Handling Rejection (2)


Macjob Oladipupo


After the entire school had gone on Christmas break, which was like three weeks before Christmas, those of us who were to play various roles were asked to come to school every single day, Monday to Friday, for rehearsals. It was herculean but I felt the end would have justified the means by the time the accolades were rolling in on the main day.


Alas! That was not to be. About two or three days to the main event, I was called by one the teachers – apparently among the local organising committee members – to inform me that I would no longer be playing the role. What! Are you kidding me?


I wished I could protest that much to have generated enough dust, so that the school authority or my parents would have had a serious conversation on the matter. That didn’t happen. Till today, I cannot explain what made me simply acquiesce to that decision of this “horrible” teacher who had just tainted my acting career, as it were.


Looking back now, I think I probably didn’t mention it to my parents or any of my siblings then, because of the shock of the rejection I felt of being inadequate. In fact, when the younger brother of this star boy (now a graduate of the school) who had been ill for a while, was selected for the role, I rationalised that he had to be better than me by every standard for him to have been chosen.

Selecting a Career the “Write” Way


I am sure, you are wondering, just like me, how preposterous that must have been. How could somebody’s younger brother be asked to play the same role that the brother played, not minding that he had no trait of acting in him at all. That was exactly what happened, dear reader.


To put it more directly, the insecurities and fears of one of our teachers made me to lose the role. To the teacher, he somehow felt psychologically more secure having the younger brother of the fellow who had played the role so well take the same role. Of course, what was the outcome of the programme? Nothing spectacular.


I am sure one of the teachers might have asked the question, why didn’t you allow the pupil who had been coming for rehearsals regularly to take the role?


Children teachers, counsellors or caregivers, as the case may be, have a lot to do in this regard. There is a tremendous knowledge gap which needs to be bridged with constant training and retraining; else, the world would lose many great minds to the tomb of rejection. This is because rejection eats up self-esteem for breakfast.

Doing a Background Check the “Write” Way


There are many children whose rejection history is traceable to past events which they are yet to fully deal with. Unfortunately, they have grown into adulthood with this stigma in their memory. The memories may push them into becoming so defensive and cantankerous individuals, even with their fantastic academic qualifications. Anytime the thought of being marginalised or cheated creeps into their mind, it triggers some measure of aggression in them. This isn’t healthy.


For so many others, rejection can be interpreted when any of the following scenarios occurs:


Everyone else (especially those within your clique) is invited to an event, except you.


Potential investors or clients suddenly change their minds about a contract offer which was almost sealed.


As an actor who feels so confident about his acting skills, you are asked to step down by your director for someone who you don’t consider a match.


Top leaders in your place of worship hierarchy decide to leave, for reasons best known to them, without fully briefing you.


You are asked to exit a group or an organisation, especially for “doing nothing wrong”, to the best of your own knowledge.


A broken relationship that comes when you least expected, or the way and manner in which your lover broke the news whether directly or indirectly.

Handling Rejection


Divorce notification from your spouse


A child who cries for the parents’ attention and after waiting for a while intensifies the cry into wailing because he or she didn’t get the commensurate attention desired, either in form of breast milk or some other need.


The list is endless. However, notwithstanding what anyone considers as rejection, there are few tips that are helpful in better handling rejection.


How to handle rejection


Name it to tame it: The primary challenge with handling “rejection” is that the greater percentage of the time, what many consider as rejection is simply based on their perception of the gravity of the event or the offence. It is not about the shame; it is about the name you give to it. What you are referring to as an embarrassing situation can be the biggest publicity stunt for you to be announced and for many more to like you. The very thing that you think will make people to reject you might just be what will cause them to accept you.


(To be continued in the next edition).

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