If you've ever struggled with negative emotions triggered by rejection, counsellor Sarah Barr has some helpful advice.

Rejection is hard for most people. Since childhood, we have looked for acceptance from our friends in school to our parents at home. Sometimes doing whatever we can and people pleasing so we don’t have to feel rejected.

Rejection can turn your self-worth and confidence upside down, making you doubt who you are and often leave you feeling like you’ve lost a part of who you are.

When you live with anxiety, rejection can hit you a little bit harder. It can send your thoughts into overdrive, your irrational beliefs take centre stage and you begin to listen to that horrible little voice in your head, who is constantly putting you down.

How you respond can determine how you deal with the negative emotions triggered by rejection. Below are 5 suggestions that can help you to deal with rejection:

1.  Acknowledge How You’re Feeling

Instead of suppressing your negative emotion, let it out. Cry, scream, shout, talk to a friend about how you’re feeling or write it down. Being able to deal face-on with these uncomfortable or negative emotions will help you learn the coping skills needed to build resilience against rejection.

2. Treat Yourself With Compassion

Challenge the negative voice in your head and question what it is telling you. Anxiety feeds off fear, so if you start to starve her and ask her what evidence has she got to back up what she is saying, you might realise she does not have much evidence at all.

Catch Your Thought

Challenge Your Thought

Change Your Thought.

Instead of thinking “You’re so stupid for thinking you could do that”,  treat yourself with compassion. Respond to negative self-talk with a kinder message.

3. Do Not Jump To The Worst Possible Conclusion.

Often when we get rejected from anything, we can think “This always happens, I am no good” or “what is wrong with me?” . These negative thoughts make you feel worse about yourself.

When we feel bad about ourselves we have a tendency to jump to the worst possible conclusion and put ourselves down further. This is not helpful behaviour.

Instead, try asking yourself, what would you say to your friend if he/she was in a similar position, then give yourself that advice.


4. Refuse to Let Rejection Define You.

You are more than rejection, so catch any sweeping generalizations you attach to yourself when rejected.

One person’s opinion or a single incident does NOT define you.

Allowing your self-worth to depend on what other people think of you is one of the quickest ways of making sure you lose your self-confidence.

Just because someone else is thinking it, does not make it true. It is just their opinion.

5. Learn From Rejection.

Ask yourself “What have I learnt from this?”. Everything can be turned into a learning opportunity.

View rejection as a re-direction in your life and try not to dwell too long on the negativity.

It can be used as an opportunity for self-growth.

If you’re are finding it difficult to deal with rejection and it is increasing your anxiety, there is help available.

Your local doctor will be able to give you information about counsellors in your area.

Alternatively I offer a free consultation in both my practices in Letterkenny and Moville, I can be contacted via my Facebook page or calling 0864477867.

Take Care ~ Sarah.