Updated: May 23, 2022
Rejection in real life: "I called again. They told me they would send me an email and they never did," I said to my friend on the phone. His eyes rolled back into his brain. I rolled my eyes back, only pausing for a moment to catch some air. "I'm going to call them back in an hour and tell them I never received it."
He started laughing.
Okay, yes. I knew it was ridiculous to call and badger them again. But I REALLY wanted this internship. I weaseled my way into university through incessant phone calls. Surely I could do the same with the workforce. My thoughts were interrupted by his raspy, laugh-strained, sarcastic voice.
"You should write a blog series on handling rejection."
If he wasn't my best friend, I would've exclaimed, "I actually am!" But he already knew this. He has been reading and following along just as you are right now. Anyone else in my shoes would've gotten defensive. But I'm not anyone else. I started laughing too.
The moral of the story is, I'm not a rejection expert. If anything, I'm an expert at rejecting rejection.
Someone (or something) can reject me and instead of getting sad, I tilt my head in confusion. Then, as if I’m the leader of a battalion, I fall back with my troops. I go back to my tent, construct several new battle plans, revise those battle plans, drink an espresso, and execute the first one. Sometimes the first one doesn’t work, and it’s back to the tent.
They say when God gives you the almighty door slam, it’s for a reason. They also say where God closes a door, he opens a window. I bet you can guess which mindset I have.
Rejection Mindset, Revised
I would never prescribe reacting to rejection with stubbornness and denial. The more I write this series, the more I realize that it's helping me learn to cope with rejection too. The healthy way. Not the temporary way.
If I were to say anything to you about how to react to rejection, it would be this: rejected, not dejected.
Rejected, not dejected.
Dejected sounds like rejected. Before pulling out my dictionary, I thought it meant tossing something away or getting pushed off-course. It actually means "sad and depressed; dispirited."
We can't control being rejected. We can control being dejected in response to being rejected.
You've been rejected, not dejected.
All the Peace,