The many layers of rejection

It’s funny (not really) when I consider how deeply rejection affects me on a daily basis.

I know one thing:

I will never get used to rejection.

Now you may think that the type of rejection I’m referring to is relationship related. And certainly, that is a big part of the rejection equation. Haven’t we all dealt with this sort of rejection, either in the past, maybe even now? Relationships are complicated under the best circumstances, but now with COVID it’s even more so.

But there are other forms of rejection that happen regularly that aren’t relationship related. Think jobs, competitive sports teams, creative endeavors (like entering art or writing contests), that sort of thing. And of course the writing industry is a prime example of rejection in itself. (What doesn’t break you makes you stronger…)

There is one other aspect that I’m learning is going to be a continuous element I hadn’t considered until recently: kids.

I don’t know what it is with teenagers, but they are no longer interested in hanging with mom. (Not surprising, really, and completely normal.)

But still, sometimes it hurts, you know?

Take yesterday.

Every evening for the better part of last week I went for a bike ride. My son has a great bike, and he likes riding it. We used to go, me and the kids, semi-regularly, and my daughter still likes to join me some of the times now, but my son hasn’t accepted my invitation pretty much since lock-down started.

I know, I know, he’s a 15yo boy…

I get it, but I still feel sad. I don’t like rejections…

Then there’s the tech side of rejection.

The other day, I noticed that a friend in a chat app disappeared. When I tried to send a message to see what’s up, the entire profile was gone. The name, the number, everything.

I had no idea what happened but made assumptions that were, as I found out later, incorrect.

Making assumptions is detrimental to one’s mental health. It is crucial that we keep a level head and base our decisions on facts. It’s the assumptions that lead to actions that may end up causing more grief and confusion which really doesn’t help someone’s state of mind during these volatile times. Especially because tech has become such an important part in our lives. More so than it was before.

Which brings me back to rejection. When something happens via tech, we make assumptions and take it personally. Say if a number disappears, or someone blocks you and you don’t understand why (which I haven’t experienced myself but a good friend of mine has and it almost broke her).

I have come to realize that dealing with rejection on the tech level adds a whole new layer to rejection.

I realize that people who do online dating go through a whole slew of other issues, including ghosting and other newly-coined tech-related terms.

My personal experience with online rejection has to do with the writing industry, and although I have received many rejections, most of them have included a supportive note explaining why it wasn’t suitable for their publication at that time.

I’m trying to get used to rejection, all across the many layers, but it’s hard.

Tell me, how do you deal with all the constant rejection all around you? Does it get easier? Share your experiences, and tips. I really would love to know more.



33 thoughts on “The many layers of rejection

  1. In the dating world, you have to see rejection as a ‘next please!’ otherwise it’s tough, especially in the long term. I have that mantra at my desk actually – no = next! Another one, probably irrelevant but strangely interlinked, is ‘start from what’s strong, not what’s wrong’. It’s about parenting, but it could be seen as a wider piece of advice ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I first started blogging, I took every โ€œunsubscribeโ€ hard. I had very few followers and mostly friends, so each one was like a stab to the heart. They still bother me but not quite as much.
    Personal rejections hurt for a long time, even after Iโ€™ve moved on. I want to understand them but sometimes you just have to accept that youโ€™ll never understand why someone rejected you. Or you do and that hurts too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unsubscribe is actually one thing I don’t take personally. It can get quite out of control, the amount of reading that could happen with too many subscribions…so many interesting bloggers telling fascinating stories! But, that takes time. And then there’s life to live.

      I regularly unfollow people. It is not personal because I still go read them when I see their icon pop up either on my own blog or someone else’s.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. This may sound corny, but I always viewed my rejections as opportunities. Like you write, a lot of times agents and editors added free advice to their rejections; I was able to learn from this and improve my writing. Also, rejection slips are kind of a badge of honorโ€”physical (although I suppose they’re mostly electronic nowadays) proof that you are following your dreams.

    As for online dating, oh boy. I have stories to tell (and have, on my old blog).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rejection hurts no matter where it comes from. I have gotten many writing rejections, some for stories that my critique partners who have agents and several published books have thought were definitely ready. Some personal rejections too since Iโ€™m back on the dating scene, but those arenโ€™t too big a deal. Interestingly, I find it hard to be the one rejecting another person.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think personal rejections have a tendency to hurt us deeper pending the nature of the relationship (long term, familial etc). Professional rejection hurts as much but we process it differently, I think. Sometimes innovation is born out of a professional rejection.

      All we can do is put one foot in front of the other… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you for stopping by Laura, always nice to hear from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think rejections are a part of life. You go to interviews, sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t, the same with friends. Sometimes I have gone so far out of my way for a possible friends that I have just learned to hold back my expectations. Sometimes don’t expect a thank you, even from family or love and just continue. Many rejections for writing and a few yes’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, you’re right. I certainly have plenty of rejections under my belt. I wonder why recently I’m less equipped to handle them? I feel very fragile and vulnerable these days…so much going on. It makes me want to stop putting myself into a position of possible rejections, but that means stop living a normal life which is also not really a good option.

