Some of my greatest regrets are the many chances I didn't take in life simply because I was afraid of rejection. Whether that was asking someone I liked out, joining a team I didn't think I'd fit into, or pursuing a career because I didn't believe I would be accepted, fear of rejection is powerful because it's painful. And if, like me, it's held you back, learning how to bounce back after being rejected so it's not as painful and scary might be one of the most important lessons anyone can ever learn.
But why exactly is rejection so hard to take? According to Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, relationship coach, and creator of the Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, it all comes down to how it impacts our ego and the way we internalize that. "Rejection is shattering to our ego, but we make it more painful by blaming ourselves for being rejected. When we are rejected, many tend to become self-critical and go down a negative spiral of self-blame. Either we didn’t work hard enough, [aren't] pretty enough, smart enough, the list can go on and on," Silva tells Elite Daily.
Those feelings of rejection are also painful because they can transform into feelings of shame, as Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, tells Elite Daily. "Rejection is hard because you automatically wonder why you're not good enough for that person. That then leads to us believing that there's something wrong with us, which is a shamefully painful feeling," Chong tells Elite Daily.
So, of course, it makes sense that we'd want to avoid those feelings as much as possible. But here's the thing: Rejection is a part of life. What matters is how we deal with it and how we're able to bounce back, so that it doesn't control us. With that in mind, if this is resonating for you, here's how the experts say you can learn to recover from rejection more quickly, and maybe even become more empowered by it in the process.