Dealing with Rejection
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Every body is a perfect body
We can avoid a lot of things in life: taxes, working out, long lines, but rejection is a different beast entirely. Even the most beautiful or kind people on the planet will eventually experience rejection for some reason or another; rejection is inevitable. I believe that, on some level, most of us experience rejection on a daily basis, regardless of how attractive we are or our personality types. Handling rejection is a complex issue, and in my experience, I have noticed that a lot of women lack self-confidence because they have experienced major rejection too early in life or too often.
If rejection is inevitable, how do you handle it?
Handling rejection is a complex issue and is such a huge part of today’s society, yet it is also something that no one wants to deal with. Rejection is large in scope, with many different types: rejection from your child throughout his or her childhood, rejection resulting in breakups or divorce, rejection from friends (or frenemies), and particularly for Solo Moms, we often are rejected on the job front because it can be so hard to find backup care for our children in an emergency. But the most hurtful forms of rejection are those that are based on your looks, which can carry into other aspects of your life. We’ve all heard horror stories from our friends about how their spouses or partners said that they “let themselves go” or how someone didn’t get the job because she didn’t “look the part,” and I’m sure we all know a teenager who is embarrassed to hang out with his or parents. The truth is, rejection hurts, and it hurts even more because, at the end of the day, we are who we are, and no amount of trendy clothes or contouring makeup can change that.
To handle rejection, you must first embrace who you are both inside and out. Of course, every woman has imperfections, but as women, our imperfections do not define us. We live in a world where one of the most cherished supermodels, Cindy Crawford, has a scar from having a cesarean section. As women, we need to embrace the fact that we don’t need to be perfect and that those who cannot accept our imperfections don’t deserve to be in our lives. We need to keep repeating to ourselves every single day that we are not defined by our flaws and that we are perfectly imperfect. Once you stop placing judgment on yourself so that you can truly love you, your life will change in ways you couldn’t even imagine.
What if I don’t believe being imperfect is OK?
The thing about perfection is that there isn’t a perfect person out there—literally no one on Earth is perfect. Think I’m joking? Check out the supermarket tabloids. They are really great at pointing out the imperfections of those people whom our society considers to be the most beautiful. As Solo Moms, it is vital that we not only accept our imperfections but also embrace them because we are living examples for our children to follow. In turn, you’ll also realize that everyone around you is incapable of being perfect, even if they’re really good at pretending. (Seriously, how does she show up to early-morning dropoff so polished?!) But by seeing everyone else in a new light, you’ll also be able to cut them the slack they need, and again, your children are watching. When they see their awesome Solo Mom treat someone with kindness and grace, even when it’s hard, they’ll be less likely to reject others based on physical imperfections.
How does that even make it easier when I experience rejection?
By truly embracing your faults, you will find ways to make some of them your strengths, and it will also make rejection easier when you are rejected for an “imperfection,” which is usually the most hurtful kind of rejection because we often feel as if we have very little control over it. Until we feel that we are perfectly imperfect, those rejections are going to sting a lot more than they should. When you’re truly comfortable in your own skin, it doesn’t matter what other people think of you, and you begin to realize that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.
So it’s not my business how other people feel about me?
That is exactly what I’m saying! By taking this viewpoint and putting yourself into that mindset that when others say hurtful things and you confront it by saying, “Well, how you feel is none of my business,” you are setting them up to realize that it is none of your concern how they feel about your looks. You are also providing them with a teaching moment in that by quickly dismissing what they’ve said, they may realize that they should keep their hurtful opinions about your appearance to themselves.
By looking at it in this light, your whole mindset will start to shift, especially when whatever they’re rejecting you for is beyond your control. There will be times when we will all want to “fix” something about ourselves because we experienced rejection, but only we can decide where the desire to “fix” everything stops and the self-acceptance of who we are and what we look like begins, as well as how to use our flaws to our advantage when possible, such as the inability to focus on one task at a time, for example.
We need to stand up and say that we’re not going to try to fix ourselves for the wrong reasons anymore because it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of us. We’re all just doing the best we can with the hand we’ve been dealt, and if that gets you rejected, the person rejecting you probably isn’t worth having around in your life anyway.
Melissa Herb is a certified transformational coach, and you can find out more about her on her website, www.melissaherb.com.
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