5 Ways to Accept Rejection
What to do when it’s over.
"I don't want to continue, I'm not interested. It’s over."
Ouch! Your ego may be bruised and your heart broken, but rejection is an unavoidable part of life. Coping strategies will help you move through breakups with greater ease and be more prepared for the right person waiting for you down the road.
1. Recognize Mr. or Mrs. Wrong. Have you ever known someone isn't right for you but stayed with them anyway? We all have reasons for staying with someone who is Mr. or Mrs. wrong. It's a blessing in disguise when the other side has the common sense and determination to suggest a breakup. Having clarity and moving on in a reasonable amount of time can save you from even bigger heartache later on. A strong "no" may hurt, especially if you're still interested. But with a strong no, it's likely there's a clear deal-breaker. While the sting of the breakup may last a while, it's better to end these types of relationships quickly. You're likely to look back and be grateful.
2. Time to face the music. Sometimes it's a relief when the other person breaks up with you. It saves you from having to be the one to do the breaking up. However, be careful not to drag a relationship out in order to force your partner to be the one calling it quits. If you really feel something should end, face the music and end it yourself.
3. Fight or flight. "I don't think this is going to work." This is a weak breakup line. But this type of rejection forces you to make a decision: Will I reject the rejection and fight for the relationship, or am I also thinking it may not work and willing to embrace the rejection? If you decide to fight for the relationship, you will need to provide reasons you think the relationship deserves another chance. These reasons have the potential to strengthen the relationship and build your bond. While it won't always produce a happy couple, it will allow you to pursue what you want, even if you’re afraid. And when it does work out, it allows a couple to be more open, vulnerable and emotionally connected going forward.
4. Get ready to make a change. Relationships often hold us back from making overdue changes. Rejection can be a great opportunity to reflect and perhaps make those changes. Maybe it's time to move, change your job or make new friends. Maybe you’ve wanted to exercise more or start eating better. (Exercise is also a great way to take charge of your life, subdue feelings of anger and frustration, and release good endorphins which will help you feel more at ease.) A breakup can help you take a fresh look at your life and give you the time and space to change it up. Growth can be uncomfortable, but it’s also good and will often lead to higher quality matches in the future.
5. Time heals all wounds. If you're hurting, give yourself enough time to reflect on the relationship and the breakup. A rule of thumb that I like is to give yourself one week for every month you were together, but everyone heals at a different pace, so don’t rush to meet any timeline. Even if you were only together a short while, you should still take time to let your wounds heal before moving on. Give your head and heart space to be on the same page and prepare for your next adventure in dating.
May your breakups be for the right reasons, and may a new love relationship come your way soon.
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