How to get over rejection

All Woman

REJECTION leaves many of its victims with broken hearts, and it's an emotion most of us will experience at some point or the other.

“Jamaicans reject each other in subtle (attitudinal) or blatant (behavioural) ways in daily life. Rejection becomes an acute personal problem, however, in intimate relationships when we have high positive regard or affection for someone, only to be let down by that person. You will feel angry or sad. You may feel flawed and not good enough for the person,” sex therapist Dr Sidney McGill explained to All Woman.

Yes, being rejected by a lover, friend or relative is painful. However, like any other problems you face, you can get over it.

The first step, according to Dr McGill, is to admit to yourself your hurt and disappointment. When you have done this, give yourself time to grieve the loss or change in the relationship. You need to convince yourself that your life can only get better from here onwards.

The most important part of dealing with rejection is to forgive the person who rejected you, then move on with your life without becoming fearful of rejection in the future. At no time whatsoever should you allow rejection to get the best of you and lower your self-esteem.

“Rejection can be hard on you if you have been rejected before. You may want to take stock of your personal strengths and weaknesses. Get feedback from your close friends or someone who knows you well. Change offensive behaviours or attitudes. You may not be able to avoid rejection in the future, but a sure way of reducing the recurrence is to consciously love yourself because you are good enough. Take better care of yourself during that time,” Dr McGill advised.

A full recovery from the pain and hurt will depend on your personality, past experience, self-concept, social support and emotional support.

Dr McGill suggested that individuals take a break of at least six to 12 months from intimate relationships in order to heal properly.

Below, five women recount the steps they took to get over being rejected.

Pamela P, 42:

Early in my marriage — six weeks after the ceremony, in fact — my husband decided that married life wasn't for him. He moved into another woman's home without a second thought. For a long time I blamed myself and tried to get him back, but to no avail. It was the intervention of a co-worker that set me straight. She reminded me of my positive qualities, and told me that everyone else in my life loved me and saw me as a very good person. I realised then that I wasn't the problem; he was, and I was able to pick up my life and move on.

Natalya W, 30:

I knew I was one of two women vying for this man's attention, but I couldn't stop myself from playing the game, even though I was supposed to be beautiful, educated and going places. I was supposed to have my head on my shoulders, yet there I was making phone calls to this other woman who shared the man I loved. I gave him an ultimatum, told him to choose, and he chose her. I shut down immediately and just threw myself into my work. That might not have been the healthy way to deal with it, but by the time I allowed my emotions to surface again and let someone else in, I had gotten over him.

Susannah L, 46:

I left the parish and started life again in Kingston. I left everything and everyone I knew in the dead of the night, and drove away. I left him without even a goodbye, because I could see that our relationship wasn't going anywhere, and he had disrespected me by saying that he didn't know why he was with me, and that our marriage was a joke. Whether he meant it or not didn't matter. I felt unwanted, and so I just left. I didn't reconnect with him until two years later, when I served him with divorce papers.

Katana CL, 25:

This man courted me at church. He made the whole youth group, the whole congregation probably, think that we were in a relationship and having a courtship that would lead to marriage. We dated for a year, and then he promptly told me it was over, and moved on to someone else in another division. I handled the devastation and the rejection by joining a church where I was unknown.

Leigh-Ann, 32:

I threw myself into work, which wasn't hard because my job was very demanding. When my baby's father left Jamaica and married another woman overseas, I just took on more hours and weekends at work, so I wouldn't have to think about it. Luckily my mother was there to take care of our child, while I did what I knew best in order to get over the heartbreak.

— Falon Folkes

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