Let’s phase it we all have experienced rejections, in some way or another. Myself I have experienced rejection in friendship, in relationships, at work. And regardless of the age, the phase I am, it is painful and it hurts. It makes me feel awful. Often the first thoughts I have after rejection is: why me? what have I done wrong?, or this is so unfair. And yet is there another side of rejection?
I am sure you have all heard about that saying Rejection is God’s protection. And in case you don’t feel comfortable with the word God, you may exchange it with a higher force, the universe or whatever suits you, regardless of the word you want to use, this saying is still very powerful.
After a rejection, we tend to turn inward in a negative way, we fell unworthy, flawed, not good enough, unlovable, frustrated, confused, angry, sad etc.… and slowly but surely we go down that spiral.
Yet we all know that any kind of experience in life is meant to help us grow and eventually become a better person, so how is rejection supporting our learning path and helping us to become a better person to yourself or to others?
Let me tell you the story of a good friend of mine which illustrates very well how rejection can protect us. The story is about a guy, she met a while ago in bar. He seemed to be a very nice guy. Although he was really not the type of man she would normally date, she felt attracted to him and they started to date and had some nice time together. Quickly though my friend realized that it was only going into one direction: they would only meet when he was available. Often he would not reply to her messages and also they would only meet at her or his place. She did not really like that but simply ignore her gut feelings and all these red flags she noticed along the way, telling her there was something wrong. She always had the feeling that he was a rascal. She kept on meeting up with him without being able to really build anything or getting clear about his intentions. Until one evening she was invited to go to a party on a boat, and when she entered the upper deck guess who was there as well, that guy with a beautiful woman, much younger than he was, both very much in love with each other. My friend felt bad for a moment and had to seat down. Luckily she got the support of a lovely woman she just met and they spend the evening talking, which for my friend was a real blessing on that evening. (The Universe is always there to back us up right!!)
When she told me her story it made her reflect and she started asking herself: How did this rejection actually protected me, well-being really honest with herself she realized she tolerated his behavior and ignored all these red flags only because she was afraid of being alone, because sincerely she could not cope with his drinking problem, she did not like his overweight etc.. This rejection helped her to see that relationship through a different lens. She felt relieved, much better and especially proud of herself noticing that she has a very powerful gut feeling, she can really trust. She actually needed that rejection to build a more solid foundation of loyalty, honesty and trust within herself and it helped her to feel much more grounded.
After being rejected and before going down this dark spiral of self-doubt’s and suffering ask yourself: How is this rejection protecting me and one step further how is this rejection helping me to grown and become happier in my life moving forward?
This is was rejection and protection, so now how is it with rejection being projection?
Often we mirror the qualities or behaviors our friends, partners, family show up with and see things in them we don’t like. I am sure you all have already said things like:
- OMG he is so selfish
- She is so disorganized
- He is always late
If you are really honest with yourself
- Are you always on time?
- Are you really so organized you pretend you are?
- How is it with selfishness?
So projecting these behaviors onto somebody else helps us to hide our own behaviors. We become very judgmental.
A dear work colleague of mine shared her story with me, she has been living in a partnership for quite some time and finds herself struggling with her partner. He turns 50 next January and has been out of job for the last 3 years. She is the breadwinner and he does only spend money. He goes on courses and training and still no job in sight. And of course this starts to affect their relationship. On top her company goes through a transformation and her position might be at risk. She started to feel anxious and also angry at her partner as he does not get the sense of urgency and just seats all day long in front of his computer without taking any decision in terms of jobs. We discussed her situation and after a few questions, she realized she has been putting off a decision she should have been taken a long time ago: Should she stay in that relationship?. She realized she is mirroring this exact same behavior of indecisiveness she hates so much in her partner. My friend has still not taken any decision, at least it helped her to be aware of the situation and gives her a better stand for her future decision. So be aware of who and what you reject and look what it triggers in yourself.
Next time that you reject or dislike something about someone, reflect and think deeper and see what it is about yourself, that you do not like, you see in that person?
To summarize before going down into the dark abyss of all these negative feelings coming along a Rejection, ask yourself
How is this rejection protecting me?
How is this rejection mirroring and informing how I might be rejection myself and my needs?
And then how will this rejection help me to grow and feel happier?
Any rejection experience you want to share with me
Be curious, be courageous, be bold and be yourself!