6 ways to overcome rejection and gain confidence.

So, you want someone special in your life? Some of you are ready to jump in the dating world and some are reluctant to do so and some of you say, naaah! I am fine being single. Something stops you. Is it a fear of rejection? Well, that’s one of the common factors that stops people from reaching out to others. Do you question yourself, what if someone doesn’t like me, then what? Many won’t admit that they fear rejection. But they do. Who likes being rejected? No one.

But it happens to all of us. Having this feeling of being rejected and feeling sad and hurt is normal.In one study, MRI scans of 40 subjects showed that physical pain and social rejection stimulate the same areas of the brain. “Dating rejection is very personal and painful. It brings our innate insecurities up on surface, according to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, a neuro-psychologist and faculty member at Columbia University in New York City.”

It happens in the early phases of dating, after a few dates or even when you get into a relationship.

I want you to remember that rejection can never mean that you are an undesirable or unlovable person.

After experiencing a rejection, how do we react? We are afraid of approaching people or getting close to someone because the thought of getting hurt terrifies us and we question, what if it doesn’t work out? These negative, self-defeating thoughts do us no good.

There are other negative thoughts that we create in our head:

One of them is Over-generalization. Overgeneralize is when you tell yourself that you were rejected because of some inherent inadequacy in yourself rather than some specific issue.

You say, “there must be something wrong with me” which can actually affect your self-worth big time.

If you carefully examine the specific reasons why a particular person rejected you, you will be relieved and not take it personally like, they may not be emotionally available or ready for commitment even though they may say they are, or they are always looking for something better out there, or they are more attracted to someone else. And sometimes, some people prefer a certain kind, like I remember I met one guy a long time ago and he said he preferred Asian and brunettes. And one of my female clients told me that she prefers younger men with facial hair and outrightly rejects men of her age or older. And sometimes after meeting a person a few times you realize you want different things in life, you have different goals.

So you see, a rejection here has nothing to do with how desirable or undesirable you are.

Another negative thought is Self-Blame. When a person takes all the blame, they feel depressed, defeated and hopeless. I want you to know both people contribute. The entire relationship is not dependent only on you.

You may believe that if you behave in a certain manner, you can make everyone love and desire you. But that’s not how things work. You gotto be yourself.

Instead of blaming yourself, try to understand what you both might have done that contributed to end that relationship or a date.

And then there is – All or nothing thinking: It is like black or white having no different shades of grey. Many people believe or have this notion that the relationship is either a total success or a total failure.These thoughts are unrealistic. Think it this way, that you successfully discovered that the two of you were not suitable for each other.


Now, it is not that you are being rejected all the time, you are rejecting others also. Aren’t you?

Lately because of the pandemic, online dating has gained popularity. People are finding it very convenient choosing potential partners and replacing one with someone else. And in this process, people are getting hurt left, right and center. It has become like online shopping. You try and if you don’t like it, send it back.

But breakups and relationships fall apart all the time for various reasons.It is either you will decide the other person is not right for you, or vice versa. Sometimes, it will be a mutual decision. But that doesn’t mean you are hopeless.

I will remind you again that rejection can never mean that you are an undesirable or unlovable person.

If someone refuses to continue a relationship without trying to work things out in spite of your willingness to change, or if they are overwhelmed by their frustrations and not very good at working out the problems, then that’s a reflection of them, not you.

You don’t need these needless negative thoughts and make your life stressful unnecessary.

There are ways you can overcome them.

1.     Practice Rejection. You may say it is crazy but it is a fact. When Dr Burns mentioned this method in one of his books on relationships, I said, yes that is so true. I am telling you it works from my own personal experience. I have been ghosted by men several times, But I keep going. Rejection doesn’t bother me anymore.

The repeated exposure to something you are afraid of is one of the most effective ways of overcoming your fears. The more you experience rejection the better it is. The only thing you need to be careful of is, don’t take it personally.

And how do these frequent rejections are important and effective? You grow and learn from each of these experiences and this knowledge can help you make your next encounter or relationship more intimate and satisfying.

