Everyone wants to succeed and to fit in. However, sometimes we face moments of rejection and for some people, this can cause extreme levels of stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, these feelings of anxiousness around rejection can cause individuals to avoid doing things they love, taking risks or trying something new. Here are some ways that you or someone you know can learn to deal with stress and anxiety around rejection.
1. Talk to a Friend
Rejection can be hard, and it’s okay to feel upset by it. Sometimes you might have really strong emotions associated with an incident of rejection or a fear of facing rejection. One of the best ways you can address these emotions is by talking it out with a close friend. An outside perspective might be able to shed light or offer fresh ideas about your fears and concerns and hopefully, your friend can offer you some encouragement. A fear of rejection isn’t something you have to be embarrassed about or keep to yourself.
2. Don’t Take it Personally
Sometimes it can be pretty easy to take rejection personally. Not getting a job, the part in a play or an invite to a party can feel like a personal sting or attack. However, every one of us has unique gifts, talents and skills to offer. You might not be suited for every job, role or friend group. That’s okay! And it certainly doesn’t make you less of a valuable person.
3. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Some people find that they get upset with themselves when they face rejection. “I should have tried harder,” “I should have looked prettier,” “I should have been smarter, funnier, wealthier.” These are all things you might find yourself saying after facing a rejection. However, one of the best ways to deal with the anxiety and stress around rejection is to treat yourself with a little kindness. Sometimes we all make mistakes, and sometimes we aren’t suited for a specific role. Loving yourself for who you are can go a long way in addressing those fears of rejection.
4. Take it as a Learning Opportunity
While it hurts, rejection can be an amazing learning opportunity. When you’re entering a situation where you’re afraid of facing rejection, try thinking of a few lessons you might learn regardless of how things turn out. Perhaps you’re taking a risk and trying something new—that’s an excellent lesson in courage! We all have the opportunity to learn from tough situations. Keeping this in mind and knowing your own potential to grow and change can help reduce feelings of anxiousness.
5. Set New Goals
As you start to learn some lessons from all of your experiences—even ones where you might have been rejected—you can start to set new goals and propel yourself forward. Maybe you want to try again, and you have some new skills that you’d like to learn, for example. At the end of the day, try to keep in mind that rejection isn’t necessarily the end. There’s often an opportunity to try again, learn and grow out of these experiences.
Feeling a bit anxious about rejection is completely normal—everyone does. If you suffer from extreme anxiety that does not go away, and is causing you to withdraw from normal life, speak to a mental health professional.
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