One of my friends recently went for a job interview with very high hopes and expectations. It was his dream job and he had been preparing vigorously for the interview. He did countless research on interview questions and several practices on how to answer the questions. The week leading up to the interview, I dreaded being around him because he would turn me into his “potential interviewer” and make me ask him all these questions. Anyways, sure you get my point, long story short, he went for the interview and delivered.
Two days later, he was told that they went with a better candidate and he was devastated. He needed this job dearly, did all the research he needed to and prepared himself in the best possible way that he could and still got a no. He became a recluse for a few days and would not talk to anyone.
I let him have his moment and when we finally spoke, he sounded really distraught and annoyed that everyone was asking him to handle it better. After talking with him, I realized that it wasn’t the fact that he didn’t get the job that got to him really, it was the rejection. The feeling that he wasn’t good enough for the position and somebody else was, the feeling that he wasn’t important or worthy enough to be part of the company. That in my opinion is what got the best of him.
It got me thinking about the times when things didn’t go my way or when I felt rejected. I remembered an incident, three years ago when I was fresh from a breakup and a guy I had been casual friends with asked me out. (I am beginning to think I am a pro at shutting things out of my brain, well, painful stuff).
Well, we did go on a date. It was a nice dinner at Olive garden and although it was packed (it was during a holiday season) it felt like it was just two of us in the restaurant. We had a good conversation, getting to know each other, our cultures (he was Mexican), likes and we had a good laugh. After dinner, we saw the movie Darknight and it was very romantic sitting there with him, cuddled up in the theater. He dropped me home after the movie and we had agreed on a second date in two days.
Two days came and went and he never texted or called. I called and texted him but got no reply. A few weeks later, I walked into his place of work hoping that seeing me there would jolt him talk to me, I wanted some form of explanation but nothing. He simply looked at me as if he had never seen me before. That hurt terribly, even more than the breakup I was just coming from.
I hoped that he would at least tell me why he didn’t want to see me anymore after having an amazing time together (maybe it was all in my head). I kept searching my brain for something I might have said or done without realizing that could have prompted that reaction from him, but nothing.
I had been rejected by a man I was beginning to like (this is becoming a norm, falling for the wrong people.Keeping my fingers crossed that I have learned my lesson this year) for a reason I wasn’t aware. I have been to several job interviews and didn’t get the jobs. I have applied for licenses, jobs, all which I didn’t get. These all felt like rejection. Even failing an exam after my best exam preparation has felt like a rejection.
Nobody wants to be rejected or feel rejected but yet all of us at some point in our lives have been rejected. Whether it be by that cute lady/man we have been crushing on, a job interview, friends or things plainly working against us, everybody hates been rejected. You would think that as many times as we have been through it already, that we already know the feeling and would therefore know how to handle it better but that is not the case.
The last time we are rejected always feels like the first time and even if the event could be far attached from us, it always feels personal. The disappointment and the hurt makes us start second guessing ourselves and wondering why they and not us. Some people allow it to affect them so much that their self esteem plunges after such events, some retreat into themselves and never come out of it and others become bitter with society and everyone.
Like I said in my last article of 2014, one of the things I learned about myself in 2014 was how to deal with situations better and hopefully, I can help you deal with it better too. First off, it is totally alright to cry, wallow or even have your own pity party immediately following the rejection. You are human, and if you keep the emotions bottled up, it will only build up to explode at a probably inappropriate time. So by all means, cry yourself to stupor.
Second, examine what went wrong, if after careful examination you conclude that you couldn’t have done any better than you did, then it is time to cut your losses and move on; otherwise learn from mistakes you made and still move on. Next, if you have a support system, allow them to be there for you and not shut them out. Finally, recoup and accept that such is life, move on and embolden yourself to better opportunities. No one likes being rejected and nobody will ever get used to that feeling,despite everyone being rejected at least twice in their life.
Hope the year is great so far. Do share, when did you feel rejected and how did you handle it? Have a blessed rest of the week.