The salesman gets it at the door.
The Dad from his child.
The Husband from the wife.
The employee from his boss.
I get rejected. I hurt.
But, we can get rejected, hurt a lot less, and in some areas we can let rejection roll off our back….and…in some aspects of life we can’t…and I’ll show you all of this as we progress.
What is Rejection?
Kevin Hogan on Overcoming RejectionRejection is what happens when you perceive that someone or some group is pushing you away, saying “no”, not letting you be in-group or participating.
In short: You want them, or what they have…and they won’t let you have them or what they have.
That’s what rejection IS. That says nothing about how it FEELS or what YOU can actually DO about it.
Where is Rejection Felt?
Next, realize that rejection happens in at least two places when it happens. In the mind(s) of the rejector and in the mind(s) of the rejected.
The Connection Factor is how connected a person feels to a person or group.
The Feeling Factor is how a person feels about themselves after they have been rejected (or a perceived rejection).
The Rejection Factor Formula
The Rejection Factor is the difference between the two, allowing us to see the magnitude of where that person will be emotionally and self-esteem-wise and perhaps even the duration of that magnitude. As you can see, the further the “fall”, the more it hurts and the more intense the emotional reaction will be.
PERCEIVED Relational Value (PRV) is how YOU think/feel the other person/group thinks about YOU. Your perception could be right on the nose or you could be dead wrong.
Devaluation occurs when someone who once held you as close or important now treats you poorly, or even politely. Your “stock” has gone DOWN with them and THAT is painful.
The problem of being so connected to someone is that when your stock crashes, you have a long, long way to go down.
Thus you end up with the proverbial, “man that doesn’t want to commit,” for fear he just might commit….
Devaluing can happen in business, of course. You can be fired from the job and crash. You can fail to get a job after an interview (not so big of a crash, not so far to fall).
Sensitivity to Rejection
And there is another interesting phenomenon in the whole rejection piece. You can say the same exact thing to one person and they feel utterly rejected. To another it’s experienced as completely unimportant.
Some people are sensitive to rejection in general, across a broad spectrum of experiences and life scenes.
Typically these people include those with low self-esteem, narcissists, the socially anxious and depressed, or those who have an insecure attachment style. They often see more rejection in people’s behavior than is warranted.
That said, a lot of times being blown off by someone will bother you but not someone else because the other person couldn’t give a rip whether that person valued the relationship or not.
Can something that has such potential for self and other destruction…does rejection have benefits?
When people start to feel averse to certain situations, they tend to make a point of taking care of or repairing their current relationships.
People want to do things or dress in ways that will increase their chances of being accepted. We go a long way to get attention, approval and acceptance from others.
We all (almost all) want to be seen as likeable, attractive, competent and sometimes trustworthy.
AND, people also want to be seen as UNIQUE and IRREPLACABLE by anyone else in a group.
Is Rejection Inevitable?
Armed with all of this information, can we stop rejection?
Not in all cases.
We all want to be accepted but every day we reject others ourselves.
It often comes down to something as simple as time.
There are only so many hours in a day and you have to say “no” to someone, some groups, and things so you don’t become “over committed” and incredibly stressed out.
You can only give so much to so many people and then the battery runs out of juice.
You’re going to find out about handling rejection in the moment, making it hurt a little less, overcoming the inertia that is caused by rejection and talk some more about how we can get closer to those people we want to while creating a distance with others we don’t want to…with minimal damage.