Let’s face it: rejection sucks. Whether it’s in the form of a guy who doesn’t return your texts, a company that hires someone else, or a boss who skips you for a promotion, hearing “no” is hard. No matter how mature you try to be, it’s nearly impossible not to take it at least a little bit personally.
As a freelance writer, I have to deal with rejection a lot. It’s just part of the deal. It may be a “thanks, but no thanks” email from a website, or it may be simply not hearing back from a magazine I pitched. I can’t say that it gets easier every time, but I think I’ve learned how to handle it better. It still stings for a few minutes, but now I no longer let it totally ruin my day. Some tips I’ve picked up along the way:
- Hey, at least you put yourself out there: It sounds so cliche, but it’s true. At least you tried. Personally, I would rather hear no (or nothing at all) than have to deal with the “what if?” feelings. Wondering what might have been eats at you and doesn’t make you feel good about yourself or your career. If you’re facing rejection, at least you know that you tried and now you know. No more wondering.
- Understand that it’s not personal: Though it feels like they’re saying no to you as a person, realize that rejection (especially in business) is not personal. Maybe they have a similar story coming out. Maybe they’re hiring internally. Maybe the guy isn’t ready for a relationship. You just don’t know. You can’t get inside someone else’s mind. All you can do is realize that it’s not a reflection on you, your appeal, or your talents.
- Use it to get better: Analyzing your rejection can help to make sure that you don’t deal with it again in the future. If possible, try to figure out why the answer is no. Was your resume sloppy? Do you need to learn new skills? Take this into consideration and make some changes so that you can get a “yes” next time.
- Rejection shows your true character: How you handle rejection is a huge part of what people think of you. If you get turned down and respond in a rude way, that potential employer/client will make a mental note of that. However, if you’re gracious about it, they may call you when another job/project opens up in the future. Though it’s definitely not easy, dealing with the situation in a polite way may set you up for a “yes” in the future.
How do you deal with rejection in business or in relationships? Do you have any tricks that have made it easier?