectify the situation and eliminate your feelings of rejection. You will probably ask yourself one of these questions:

- Did I do something wrong?
- Did I say something to offend the other person?
- Maybe there is something wrong with me?
- Are the other people surrounding me worth more than me?

2) You ask forgiveness from the other person. This response may not necessarily mean you did or said something wrong. You might try this response because you just want the other person to stop rejecting you.

3) You might resort to defensive ostracism, meaning you opt to try to get rid of the other person if possible. If the person who rejected you is a friend, you could opt to reject them in return and seek other friends instead. If the rejection came from a client, you might back out of the contract and look for other clients instead. This strategy occurs quite commonly.

4) Resignation is another defensive response. You feel that the other person is better than you so you become resigned to the feelings of rejection.

5) You might get angry and attempt to humiliate the other person in return. Why should I be the only one to feel rejected - let him know how it feels as well!

6) You opt to leave the person who rejected you completely alone. You probably say to yourself: well, if that is how he feels, I better go someplace else for awhile. You might also resort to this because you want the other person to feel rejected as well.

There are other defensive responses you could resort to - these are just some of them. But how does one overcome rejection then?

To preserve your feelings of self-esteem, you might resort to fostering a high degree of self-compassion.

1) To have a high degree of self-compassion means being able to be kind to yourself even when faced with rejection from other people.

2) People who have a high degree of self-compassion are able to acknowledge to themselves that everyone makes mistakes at some point.

3) Such people who show self-compassion are able to avoid labeling themselves as losers or failures.

4) To have high self-compassion may help provide a buffer against negative feelings of self-worth brought about by rejection.

5) Research shows that it is possible to induce self-compassion. It results in positive cognitive and emotional impact on the mindset of the individual.

6) One great advantage of having a high degree of self-compassion is that the individual is able to admit to himself that he has made a mistake, without resorting to self-blame and self-punishment.

7) A person who is known for low self-esteem can benefit from a high degree of self-compassion.

8) A person with high self-compassion actually becomes a more responsible person because he is able to take responsibility for any mistakes he makes. He then opts to rectify his mistakes.

So if you want a good way for overcoming rejection, try developing high self-compassion for yourself.
About the Author
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: conversation starters
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