Handling Rejection




One major reason many who have experienced rejection break down is because of the sense of guilt that accompanies it. The entire situation points accusing fingers at the victim as being the one responsible for his or her plight because some issues had been mismanaged.

The first question you ask yourself is, “What did I do wrong?” Or “Where did I miss it?” Therefore, there is a quest for the person affected to get closure on why he or she was rejected by the family, friend, fiancé, organisation or group. This can take decades to resolve.

The unfortunate part is that, at times, we can keep making the same mistakes, attracting the same set of wrong people along the journey, while we are trying to find answers to why we are experiencing what we are experiencing. Sometimes, we even try to justify or cover up the hidden insecurities in our lives, such as the need for validation and acceptance, by our benevolence and selfless demeanors. None of these will really help us get closure, until we deal with the root cause.

Handling Rejection (2)

There is that feeling of inadequacy that makes you question the reason why it was you among everyone that got replaced. Even if there was a justifiable reason for that, you do not want to accept it.

By default, many, at such moments, blame themselves for their predicament. Their rational or logical minds cannot be said to be adequately in top gear to analyse issues; and so, without thinking twice, they shoulder the responsibility.

Unfortunately, many times, what we consider as rejection isn’t actually rejection but two other options instead. These other options, which might be a better approach to handling this challenge, informed my decision to write this piece.


You are not alone

Everyone has experienced one form of rejection or the other before and there are myriads of examples or cases that can be cited. However, it is important for me to state clearly here that an offence is best defined by the offended, not the offender. In other words, that you call it rejection is still traceable to your own definition of the matter because to another person, it may just be an event. So, in the real sense of it, rejection is relative.

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Triggers of rejection

One vivid example that readily comes to my mind among a number of cases I experienced what may be considered as rejection happened some decades ago while I was in the primary school. It was the culture annually to have a Christmas celebration and as part of the activities lined up, there was usually a re-enactment of the Nativity story of how the baby Jesus was honoured as king, by the three wise men who brought him gifts. There were other crafted stories which were not necessarily in the Bible but somehow further added colour to the entire story.

In that year, I was meant to play the role of the “drummer boy” – a fictitious character who loved the baby Jesus so much that he gave him his most priceless possession —his drum. I had been told that, in the previous year, a former pupil of the school interpreted the character so well that, were it not that he had graduated, the school authority would have asked him to come play that role again. So, already, there was a lot of pressure I was contending with as a youngster. I knew I needed to rehearse a lot and master the script so well.

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The first few days of the rehearsals were a bit challenging because I was just trying to find my feet at the time and really fall into character but, without sounding exaggerative, some of the teachers started feeling confident in the fact that I might just be a good replacement for their star actor, who had graduated from the school…


To be continued in the next edition.

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