“I like you too, but only as a friend.”
These are perhaps the most hurtful words you can ever hear from someone you were hoping to start a romantic relationship with. Most of us have ever found ourselves in such a situation – where you like someone and they like you too, but as a friend – nothing more, just a friend. Rejection is something that we deal with from time to time and it is one of the things that break us into tiny little pieces. If not handled well, rejection can lead one into an unhealthy psychological and emotional state. Rejection, whether it is from a school or job interview you applied to or from a relationship, causes heartache and it feels just as bad as any physical injury.
Having dealt with rejection in the past (I tried shooting my shot at one of these sons of Adam and let’s just say cha bora uhai), I’ll share some of the things I did to help me cope with the rejection I was going through at that time:
Feel the pain
This comes with acceptance. Come to terms with the fact that you’ve been rejected first, then allow yourself to feel. Don’t force yourself to be happy when you cannot. Give yourself time to actually feel the pain that the rejection is causing you. You are human and that means you are not immune to emotions. You will at times feel angry, sad, happy, enthusiastic, etc. Understand that feeling sad isn’t a sign of weakness and when you feel sad about a situation, allow yourself to feel it wholesomely.
Be kind to yourself
Rejection has a way of making us feel bad about ourselves and making us feel like we are responsible for what we are going through. The feelings of not being sufficient enough and blame games normally start creeping in any time you are faced with rejection. Don’t let these feelings overwhelm you and always be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that it was never about you but the other person. Sometimes we give it our all but things just don’t work out, while at times we do the bare minimum yet we end up having what we want. Being rejected is the universe’s own way of preparing you for something/someone better.
Find an outlet for your emotions
Bottling up your emotions can be dangerous to you and even the people around you. It can only lie to you that you have the situation in control only to explode right before you when you least expect it. You should, therefore, avoid bottling up your feelings at all costs. Find an outlet for your emotions by doing something that you find interest in doing. It could be talking to a trusted friend or family member, writing (articles, poems, songs, etc), perfecting your skills in playing a musical instrument, or even learning a new language. All these will greatly help you in managing your emotions and with time, you will definitely feel better.
You don’t want to be sulking over a job you didn’t get or a romantic partner who dumped you for long. Feeling better about yourself and the situation is only a matter of time. Moving on from rejection is a process that takes time. Learn what you can from the situation and keep going. Focus on what lies ahead and one day, when you least expect it, you will be in a position to laugh at what used to hurt you.