I don’t suspect anybody really cherishes being rejected.
At some point, though, we all have to accept that it’s a part of life and learn how to cope with that ish like real men. We’ve gotta sack up and such. I personally have always been awful at handling rejection, but as I’ve grown more accustomed to experiencing it,* I’ve improved the way I react and proceed with my life accordingly.
Gentlemen, some rejection coping mechanisms:
- Do something to better yourself. You’re going to be down anytime you’re rejected. The best way to get back up is to do something that’s going to make you feel good about yourself. I can’t understate how important confidence is in most facets of life, and there’s nothing like rejection to motivate you. If you were rejected by a girl, go get your hair did, buy a baller new blazer, or hit the gym super hard. If you don’t get the job you want, revamp your resume, or pick up a little freelance project that’s going to make it more difficult for the next person to pass on you. I think it was Frank Sinatra who said the best revenge is massive success. If you keep self-improving, someday you’ll be able to reject the woman and turn down the job when you’re drowning in a sea of better options.
- Consider why you’ve been rejected, and learn from it. Spend less time moping about rejection and more time analyzing the reasons it may have happened. There is always a reason. It’s often not one you would consider a good reason, but hey—that’s the way it goes. If you can pinpoint what you were doing wrong, and are able to admit to yourself that it was wrong and something you can and want to change, you’ll be the better for it.
- Look at your situation objectively. When you’re looking at things from your point of view, it’s fantastically easy to get butt-hurt when another human rejects you. But a lot of the time it’s more than justified. For example: I recently went on a date with a girl, and afterward she declined my invitation for a second one by telling me to text her and then not answering when I did. At first I was pissin’ vinegar over the whole thing, but then I considered the facts that she was extremely hot and probably has many options; I had done nothing during the date I would consider special that would really separate me from other dudes who know how to hold a conversation with a stranger. Plus if you’ve only gone on one date with a person, cutting communication with them is the easiest, least-awkward way to get the message across that you don’t want to go out again.
- Be realistic. Harper’s is probably not going to publish your piece titled “13 Reasons Your Best Friend Should Be a Vampire.” So when they reject what you’ve sent them by ignoring your email, don’t get mad, and don’t whine about how it probably went into their spam folder because you’re not Lena Dunham. (The real reason it went to the spam folder is because “vampire” was in your subject line, probably.) Send that thing to Thought Catalog instead.
- Move on to the next one…immediately. The more you put yourself out there, the better your chances of rejection. That’s fine. The more you’re rejected, the better you become at taking it (as long as you don’t let it completely break you emotionally and psychologically). And the more you put yourself out there, the better your chances of landing the job or the girl or whatever you’re pursuing.
*When you’re a freelance writer like I am, your pitches and stories are often rejected. And when you’re a single dude in the nation’s largest dating pool like I am, you are shot down often. 🙁 face.