The StayWhole Magazine has OFFICIALLY created a guest writer submission and we are so excited to introduce our first writer Ashley Cole! Ashley is a Learning & Development Specialist by day, and a podcaster and blogger by night. With an interest in mental health awareness and total wellness, Ashley's content focuses on the tools, skills, and resources needed to live a balanced life.
A parent. A potential love interest. A friend.
No matter the degree of closeness, being rejected by anyone can be embarrassing and painful, leaving us feeling lonely and unworthy. Rejection comes in many forms, including separation, breakup, divorce, negligence, and avoidance. Rejection can impact many facets our mental and emotional well-being, including our self-esteem, confidence, and overall social development. Suddenly, you may not feel as good about yourself as you once did. After a bout of rejection, it may be tempting (and is often expected) for you to pick yourself apart. However, there are much healthier coping mechanisms that will ease your heartbreak while improving the quality of your existing and future relationships.
1.) Take it Easy on Yourself. If the rejection was a result of your words or actions, it’s important that you take accountability, even if it wasn’t your intention to be offensive. If the rejection wasn’t based on your behavior, it’s important to avoid placing blame on yourself. Either way, resist the urge to criticize yourself, and remember that forgiveness goes a long way—forgiveness of self and the other people involved. Your anxious mind will want to overanalyze, self-criticize, and self-shame, but it’s well within your power to resist the need. The only way to figure out what went wrong is to ask the other parties involved (as long as it’s safe and you’re emotionally and mentally up to it). If you choose to ask, however, be prepared for an answer. No matter the response, just remember that even rejection can initiate a deeper level of growth and self-love.
2.) See the Good In You. So often, we strive to see the good in everyone but ourselves. While we extend courtesy after courtesy to our friends, family members, and even complete strangers, we typically fall short when it’s time to extend the same courtesies to ourselves. Without hesitation, we can easily spot someone else’s best qualities. When it comes to identifying what makes us great, however, it’s like we need a magnifying glass! Make it a personal priority to regularly highlight your qualities. Do you have a calm, soothing voice? Are you an excellent listener? Are you great at math? Whatever your skillsets may be, find a way to document them, and make the list easily accessible so that you can readily remind yourself. The world is constantly reminding us of our “flaws” and why we deserve to be rejected—we’re too big, too small, not smart enough, not sexy enough, or not interesting enough. It’s important that you protect yourself from the critics of this world by building yourself up through self-affirmation.
3.) Surround Yourself with People who fully Accept You. If you’re surrounded by people who reject who you are, your self-esteem can take a major hit. You’ll always be left wondering where you fall short, and you’ll always try to find ways to receive acceptance. Whether the relationship is platonic or romantic, assess each of your relationships to ensure that they are nurturing and accommodating. Our relationships should leave us feeling happy, inspired, confident, and safe. If not, it’s time to reevaluate what this relationship means to you, how it makes you feel, and whether or not you need to withdraw from it. Take inventory of the people who actually appreciate you, just the way you are, and spend more time developing those relationships. Too often, we underestimate the power that quality relationships can have on our wellbeing, more specifically when it comes to rejection. Loving friends, partners, and family members can keep us emotionally grounded and aware of our most positive attributes.
Rejection can be hurtful, confusing, and isolating. It can shake us to our core, leaving us to question our self-worth while shattering our self-esteem. Despite the uncomfortable emotions it may bring, rejection can also provide clarity in terms of our words, our actions, and our social life. Rejection inadvertently teaches us the importance of being firmly rooted in ourselves rather than in the opinions of others. Through rejection, we learn to cherish the healthy relationships that we have, and to detach from those that aren’t. Like any other adverse experience, rejection can be two sided. As it invokes many difficult emotions, it simultaneously offers an opportunity for growth.
Guest Writer: Ashley Cole
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