Sometimes they actually say “no.”
Sometimes it’s said without actually being said.
Other times, we assume a reaction is rejection. Their response was not nearly as enthusiastic or as clear as we wanted it to be.
Our interpretations can really add fuel to the fire. If we get anything other than a clear yes, they may as well have said “no way, ever.”
Rejection in a romantic context can be a very tough, very complex experience. There are a lot of reasons for this, but like many challenging, complex experiences in life, there can be huge upsides on the other end.
A Peculiar State
Think of someone you’re really, really into. If it’s not accessible, try to remember someone you were absolutely drawn to on a palpable level.
If you touch on it, Notice the entire shift in physiology, inner dialogue and emotional content.
Even being interested in someone takes us to a more emotional, often more sensitive and vulnerable state of being.
Anything that happens here involving this person, good or bad, can feel amplified by 1,000.
Rejection is bad enough as it is, but can be particularly brutal here.
Proof of the Worst
In some cases, rejection can feel like a validation of anything negative we have come to believe about ourselves.
Have you ever used such a reaction from another person as an internal verification of:
- I’m not good looking enough
- I don’t know how to talk to people I’m interested in
- I’m not interesting enough
- I don’t have the right flirting, pick-up or other ‘skills’ (a conversation in and of itself)
- I’m too short, tall, skinny, large
On top of that, it can bring up:
- Every past rejection you’ve had, sometimes going as far back as early childhood
- Any negative feelings you hold towards men, women, people, whomever you are interested in.
Most of us have some degree of these beliefs or programs running in our lives. Rejection can bring these up in their most visceral, direct form.
While this can be totally rough, from an inner work standpoint, it can be a treasure trove of opportunities to release old suppressed material, grow stronger and more free.
As mentioned, there is a physical quality to being rejected. It can be a sinking feeling, a punch in the stomach, a sense of lightheadedness, and infinite other manifestations.
When this is active, I DO NOT recommend going into strategies we often do to minimize it.
Don’t go into thoughts and ideas like “there are plenty of fish in the sea,”
“It’s their loss,”
“Who needs them,”
“It will all happen in time…”
And as best you can, avoid distraction based activities, such as food, drink, entertainment, even work or exercise.
As counter-intuitive as it might feel, do your best to bring awareness, breath, and attention to your body to support what it is going through.
If it helps, imagine the “internal posture” is that of if you saw a friend, an animal or a child in clear emotional distress. The way you would softly approach them, let them feel your presence, perhaps ask what is wrong but not like a detective trying to solve a case. It’s a position of support.
Give your body the opportunity to process the experience here, which it knows how to do when we don’t run away from it unfolding.
If you need some support to do that, which is not uncommon, see if someone can be present with you and help you in staying with what you are feeling and moving it through.
Now is not the time for a chat with advice, but to help be present – whether it is just for you or perhaps each other.
I am not implying that this will instantly resolve everything, but it is an enormously powerful and necessary foundation that is often overlooked.
Our bodies need to process these experiences, not keep suppressing them and using psychological tricks to band-aid the wound.
What You Believe
After giving yourself whatever time and space is needed to help the cause on the physical level, it can be a great opportunity to expose what you are believing.
Ask yourself “beyond the pain of rejection, what am I believing about this that may be hurting right now?”
Examine and see what else may be there for you:
Anything time based?
I’ll NEVER find someone else… They will NEVER like me… this ALWAYS happens to me.
Anything fundamentally about you, externally?
Your looks, your energy, your speaking, your ‘skill,’ anything you believe to be fundamentally bad or wrong?
Anything about the other?
ALL women / men are like…
It is of great value to write these beliefs down. From there, you can work through many layers of material and find ever increasing freedom.
I always recommend starting with the visceral, physical reaction first and giving space to your body, even if only for a moment or two.
From there you can release, EFT tap, Inner Reconciliation, use Byron Katie’s The Work or whatever your tools of choice are. You can work with a facilitator like myself or find partners to help you in this process if you feel it is right for you.
Rejections can laser-beam in on past experiences that you have not fully processed.
If “old” stuff starts coming up, and I put it in quotes because it is coming up NOW, it’s an opportunity to work in a similar manner.
Again, do not judge it as “old.” If it has never been processed, in many cases, it may as well have happened yesterday as far as your body and nervous system are concerned.
From the rejection that inspires it to what it brings up, none of this is fun. It’s not necessarily easy and may require support, as it certainly did for me.
However, it has been one of the highest-yield areas to dig into, especially when fresh opportunities presented themselves.
Nothing brought these feelings to the surface quite like a rejection, and working through them has been tremendously liberating. It was central to the journey of frustrated, angry single to guy, to frustrated angry guy with some results, to happily single guy, to happily soon-to-be-married guy.
Here is an EFT video I recorded that may assist you in the process of working with romantic rejection. I hope it helps!