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How to Cultivate a Healthy Response to Rejection

Our our bodies present sturdy indicators that we is likely to be scuffling with rejection: a churning abdomen, tightness within the chest, or a way of shutting down.

“Specializing in the physique and bodily sensations helps us speak in confidence to our feelings,” explains psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD, writer of Bouncing Again from Rejection. “To no matter diploma your struggles with rejection are acutely aware or unconscious, taking note of your sensations generally is a useful first step towards addressing them.”

Becker-Phelps makes use of the acronym STEAM (Sensations, Ideas, Feelings, Actions, Mentalizing) to explain the 5 domains the place it may be useful to develop self-awareness. “When you possibly can mirror in your sensations — in addition to all of the domains of STEAM — it is possible for you to to query your reactions to rejection and have area to contemplate options.”

Accessing one area, equivalent to sensations, generally is a doorway to engaged on one other, equivalent to routine ideas. “Individuals who are likely to count on rejection additionally wrestle with being self-critical,” she notes. “They play the roles of each critic and sufferer.”

Take note of how your physique feels when the self-critical voice in your head is lively (I’m so silly! Why do I at all times mess issues up!?). Or when the sufferer voice is dominant (My boss has at all times had it in for me!). Make two columns on a chunk of paper — one for the critic and one for the sufferer — and write down the ideas and sensations related to every.

“The objective of increasing your consciousness on this means is that can assist you transcend simply dwelling the experiences to having the ability to mirror upon them,” she says.

Mastering correct self-talk is crucial to dealing with rejection, says psychologist Christian Conte, PhD, writer of Strolling By way of Anger: A New Design for Confronting Battle in an Emotionally Charged World. When he works with somebody scuffling with a rejection, he asks them to first describe it in essentially the most excessive means doable (e.g., “I didn’t get the job I utilized for as a result of I made a idiot of myself on the interview, and I’ll in all probability by no means discover a first rate job as a result of I’m the worst individual doable”). Then he asks them to repeat the outline with no adjectives or interpretations: “I utilized for a job and I didn’t get it.”

From there, you possibly can reframe the expertise, he says. “It turns into ‘This example is just not what I wished, but it surely’s not the tip of the world, and I can deal with it’ as an alternative of ‘This at all times occurs to me.’” Finally, this extra balanced type of self-talk can turn out to be as routine as self-criticism was. “We grasp what we observe.”

This initially appeared as “Cool a Rejection Response” in “Embracing Rejection” which was printed within the October 2021 concern of Expertise Life journal.



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