      I just have to get on with it, redirect, and focus on other, more important things, than myself.

      Thank you for your contribution, as always! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m terribly afraid of rejection, even on things I know I have the right to, such as complaining about buying a spoiled product, or asking someone to get to the back of the line. I fully understand how you feel. I guess it’s something we need to constantly work on!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think Rivergirl has it right. Just keep plugging away on all fronts. I know that doesn’t really help when you open up yet another rejection. A sense of humor helps (my husband used to tell me I could always become a plumber if ever I really thought the writing thing wasn’t working out). But I spent a ton of years trying not to make them define me. Yes, don’t waste any more time than is needed to stop stamping your foot. keep going out to show them what the hell they’re missing without you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Step 1: “Get a sense of humour.” ๐Ÿ™‚ (Or maybe get my sense of humour BACK.) ๐Ÿ˜›

      Step 2: “Show them what the hell they’re missing without you.” Such amazing advice! Thank you. I may use this line in an upcoming post. โค

      Thank you for reading and commenting!


  8. I think age helps. These types of rejections used to bring me to tears, but now… at 56? I think my skin has gotten thicker. Being a writer is a lot like being a model or actor, 1,000 rejections for every acceptance. You have to slough them off and move on if you want to survive. Tech rejections? Donโ€™t waste your time trying to figure those out. As for your teenagers, be proud theyโ€™re asserting themselves and finding their own way. You raised them well, trust in that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thicker skin compared to, say, age 26 me? Definitely. But I also have become a different person over the years, especially the last few…

      I don’t know if I’m spending too much time alone these days (even while around others) that has me get all weird about the sometimes trivial rejections…

      Well, blogging helps. And so does socializing with you and others who take time to chat with me here. So thank you for reading and commenting. I’ll work on this thicker skin thing a bit harder…

      Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s partly how you characterize it. What you see as rejection from the kids, and acknowledge as normal, is really the path to a more independent you. It’s not permanent. It’s a sign that you’ve done well with them. Sigh.
    Other forms of rejection aren’t personal–like the bland missives from publishers. It’s not the you of you they’re rejecting. It’s particular piece of writing, that might not suit their needs at this time. After all, they’re in this to make money–on their terms not yours.
    At some point, you may face real rejection, from someone important to you. And it may be “your fault.” I’ve been there several times. Understand that I take the “fault” part with a grain of salt. Because those relationships are much like the publishers–though we don’t acknowledge it. We have relationships that meet our needs–and when they stop meeting those needs…they fall apart.
    I once lost a friend, a ‘good’ friend, after a car accident. I was disabled for a while–a few years, during which I could no longer drive and had limited use of my arms. And the friendship dissolved! It turned out that I wasn’t “just” a driver, but I was a reliable ride that also did projects with her. When those things went away–those “things in common”–so did the rest of the relationship. I was devastated, but it was for the best. And it prepared me for a number of adult choices down the road.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You must be much stronger than me. It sounds like you have been through some gritty stuff…wow.

      I appreciate you sharing your stories and perspectives. I have had some trouble with friends too, some similar situations, but not quite as dire. I find myself alone a lot these days, even while surrounded by people, feeling like I don’t quite belong. I have become more introspective and analytical as I age, and haven’t quite figured out if this is a good thing. Makes me withdraw, which increases the isolation, and then I get all frantic because too much isolation is not a good thing…terrible circle to be in. But I’m aware, and that’s the first step. (Also, can this covid thing be over yet so I can get out and about? Ugh.)

      There are other things going on, things I haven’t divulged on the big bad social internet, but your comment is, as always, helpful and thoughtful. Rejection has been both real and perceived recently and that hasn’t helped my mental health.

      Thank you very much for reading and especially commenting.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In the long run, friendships that are merely transactional can run their course. The hard lesson is how many friendships are transactional. That isolation part…it’s a great starting place if you want to write.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Stay the course. Your “teen age” kids will come back to you later, as an adult, and you will be amazed at how much you have influenced them (and how much their friends did’t). My relationship with my daughter is okay (she is 36), but my relationship with my son is tight. Although I can still parent him at 38, he is also a best friend.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are not the first father of adult kids to have told me this recently. Perhaps I should finally trust that this is, in fact, so, and get on with it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your kind comment and the little glimpse into what is still to come.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think its a continuous process. Same here, sometimes am okay but at times I do get upset.
        It happens with everyone , I guess.
        Infact im a libra too ๐Ÿ˜Š

        All the best, take care.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Rejections are tough. For me definitely, it has got easier in the sense, that I try to be at peace, once I put all my efforts. Expecting too much, ofcourse doesn’t help. Once you are rejected, its so important not to take it personally. Its just a particular event in your life, which was not in your accordance. Trying again with different perspective and more efforts may help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes,when I have too high expectations. We can’t control how others react to us, no matter what. I’m learning how to be at peace, and it’s sometimes hit and miss. Not doing a good job of it these days…so yes, your tip to use a different perspective is helpful. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you so much for your comment! And thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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