Anybody can be rejected. Social rejection can happen in any situation.
Let me share a story with you to prove these points.
In the early 90’s, a very wealthy man contested for the presidential office.
He was charismatic. He was a philanthropist per excellence.
And as we say in this part of Africa; he was a man of the people, so to speak.
But somehow he didn’t make it to the seat of power.
There were a lot of agitations across the land. Many people felt that he was cheated out.
In fact he died after the whole process. Nearly everything about him gradually went down.
Out of the blues, about 25 years after… something happened.
The latest government chose to bestow one of the highest national awards on him – posthumously.
Just a few days after the recognition, a daughter of his said something that got me thinking.
She told the media, “Now the phones have started ringing again!”
That hit me.
“Does that mean the former beneficiaries of his largesse had abandoned that huge family?”, I thought to myself.
So depending on your circumstance, anybody can be rejected. Famous or infamous.
Bodies, businesses and organizations do get ignored. That I know.
Join me for a clearer understanding, before I show you how to deal with rejection.
What Is Social Rejection?
Social rejection simply means your mutual interactions or dealings are not of interest to other people
or a third party.
You may be aware of it or not.
You can be rejected by friends, peers, family members and loved ones.
Rejection can also happen in a business interaction. This is common when you are prospecting for new clients, companies, corporations and other entities. You can also be rejected by the society.
People can be socially excluded based on many conditions:
* on their faith and fate or conviction about certain issues.
* physical appearance – good looking, not-so-thin or fat as examples.
* economic status – rich or poor.
Now let us see what goes on when people are socially isolated and what constant rejection does to a person.
What Happens When You Are Rejected?
- You Have Picked A Wrong Target.
You have something to offer but it is not agreeable with your target.
You exhaust your resources and soul in the process.
The other party throws the ball back into your courts or simply walks away. And you might have picked a wrong target in the first instance.
So the relationship hits the rocks at onset. You are going after a wrong person you aspire to date or befriend. You are sharing your belief and ideologies with a wrong person or group.
For this latter reason — on a personal note — I made my own mistakes in the past. But I am wiser now.
Being rejected, also includes, you picking the wrong customer segment as a salesperson.
All these scenarios certainly are no fault of the other people.
- You Feel You Are Not Good Enough
One of the fall-outs of being rejected is that you are not good enough for the other party.
That may be true. And it may also be false. All your actions portray somebody who lack self-esteem.
It might be due to your childhood upbringing. It might be due to a loss you have suffered in your life’s journey. This could make you feel that you are not up to dealing with rejection.
You would rather settle for the crumbs — even from your mates till the rest of your life.
These are the nagging thoughts you struggle with. Real and imagined self-imposed limitations.
3. You Struggle To Belong
Many go all out to join a peer group or aspire to be in the fold of certain causes.
They crave that social acceptance for reasons best known to them.
Your low self-esteem could be the reason.
Or your unfounded curiosity could also be a reason.
It could also be due to sheer ignorance.
You don’t have all the facts and not observant enough of the other person or people.
You desire to be lifted up by certain individuals. You scramble for your phone to have selfies taken with them. Yet their smile – thereafter — is very, very fake.
You may want to do this to impress other people, who might not even give a hoot.
I am not saying you can’t seek friendship, as nobody can be an island.
Though some people may be impressive of your new association.
The question is; can you bear the cost on the long run?
Can you afford the cost of not being real or true to yourself? It is your choice though.
If after all these efforts, the clique see you as a sore thumb, you will ultimately be given the cold shoulder. Your time, energy and other resources wasted.
4. You Choose To Reject Other People.
There are instances, where you just choose to ignore others.
It is either you are protecting yourself or something…
Or you are suspicious of an impending doom in such a relationship. Nobody should blame you.
Some people even do it as a payback time; to revenge an earlier isolation. This is not healthy though.
By the way, the rich and the wealthy tend to be scary of other less fortunate.
So, on purpose they only reach out if they find something attractive about you.
They come to you on their own terms. It is a natural human behavior.
It happens in business and romantic affairs.
However, some smart dudes know how to discover the weaknesses of the wealthy and famous; they have in focus.
They develop a grand plan to get into their space, successfully. There is a variety of seductive actions they can deploy. Ask Robert Greene.
But the rich are not all that stupid as they tend to portray themselves.
The wealthy wouldn’t go to the poor neighborhoods for a drink. They will reject such a move unless…
When people step higher in their economic station in life, quite a number don’t carry their friends along. The ladder is removed. On rare cases do you see things happen otherwise.
