Whether we're brushed off by a friend or snubbed by a complete stranger, everyone deals with criticism and rejection. Although nobody likes being rejected, we can learn to better handle life's disappointments and roll with the punches, says Carlin Flora, an associate editor at Psychology Today magazine. Jean talks to Carlin about ways to get over your fear of rejection and live life with just a little more confidence, and a lot less worrying.
Here are Carlin's tips for dealing with rejection:
Stop asking for reassurance. If you're constantly asking people for feedback, Carlin says you probably won't trust or believe what people tell you anyway. "Then, when someone does compliment you, you don't quite buy it," she says.
Tell yourself, "It's not about me." If your boss doesn’t say hello or a friend doesn’t e-mail you back, Carlin says you should assume that they're busy rather than upset with you. "Give people the benefit of the doubt," she says.
Learn to live with shades of gray. Don’t think that people aren't accepting you just because they don't love every single thing about you, Carlin says. "It's not an overall rejection—it's just natural that they should have some mixed feelings about you," she says.
Ask your manager for feedback prior to a review. Carlin says the workplace is an appropriate place to occasionally ask for feedback so you can gauge your performance and prevent yourself from getting caught off guard during a review.
Avoid ruminating. Worrying about something for hours on end is completely useless, Carlin says. Distract yourself with another activity, such as a movie or gardening. When you're calmer, Carlin says you'll be able to think rationally about a concrete solution.
Published on August 08, 2007