by Annie Kuzmanovic
As university students, many of us are tackling life on our own and balancing many responsibilities at once, all the while managing various kinds of relationships. It’s pretty safe to say that we know ourselves fairly well by now, but there is sometimes a struggle with believing what we know about ourselves. Questioning our identity is often a result of rejection.
In her book Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst writes, “Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.” We’ve all felt this way before, whether we’ve been rejected by a significant someone, belittled by a professor or even experienced a rift with a close friend or relative. We begin to doubt ourselves and our relationships.
So how do we deal with something as inevitable and nasty as rejection? Do we give in to any lies that were said about us and allow ourselves to doubt the best of who we are? Maybe we say, “screw them haters,” while listening to sassy Taylor Swift singles on repeat. Or perhaps we should withdraw from other solid relationships so that we don’t ever get hurt again.
I would not suggest any of the above. We may have our different ways of dealing with rejection, especially where initial reactions are concerned; but none of the aforementioned responses are healthy long-term healing solutions.
When we blame ourselves for holding a value or characteristic that doesn’t harm anyone else, we are forgetting that we are free to do so. When we bad-mouth others for not sharing or accepting our opinions, we are only returning the sucker-punch that bruised us, or we are being unproductive by sulking in our negative perspectives. Fearing other relationships because of what rejection has done to one will leave you feeling alone and isolated.
The answer is actually simple: we must feel. Psychology Today writes, “If we can have a more friendly, accepting relationship with the feelings that arise within us as a result of being rejected, then we can heal more readily and move on with our lives.”
There are ways to engage in cathartic healing that don’t involve defeatism, spite or reclusion.
Hopefully one or a combination of these tips can help you get to a place of healing. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you begin accepting yourself despite what others might say. American model Dita Von Teese once said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.