Neighborhoods are changed where they once belonged. It is a reality of human being behavior.
It is just that some people take it too far.
Don’t bet on it if your friends excludes you.
Not surprisingly, on the flip side, some lowly people do reject the wealthy;
for their own personal reasons…
Some people would not date some persons because of certain values;
no matter the popular attributes, friends parrot about those individuals.
5. You Lose Your Energy And Zest For Life
When you get rejected, you may take it personal and wallow in self-blame.
Or you may be wrong!
Many become inactive. They lose the motivation to take the next action. Confusion sets in.
The other party has taken the wind out of your sails or burst your bubble.
Your perceived goals and objectives have been derailed.
This may lead into panic attack, anxiety, depression or contemplation of suicide.
This is common in people who thing took highly of themselves. And of other people.
Setbacks are difficult for many of us to deal with.
Some people may want to injure themselves to spite the other party, to win public sympathy.
This is common amongst teenagers, especially when a romantic relationship has hit the rocks and the feeling of rejection sets in.
6. You Choose To Become Irrational
Many of us can’t handle being rebuffed by others. And there are different levels of rejection.
Let the truth be told. We all spark at our different breaking points. Understandably so.
We humans love to be cuddled and applauded with our warts and all, notwithstanding.
We fear being isolated. Being isolated for too long is not to be encouraged though,
as we survive better, as social animals, which we are.
No wonder Britain now has a Commission on loneliness. A serious matter.
Some people could become violent when found in that situation. They may go into all sorts of devices to harm themselves or to harm the other person.
It could happen where things of the mind and affection suffer between husband and wives and lovers.
It could happen when bosom friends and family members walk away from you.
The erstwhile relationship; never to be stitched back.
This may lead to abuse, either physically, emotionally or both. Lies and half-truth fly between parties.
One of them may actually be the victim who couldn’t help himself or herself out of the mess, since they know no better.
It can lead to health issues to all, stoked by permanent grudge. And lack of forgiveness.
It can also lead to separation, domestic crime and death.
Performance is affected at the workplace and their respective economies and creativity.
All parties suffer same consequences.
Rejection is a more difficult affair in dating or in marriage.
In some clime separation and divorce are not easily effected because of cultural restrictions.
So each party is stuck together for too long until something drastic happens, for a release.
The release could result in a good or bad outcome.
7. You Are Benevolently Blessed.
Within your circle or situations you have found yourself, you may be one of the few, so blessed;
for many reasons under the sun.
But you are not conscious of your luck. You lack tact and diplomacy in dealing with poisonous people.
Envy creeps in. This makes others keep away from you.
Envy because of your superior knowledge, belief, or success in many aspects of your life, going on well.
It is your innocence and naivety that are flogging you. Your are good, no doubt but not circumspect.
This may happen if the majority don’t buy into your disposition or idea.
In your family setting, you could be a forthright person.
Yet you are rejected for your wisdom, truth and empathy.
The latter experience may not hit you immediately because it is quite subtle.
Because you are trusty.
Behind you, you are like a disease that must be avoided, not because it’s your fault but for all these blessings.
Not everybody would like you, even if they are your kith and kin!
Prophets of old and good people of today that bring good tidings were killed and they are still being rejected.
Just like you don’t feel comfortable in the presence of some people; whether you are a good person or a bad person and vice versa.
8. Your Worrisome Character
Your personality trait may not fit within your inner circle. You are abhorred by others.
So people keep away from you because they don’t want to be inconvenienced by you.
In a family setting, your bad habit and behavior – which you may not be aware of – might be the major reason.
Family members keep secrets away from you.
Friends and colleagues at work, don’t like your company either.
You force your opinion on people, rubbing it down on people’s face.
If you are in a position of power, you are only tolerated and feared.
Associating with you closely would put pebbles and sand in their mouth. Behind you, they spit you out.
9. Your Unfortunate Circumstance In Life
Life might have dealt you a wrong card.
Despite your hard work and perseverance; yet you can’t find your feet.
Nothing to show for it.
Success has many fathers.
And since you aren’t one, at this time around, you could be treated like a leper; for no fault of yours.
You have become an orphan. You have been abandoned.
You strive still, to meet up with the minimum your inner circle or society expects of you.
This can be terrifying and frustrating, if you don’t get out of the woods fast enough.
But life has shown that we don’t have all the answers to many questions.
You are most likely to excluded. But follow your path. And ask the heavens for help.
