After my last rant, I remembered an email a reader had sent me previously about rejection. He basically asked how I handled rejection.
Learning to handle rejection can be a hard lesson in life. I struggled with it a lot as a young man. Not to say I’m immune to it now, because I’m not. Rejection is part of life. There are still times when it stings. You cannot get thru this world w/o facing rejection in some form or fashion. It is how you handle the rejection that defines your character and growth as a man (or woman).
The hardest and often longest struggle is overcoming your own insecurities. This is often a lifetime goal that will probably never go away. It may get better but it’s always there. We all have insecurities. Yes, read it again. We all have insecurities. And we are often hardest on ourselves. I can’t give you any specific answer here. You first have to be objective enough to recognize said insecurities first. Then, and only then can you begin to work on them. But to realize everyone has them goes a long way to help you feel less alone about it.
What you should avoid is going down a path of ‘what’s wrong with me?‘ should you be rejected. Rejection doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you, it just means there isn’t a match. No one is everyone’s type and vice-versa. In regards to sex or romantic interest, attraction is a two-way street and if it isn’t both ways then rejection is bound to happen. Of course, it stings, especially when it is someone you are really attracted to. But that in no way diminishes who and what you are. I can speak from experience. I used to internalize it something awful. I’d get down on myself assuming I wasn’t handsome enough, hung enough, buff enough, masculine enough, the list goes on and on. The reality often had nothing with what I was projecting.
Case and point, I used to have the hots for this tall older buff guy when I was living in Colorado. In my eyes, he had it all. He was handsome, hung, articulate, and buff. I’d follow him around like a puppy when I saw him at certain “haunts.” He was never rude or mean to me but he made it plain that he wasn’t interested. I was so dejected. To say I beat myself up over it would be an understatement. At it’s worst, my mood would get so bad when I ran into him I’d often leave.
Be it pity or just kindness, he sort of reached out and befriended me. After we became friends I quickly discovered he had a penchant for young, smooth, pretty blond boys. I mean this was pretty much his only attraction range. There was nothing wrong with me, I was simply not his type. As time progressed, I discovered the same insecurities in him that I had. If he got rejected by a point of interest, he would go into a funk no less severe than my own. It was quite an eye-opening experience and was one of the first times I started looking beyond my insecurities to the bigger picture. He also let me know that he did in fact befriend me because I never pushed it too far. He knew I liked him but because I never tried to force myself on him, he appreciated it.
While not every situation will be this cut and dry, that isn’t the point. The point is that you can’t be everyone’s type. And just because someone declines interest doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you.1 And just because you see someone as being ‘the it’, that doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with the very same issues.
- And frankly any person who would try to indicate it is your fault, isn’t someone you wanna know anyway. [↩]