Care Less About Rejection

person looking sad with cityscape
Rejection sucks, yet who the hell cares?

Okay, so you just went out and tried to engage someone by making small talk, but you feel that this person gave you the cold shoulder and acted as if she didn’t want anything to do with you?

Well, if you’ve been rejected, at least you’re not alone. That’s because rejection is bound to happen to everyone from time to time.

To be rejected is human; to not let it get to you is divine.

Since rejection is unavoidable, we may as well make friends with it. Yes, rejection doesn’t have to be an enemy, not if you care less.

Rejection Without Dejection

I used to feel really bad whenever I thought someone rejected me, but nowadays I’m pretty free from woe when it occurs. That’s because I acknowledge rejection as a normal part of life and accept it. This allows me to move on quickly. No more ruminating  and feeling distraught about it.

glass half full
If you’re going to dwell on something, dwell on the positive.

Also, I figure even if I were to get rejected as much as 50% of the time, that means I’d still be treated with a friendly attitude the other 50% of the time. And it’s a choice whether to see the glass as half empty or half full.

Jia Jiang, the author of Rejection Proof, sees rejection as a “numbers game” and says, “If I want to get a yes, I just talk to enough people.”

Occupation-wise, salespeople and people in show biz such as actors are notorious for getting rejected a lot. To succeed, they have to keep playing the “numbers game.” The actor Nicholas Hoult has said, “I don’t really have disappointments, because I build myself up for rejection.”

Who the Hell Cares?

Whether it’s social rejection or rejection on the job, here’s how to not only care less but thrive:

Accept it. If you think you were rejected, acknowledge it. Facing the “facts” brings peace of mind.

(Sometimes whether one has actually been “rejected” or not is uncertain–for example, just because somebody declines an invitation or a cashier behaved in a dismissive way doesn’t necessarily mean “rejection.” But it still helps to acknowledge that that’s the way you see it and accept it.)

Accepting things will make things seem a lot better. However, if there’s still pain, it helps to befriend pain as well.

As John Amodeo, Ph.D says, “A big part of our fear of rejection may be our fear of experiencing hurt and pain. If we can have a more friendly, accepting relationship with the feelings that arise within us as a result of being rejected, then we can heal more readily and move on with our lives.”

Demonstrate positive self-regard. Keep on putting yourself up, even if others put you down. After all, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Compliment yourself!

I love me design
Having self-love is like having a bullet-proof vest that protects your heart from dejection over rejection.

Don’t whine and don’t pine over being rejected. Keep your head up. It may be easier said than done, but practicing kindness towards yourself makes perfect.

Don’t put the person who rejected you on a pedestal, but put yourself on a pedestal. Oprah Winfrey stated, “I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want me.”

 Embrace humbleness. None of us is the center of the universe, yet that’s okay. Making one’s ego less important results in caring less about rejection while being more considerate of others.

There’s a difference between having self-love versus me, me, me. Self-love helps you get along with yourself and others more, but self-importance will make you feel more vulnerable.

Use rejection as a gauge in how to improve social skills. There could be a “good” reason for being rejected. It could be the result of saying something offensive, so this tells you to be more tactful next time. Or maybe the body language or tone of voice says “Never mind me, I’m just a doormat.” As Dr. Phil says, “We teach people how to treat us.”

Visualizing or practicing in front of a mirror acting in a more confident manner will make rejection less likely and also improve self-image. And when you have a positive self-image, you could care less about being rejected.

What Did You Expect?

smiley with thumbs up
Socially confident people expect this.

As a rule, socially confident people anticipate being accepted by others; socially anxious people, on the other hand, anticipate being rejected.

Due to self-fulfilling prophecy, whether you expect to be accepted or expect to be rejected, you’ll probably make that happen.

To go from expecting rejection to expecting acceptance, there needs to be a change in the mind’s eye. Creatively visualize behaving in a confident way, in a way that makes you feel good about yourself. How would you sit or stand? What would you sound like? How would you approach people? Act it out in your mind.

The bottom line, however, is that although everyone would prefer to be accepted rather than rejected, rejection isn’t really as awful as it may seem. Nevertheless, it’s human to be sensitive to rejection.

So if you can handle rejection, you can probably handle just about anything. And as the cliche goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.


12 Replies to “Care Less About Rejection

  1. I really enjoyed reading this article – it’s very well written.

    It’s so true that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy – I believe you can trick your mind to believe you are anything if you try hard enough. I’m a string believer in faking it till you make it!