How To Handle Rejection And Be Happy
10. You Must Appraise Yourself And The Situation
There are two basic questions you must ask yourself, when you are rejected or feel so.
“Am I the one who is at fault?”
“Is the other party at fault?”
These are tough questions that demand objective answers.
If objectivity is beyond you; seek someone who is matured, firm and smart enough to give you the true picture of your situation.
No sugar coating.
However pleasing or unpalatable the results might be.
Then you can proceed to take necessary action, as you deem fit.
- You Have To Take A Position
This is the time for self-belief and personal conviction. If you have to make adjustments of yourself and manage the situation for the better, then do so. Many of us pick wrong prospects in business and our products are rejected.
Can we make the products the way the target customers would love them? Can we remove sentiments and date those we know share the same values with us? If we have made mistakes in our relationships with people, we can always readjust to bond for mutual joy.
If your moves do not yield the result, then let go. You can’t eat your cake and have it. Move on with your life.
- Accept That You Can’t Fit Into Some Circles
Don’t be afraid to stick to that social circle where you are welcome; with joy and peace of mind.You may be more educated than such people. It doesn’t really matter.
When friends and peers reject you; how you handle it depends on your age, personality and experience in life. For the naïve and people with low self-esteem, it can be a battle to pull this through, especially if it comes suddenly.
Many carry over their childhood superiority attitude into adulthood. Even as senior citizens. You can see this amongst some former schoolmates. They would exclude you if your station in life has not hit the opulent mark – based on their own definition of success.
Fingers don’t have the same length. And opportunities come at different phases. They are akin to sea waves.
Discard such groups and move into another space in the sky.
Life is short.
Avoid such people with primitive mindset and worldview.
The same people, unashamedly, would beat the path to your doorstep when they discover you have been elevated.
Don’t force yourself on groups. Believe in yourself.
That reminds me of this disco song of the 80’s.
“Don’t push it don’t force it let it happen naturally” by Leon Haywood
- Stick To Your Belief
Your personal conviction about life matters, if such will NOT deprive other people of their own sensibilities.
However, do note that your conviction goes with full responsibilities.
Either good or bad. It is your cross. Be ready to carry it.
Your rejection in this case is that sacrifice that you have to live with.
If you can’t handle being socially excluded because of your values,
then that won’t portray you as a courageous person.
You can’t sit on a fence. That is not how to live.
- Become More Tolerant Of Others
Your being rejected might be due to your lack of tact and diplomacy in relationships.
Empathy for others helps in your human relations.
Don’t become too self-centered. I am not advocating that you are pushed around aimlessly, like a cork on water.
If you have behavioral issues of lording it over people, they will shy away from you.
Play the people’s game.
You may need to stoop to conquer in order to avoid social rejection.
Patience solves that.
Salesmen take in a lot to overcome rejection.
They work the numbers… Tough though.
Romeos and smart men equally stoop to get the affection of an elusive lady.
It is a painstaking exercise. But the results might be worth it, after-all.
- Don’t Lose Hope
Look up into the sky now.
Can’t you see that it is wide enough for many birds to fly, without collision?
For whatever reason, if you are rejected, fly in another direction. Your meat might be there waiting elsewhere.
The circumstance in life is limitless.
Rejection? It shall pass. All human beings have their share of it, at one time or the other.
Hear Richard Branson…
“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”
Then I join him by saying.
“Rejection is a fact of life, there’s always another opportunity around the corner”
You may cringe because you have been rejected.
You may sob because you have been rejected.
But move, you must, away from that rejection and seek a fresh experience.
You only need faith!
I will leave you with this true-life story…
A married couple had been having some protracted issues for many years.
In a fit of fury, one of them told the other spouse.
“I will leave you. I am tired of this marriage.”
The receiver of the statement paused for a second…
And calmly replied.
“You are a nice person and I am too. But you know what, if you choose to leave me … there are about 7 billion people in this world, that you and I could then pick from”
16. Seek Help From Others.
We as Africans “mind other people’s business”.
It is an antidote against rejection and loneliness.
But we may be losing our community orientation because of the acculturation from the West.
When it becomes difficult to know why you are being rejected; be wise.
Ask some responsible elders.
My Take Away.
Rejection is part of human nature.
But you need courage in dealing with the outcome and your conscience will ultimately set you free.
If you are genuinely true to yourself and others, you have less to worry about.
Trudge on with this aspect of our human existence. Nobody is an exception.
What is your experience. I am eager to hear you out.