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Handling Rejection

Resume rejected? Job lost? Missed that promotion?

Rejection hurts.  It’s often a time we grab our go-to happy habits and find it actually makes us feel worse.

Here are some common strategies that don’t actually work very well in the long term, but are a well-known quick fix’s – see which one/s resonate with you.

1. Comfort food. The secret treat and other retail solutions. 

Often, the things we choose as treats aren’t good for us.  Surprise! The pleasure is brief, and once the sugar high melts away, we are left with feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative thoughts that just deepen the lousiness of our day.  Food does affect mood. So when you find yourself thinking, “I’ll feel better after I eat a block of chocolate, or engage in retail therapy and impulse buy,  STOP. PAUSE, and ask yourself, ” What am I really doing?”  “Will I feel better afterwards?” “What are the consequences of this behaviour”? I know when I over-indulge I feel quite sick literally, this along with the guilt and stupidity of my actions kills me for ages!  Yep! I made a bad situation worse! Better to go for a jog, go to the gym, and or talk it out with a friend.

2. Feeling sorry for yourself and making excuses.

When you’re feeling down, you might be tempted to let yourself off the hook, to think, “I deserve to skip my jog today, I deserve a break.” In fact, sticking to a resolution and routine will actually boost your sense of self-esteem and self-control. So NOT letting yourself off the hook might do more to boost your happiness.  Telling yourself you are feeling lousy will act as another excuse to NOT do.  I actually hate exercise, yet I know it has benefits, so I’ll walk the dog or go out in the garden, any thing that is active and distracting.

3. Switching off your phone.

I find it difficult to talk with others if I’m feeling upset. I am often tempted to ignore calls or switch off my phone, and I have even cancelled lunch dates, for no other reason other than ” I didn’t feel like it”.  However, studies show that introverts and extroverts get a mood boost from connecting with other people. Although it can be tempting to isolate yourself when you’re feeling unhappy, you’re better off talking and making plans with friends or family.

4.  Openlyaggressively, venting your negative emotions.

I can act a bit tetchy and irritable when things don’t go my own way. This may manifest when I’m receiving poor customer service and I might over-react in a negative way. In fact, many people believe in the “catharsis hypothesis” thinking that expressing anger is healthy-minded and relieves pent-up feelings. Not so. Studies show that expressing anger aggressively only aggravates it;  It’s better to take a deep breath, count to 10 and behave calmly.

5. Staying in bed or in your pajamas all day.

Being dressed like a sloth, only makes you behave like one. Get out of bed, shower and get dressed in favourite gear!  Sometimes it can be fun to hang out in your trackie-dacks all day, but if you’re feeling lethargic, powerless, or directionless, not getting dressed is going to make you feel worse. Put on your clothes, including your shoes, so you feel prepared for whatever the day might offer. While you’re at it, make your bed.

6. Having a drink.

Alcohol affects people differently, and even if you don’t have a drinking problem, alcohol can negatively affect your happiness. Speaking for myself, alcohol is not a happiness-booster. I had to stop drinking, because I realized that even just one glass of wine made me feel more depressed and I would spiral downwards into binge eating and other poor behaviours.(see the 5 points above!)  Don’t assume that a drink will help you unwind, or feel more relaxed, you just think it does.

How you you cope with rejection? What things have you tried to “pick yourself up?” What ones made you feel worse, in the end?  Which ones work for you to effectively beat the blues?