Training for love's hard blows 0
Don't let a negative response shake your confidence. (Comstock)
You've had a date or two with someone you thought was interested in you, then they drop the bombshell that they don't feel a connection. Ouch!
You wish you could control the overwhelming feelings of anger, embarrassment, anxiety and/or hopelessness but you can't.
Rejection is a fact of life. It's how you handle it that makes all the difference. Here are some strategies that may help you cope with life's -- and love's -- inevitable knock-backs.
Don't take it personally
In many cases, the so-called rejection may have nothing to do with you at all. For instance, someone may reject your advances because you remind them of someone from their past (not your fault), they are having a career crisis (not your fault) or are dealing with some other pressing personal issue that they elect not to explain (again, not your fault).
"I really liked this guy and we dated a couple of times before he told me he didn't have time for me. I felt awful," says Jess. "I ran into him a year later and he told me that his father had been sick with cancer -- he later died -- and all this was happening when we had first met," she says. "I had thought he just wasn't interested in me but the truth was that it had nothing to do with me."
Silence your inner child
The Inner Child often overreacts and feels the whole world has turned thumbs down and that true love will never come (insert high-pitched wail here). Our adult selves know this is simply not true yet the words of our Inner Child ring in our ears.
Recover from rejection by silencing your Inner Child and reminding yourself that 'never' is not a realistic concept. To get yourself back on track, try making a list of all the people in your life who do love you and let the sting of rejection melt away.
Don't let it rattle you:
Don't let a negative response shake your confidence. "If I didn't get a second date with a guy, I'd spend literally days running through out first meeting wondering what I did to put him off," says Sue.
"One day I had a revelation: You can't be everyone's idea of a perfect match, so it's only natural that you will have first dates that don't eventuate into second ones. And that's fine. If we all met the man of our dreams the first time, there would be no single people and there are lots of single people out there..."
Think of it as a favour
If your first or second date didn't turn into something more, in some ways you should be thankful. It may be uncomfortable to hear, but getting a firm, clear-eyed grasp on incompatibility early rather than later is a huge time-saving plus. The early brush-off allows you to chalk it up to experience and move on.
Turn it into a positive
Sounds cheesy but you can make rejection work as a motivator for self-improvement. "Knock-backs aren't fun, that's for sure," says Phil, "But if I get a 'no' from someone I was interested in, I always use the opportunity to work on myself -- do a course, work out more at the gym, go on a health kick, that sort of thing. I figure if I am the best I can be that I will find the best person for me. And if it takes a few 'nos' to get there, so be it."
Don't dwell on it
Sometimes the fact that we have been rejected is so painful and all-consuming that it becomes the only thing we talk about. Friends hear how badly we've been treated or listen patiently to our complaints that we will never find true love. Other singles rally around us offering rejection anecdotes, all of which seem to confirm our worst fears -- that there are no decent men/women left and we will never find Mr/Ms Right.
Get a grip. Turn this apparent catastrophe into a chance to make a change. Get back online, update that profile and optimistically look toward the future.