There is an old movie I watched a little while ago where the love coach makes one of her nervous and less confident clients approach random women in different settings like bars, restaurants and cafes. And after getting rejected by these different women so many times he is finally ready and feels confident to talk to the woman he had been eying for so long.

Once you have been rejected a certain number of times, your fear of rejection will likely go away because you will discover that you are still living, and the world didn’t come to an end. You will become more assertive and bolder. As long as you don’t take it personally you are good to go.

2.     Acknowledge your feelings and write your thoughts. When you feel nervous approaching an attractive person and you tell yourself that that person is not in my league and may not like me, or let’s say you don’t get a response or you are turned down, then you may tell yourself that you are not good enough. Those negative thoughts can sabotage your efforts to connect. The pain and hurt might stay with you for some time. What you can do to overcome that, acknowledge your feelings and write those thoughts down and then say it aloud.

Make a list of things that you are most proud of yourself.Write a note reminding yourself what you have to offer a partner. All of us have something unique in us.

3.      Replace negative self-talk with rational statements. If you believe someone will reject you because you aren’t good enough, this fear can carry on with you as you meet people and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  For instance,

When you tell yourself, “I am not the kind she is looking for”, tell yourself instead “I don’t know her yet, so I don’t know what she likes. It is quite possible she may find me interesting and be attracted to me”. Listen, you are not a mind reader so don’t assume what the other person is thinking.

Let’s take another example,

When you say, “He is very good looking. He could get a better-looking person than me.” Because let’s face it, that’s the first thing we all notice when we look at someone’s profile.

But I ask you, why are you jumping to conclusions or disqualifying yourself. Tell yourself instead, “I am not going to write myself off. What does better mean. I am better at some things than the others. It is all relative. I won’t know until I speak to him”.

If it turns out that you are not for them, that is ok. There are millions of people who are smarter, sexier than you and I. So what?That doesn’t define your worthiness, your value, desirability and lovability.

Another common thing that people tell themselves is “I will never find somebody I like”. Again, it is overgeneralizing and fortune telling. Instead tell yourself, “I didn’t get to talk to this person, but I am getting better at meeting people. If I keep going then eventually, I will meet someone who is interested in me.”

While some can brush off rejection and go on another date the next day or week, others may contemplate. “Did I say anything wrong?” “Am I too overweight?” “Did I come on too strong?”

The way people handle dating rejection has a lot to do with how they feel about themselves. People with a higher sense of self-esteem will do better than those whose sense of self-esteem is more fragile and is dependent on the approval or disapproval of others. Look in the mirror and say, “I look good.”

4.     Take it as a growth opportunity. It may not seem like it at the moment because you are hurt, but rejection can provide opportunities for self-discovery and growth. It can also set you on a path to finding someone who’s a great fit from the start. So be courageous and look inside of you.

If there is something that you can do about it, then don’t waste your energy by blaming or getting defensive, admit it and try to correct it so that you can grow and learn to get closer to people in the future.

But do it in the spirit of self-love. This is for you, your self-development, your personal growth.

5.     Try not to dwell on it. It is normal to feel sad and unhappy at the moment but try not to get stuck there. Make a conscious effort to get up if you are brooding in some corner. It is time to let go.

Learn a new skill. Pick up a new hobby. Catch up with your old friends. Stay busy not just to distract yourselves from that hurt, but also, to build yourself up and boost your self-esteem.

Think of rejection as something valuable that opens up space and time in your life for someone else. By being rejected sooner than later, you get the chance to refocus your thoughts on yourself.

It tells you that person was not meant for you. And that you will find someone who will appreciate you and fit you like a missing puzzle piece.When you get rejected, simply ask yourself this question:

“Why would I want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me?”

Trust the process that with every rejection, the Universe is bringing you closer to the right person.

6.     Talk to your support system. Take your supportive friends’ and family’s help and if they are not helpful enough, then find a professional help. Vent your feelings. It helps you process the situation.

It is sad how much joy we miss out on when we give in so much energy to our self-doubts and fears.

Matching up with just the right person requires trial and error. So, keep looking.

Because I tell you, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t. So what? Rejection is a short-term setback. You get over it. But regret, regret stays with you, and you don’t want to live with that.

Now go and reach out to that person who you have been drooling over.