Whether it’s finding out that the steps on your career ladder have been oiled, forcing you to slide down them instead of clamber up, or simply realising that your friends/family don’t think as much of you as you thought, non-romantic rejection comes to us all.
In my case it’s been happening on a more than regular basis for years. (Obviously, romantic rejection happened to me for years too before I successfully persuaded someone to sign a contract that legally obliges him to reaffirm how much he likes me on a regular basis. I used to nuke it with vodka.)
In a week that’s seen me turned down for two jobs (having not had any response at all about a third), I’ve also been left off the guest list for my cousin’s hen party, had my best friend move back to Germany, and been gazumped on my until-that-point-affordable dream home.
The Cottingley fairies acting as a metaphor for all the cruelties I think the universe has laid upon me.
This morning my iPhone, in a show of slightly hilarious solidarity with my current status in the universe, began autocorrecting my name to “Alienate.” The rejection fairies, it seems, not only smile on me, they piss all over me from a great height while laughing. Here’s how I fight back:
Embrace It: Rejection is a prime opportunity to put the basic tenets of mindfulness in to practice. First, I try to identify my feelings (rejected/ like shit/like pulling the covers over my head/ hungry), then non-identify them.
In my head this means turning on a mumsy sort of voice that states mantra-like, “This is not about you. This is not a reflection on you. Not everything in the motherfucking universe is about you, Alisande.” More mindful types may want to correct that interpretation.
I also feel free to cry like it’s the end of "Steel Magnolias" for about 20 minutes. If for some reason you can’t cry out of sheer self-pity (really? No, really?), I recommend displacing your feelings by actually watching "Steel Magnolias," "Marley and Me" or some other schlock-fest that’s bound to make you weep. That way you have an excuse.
Tell People: I tell my family. I tell my friends. I tell randoms I’ve met twice in the pub. These days I tell the whole sodding Internet because if the mindfulness and crying don’t help, telling someone else -- and so not turning the experience into a shameful semi-secret -- might.
Usually people are only too happy to share their own tales of woe (in the comments section, yes?), and there is nothing like a bit of sharing to put your own experiences into perspective.
Make it Funny: This also comes under the heading of “Tell People,” but usually a day or two later and with less sniffling. Eventually, all this stuff will become funny. The sooner I can retell these experiences amusingly, the sooner I’ve processed them. Henceforth, I’ll only be telling stories about how crap I am at finding employment while performing a new dance move, which I found on YouTube his morning.
Keep the Rest of my Life Moving: Not to sound like all our mothers, but feeling sorry for myself then dancing will only get me so far, and neither of them is going to get me a job, home or flights to Hamburg to see my bezzie.
The pragmatist in me is strong enough that when rejection gets tough, I usually find myself getting online after about half an hour, which will have given me time to cry, calm down by getting mindful about the whole thing and log on to look for more jobs/houses/opportunities to somehow improve the situation (for which you may read: my rejection-addled life).
Put it to Bed: After getting shit in perspective by both laughing and crying about it, then doing what I can to address the situation in practical terms, it’s time to shut the fuck up.
Sometimes I do this grudgingly, others I’m more than ready never to discuss the matter again.
The important thing is not boring the arse off everyone around me by wittering on, thus causing them to reject me, causing a whole new cycle of tears/laughter/dancing/online confessionals to begin.
Anyone else feeling rejected at the mo? Let’s turn the comments section into an opportunity for group therapy and wittering. I’ll even accept submissions under the heading of ‘Romance.’