It never feels good to be shut out, shut down, left out. But, like it or not, rejection is part of life. And one that hurts.
As I write in How to Live an Awesome Life, the same parts of our brain that trigger physical pain are activated when we are rejected or experience social exclusion and that makes us ache. To soothe the ache of social rejection then, our brains also release natural painkillers. Helps a little — maybe — but there are a few things that can also help us cope with the pain of rejection.
Five Ways to Deal with the Pain of Rejection
Remember that it’s normal. Rejection doesn’t mean that you are a terrible person or an otherwise-unworthy screw up. It means that you are human. And that is a very good thing.
Notice, failure is a sign of success. Plenty of research shows that failure fosters motivation. We tend to be more successful and appreciate it more when we’ve faced failure and adversity. So, use the failure you are experiencing now, to inspire a bright future.
Get out and move your body. Strike a power pose, go for a run or walk, lift weights at the gym. One of the best things to counteract disappointment is to remind yourself of your own strength and exercise can do that. Plus, exercise lowers our stress and boosts dopamine so we quite literally feel emotionally better.
Write about the disappointment. Expressive writing, detailing your frustration, can be a release and a way of finding perspective. Writing about our rejection for about 20 minutes can help us regain our emotional footing, so we can put the rejection behind us and move toward something better.
Be kind to yourself. Those who treat themselves with compassion, tend to move on in a productive way and achieve their goals. Next time you screw up or feel rejected, Acknowledge your errors or experiences, take responsibility for them, and then acknowledge your humanity to move on from the pain instead of being stuck in it.