    Confidence is such an important thing and I really enjoyed your tips as to how to deal with a potential drop in confidence.

    1. Thanks, Louise. Yes, I agree you can switch your mind patterns until it goes into a new autopilot. First comes awareness, then one can take control of the mental plane.

      🙂 Indeed, much of my insight and tips come from turning lemon into lemonade.

  2. Wow. I really like your post. Of course no one likes rejection. It is a hard pill to swallow, but as you rightly stated, expecting it without putting yourself down will give you the opportunity to not be affected by it but also grow stronger from it.
    I know that I put myself down, I see it as self deprecating humor however, in reality I am telling myself that I am not worth it. I need to stop doing that. I am a thoughtful individual and I do not deserve to be rejected, but everyone is at some point so I must accept that.
    I have been guilty of making things about me and only me without actually loving myself.
    Thank you for helping me to look inward. I think I can be a bit happier because of this post.

    1. Wow, Matendi, happier because of this post. Well, gotta say that adds meaning to my life and part of what my goal in life is. Nice!

      Yes, acceptance seems to be the key to peace and contentment. It turns what’s potentially perceived as bad such as rejection into something neutral.

      It seems to me that putting humor into self-deprecation would also neutralize putting oneself down, though it’s probably best not to put oneself down, period.

      Thank YOU.

  3. This is such an interesting topic with so much to be said about it.

    I liked the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. When you really get it it is some powerful stuff, and I think it applies to all negative circumstances in life. It is your own reaction that makes you feel whatever you might feel, and not the circumstance.

    Being fearful of rejection is holding back so many people, and I used to be one those too. I guess my biggest problem was having a low self-esteem, which couldn’t handle being rejected and because of that stopped me from acting.

    1. Well, I suppose what makes the topic interesting, Marcus, is that rejection is universal and can sting pretty bad if one is too reactive rather than proactive.

      Actually, I read somewhere (not sure if it’s really true or not) how Eleanor Roosevelt as a young girl overheard someone say how she was not as attractive as other girls. Based on her quote, she didn’t let it get to her, and she was obviously proactive in her life.

      Yes, naturally, rejection isn’t pleasant, but one can feel good about oneself when one acquires the ability to not give a damn. 🙂

  4. Thank you for this informative article about how to care less about rejection. I experienced being rejected a lot of times, most especially when it comes to job interviews. I know the feeling of being rejected because it disheartens you and decreases your self-esteem.
    As you said, we all experience it in our everyday lives. Learning how to accept rejection is the best thing to do because this will help you move on and find a way to better yourself when it comes to having a conversation with someone. This is what I learned through my experience before. It helped me to be prepared at all times by practicing the way I speak and the way I compose myself in front of people.

    1. Hi Deljar, right, I agree that rejection disheartens and CAN decrease self-esteem. But I also think that, conversely, being rejected can also increase self-esteem, in that if one doesn’t t give a damn when rejected, then one gains a sense of being powerful and in control. It seems that’s the silver lining of rejection.

      Yes, one can use rejection the way one uses failure, as constructive feedback. It sounds like it works well for you.

  5. As a long time trauma therapist, most of my international clients have struggled with this for years. Even me… many years ago before my healing was complete. You nailed it Jean!! Great job 🙂

    1. Yes, Mozelle, I would imagine that having trauma in one’s history would make one more vulnerable and sensitive to rejection, yet everyone, no matter the history, is sensitive to it more or less, as it seems to be human nature. Having the proper mindset, though, definitely makes one not care very much and move on promptly without any emotional damage.

      Yes, I think I did nail it, didn’t I? And as a therapist, you ought to know! My own “expertise” comes from personal experience, self-reflection, as well as secondary research. Thanks.

  6. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.


    I love this topic. I’ve faced a great deal of rejection and the ability to look at it half empty or full is the make or break of your emotional state. Life is a numbers game. Also a rejection is not a rejection of YOU AS A PERSON but really a rejection of the situation your ‘re trying to create.

    1. Hi Arian. Right, that’s a good Eleanor Roosevelt quote. Personally, I’ve just come to the realization that the best or more powerful compliments are the ones that one gives to oneself anyway. Likewise, the most convincing put-downs are ones we give ourselves. Yes, we can choose what we focus on. Though it may be more “natural” to focus on the times of being rejected, once we realize it, we can shift it to the happy times when it’s the opposite instead.

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