Rejection: How do you handle it?

Have you ever tried pulling your hair out because of this word – rejected? We all face rejection in our lives, and it may not be only once or twice but many times. Rejection can be in any field – a love affair, society, job application, promotion, or any other field. The word rejection creates a chill in the body, giving goosebumps to the person. It creates a fear of failure in mind and the person once rejected is always hesitant to take initiative. But as the Japanese proverb says, ‘fall down seven times, stand up eight,’ one should not accept defeat by rejection.

There are a number of examples where the most successful people have been rejected several times in their initial days. The most well-known among them is the author of the Harry Potter series J K Rowling, who was rejected by twelve different publishers before being accepted. And once published, as they say, the rest is the history.

There is hardly anyone who has not faced failure or rejection in life. And if not, it is easy to assume that the person has never tried anything. Not wrong to say that rejection is an essential part of effort, initiative. What kinds of rejections do we see in real life?

There might be rejection in job interviews or the process of selection. Many would know that the millennium Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan was rejected by All India Radio because of his heavy voice. And later, the same voice became his most celebrated identity.

Rejection in relationships is also very common. It may not happen that whoever we love would love us back. They might have their own preferences or choices. Sometimes the girl/boy you love might be already married and therefore cannot accept your proposal. Sometimes the person may not like you at all. This rejection happens and there is nothing wrong with it.

Rejection in society due to class differences or any other reason may also turn out to be a cause of sadness in many people. A club membership application may be returned with a stamp of rejection. One may not receive the invitation to a particular event or even after trying, some members of the society may not accept you as one of them.

It is important to know that different people react differently to rejection. Studies have shown that quite a few types of reactions may emanate from rejection.

Criteria for particular acceptance is one of the reasons why sometimes we get rejected. If the rules are well set, there is no point is feeling dejected on such rejections. It may also be due to a lack of required qualifications for any particular job or position. For example, the scientists club may not accept a man of literature and an artist club will have no place for a politician. Somehow, Stephen King’s first novel Carrie, which later on inspired four movies, was rejected thirty times.

It is also possible that sometimes people do not have an understanding of particular skills or characteristics and therefore a very talented person has to face rejection. Who else than Vincent Van Gogh be a better example who has created his own unique style painting but could sell only one painting throughout his life. And see the popularity and cult he has created posthumously. The misery he might have to live in due to the non-recognition of his talent is imaginable.

But the most devastating is rejection due to personal biases. When jealously or personal vendetta becomes a reason for rejection, it is most heart-breaking. Not giving promotion to the most deserving candidate in a company because the boss doesn’t like her face. Steve Jobs was ousted from the company he founded himself because of such reasons and it will remain in corporate history.

Now the question is who reacts to the rejection in what way. Different react differently and that is for various reasons, including for one’s own nature or social circumstances. You will find people who go into depression if rejected. They cannot rationalize that it is part of the process and life is much more than one incident of failure. But that depression is dangerous for the person as well as family. It may sometimes even lead to suicide.

A few take the rejection in a positive way and analyze reasons for the same. They certainly are the most motivated people who keep trying to improve their abilities and skills. But not everyone can be in that category. It is also doubtful if one can always be self-motivated and handle rejection again and again. It is strange when a person does not even acknowledge the rejection and keeps doing what he has been doing. It can be for the reason of self-confidence or simply because one does not care what others think of him. No wonder sometimes such people prove to be the game-changer.

It is very common that some people react with anger and a revengeful attitude towards rejection. They may also consider the person or system responsible for their rejection and try to harm them. Many criminals have a history of rejection and it may be in social relationships or business circles. They need to be counseled and cared for.

It will be very useful if people are given training in their initial years of lives on how to handle rejection constructively and innovatively. Those who can sit down calmly and analyze reasons for any of their rejection most objectively can learn to handle it in an optimistic way. But it cannot happen without training. Let’s say one engineer’s proposal has been rejected by a company and he works on it to find out the problem and solution of it. Maybe he will create a machine that will change our lives forever. His innovation can reduce human efforts and bring revolution to society. There must be hundreds of examples in the renaissance time when a lot of engineering evolution had happened.

But it is correct to say that there cannot be a universal solution to handle any rejection. There cannot be a template that can be applied in every situation. Therefore, it has to be decided on a case-to-case basis and would certainly differ from individual to individual. But ingredient for the recipe of handling rejection is positivity and optimism without which it will be disastrous. Undeterred and indefatigable attitudes can certainly lead a person to the greatest success. Albert Einstein didn’t speak till four and couldn’t read till seven. He was expelled from the school and was also rejected in Zurich Polytechnic School. But these rejections did not affect his desire to do what he was destined to do. And the rest of the story is all about his success.

In case, you have got rejection in any field, no worries. These words are common and do not assess your ability and skill in any manner. Just be constructive, improve wherever required, and keep trying. It doesn’t mean the end.