How To Get Over Being Rejected
The world becomes a gray, colorless wasteland, your fingers tremble and your thoughts play a brutal and self-destructive game of emotional ping-pong. Welcome to the land of the dumped, where feeling overrides reason and trauma threatens to jeopardize what little you have left.
This article is a personal insight into crawling out of the hole that rejection often injects into a dumpee’s life. I often find that the simplest solutions are best because they enable us to effectively draw a contour around our pain and draw upon our anchor to sanity — a realistic dose of objectivity. Rather than employ marketable quick-fixes (there’s no end to the amount of e-books that claim to offer one-size-fits-all solutions), such as emotional blackmail or flat our denial, I have attempted to craft a genuinely healthy list of chronological steps that helped me to make sense out of chaos and finally find peace.
Separating Love And Rejection
Trauma can lead us to think, feel and act in ways which are not natural. For instance, it is all too common for those who are unceremoniously dumped to introspectively glorify the dumper and at the same time suffer from critically low self-esteem. Most breakups are preceded by an unhappy (not only for the dumper) downwards spiral, despite this, our innate childhood fear of rejection can lead us to twisted conclusions such as our ex being one-of-a-kind or irreplaceable. I often try and use simple analogies to show how this illusion can be shattered.
What if I told you that your ex was now living in seclusion in a remote monastery somewhere in the mountains, rather that — say — seeing a new crush (and you knew I was telling the truth)? Would it make the breakup a little less painful? Of course it would! Love, in this case, has very little to do with it. If it truly was love, in it’s purest form, as 99% of dumpee’s initially profess to feel, then there would be no difference in pain because it would be the separation that hurt, and not the motivation. Again, if it was love, you would prefer them to seek greener pastures if it meant they were happier that way.
Most of the pain comes from dealing with rejection, the vast majority of which is chemical and not rational. The brain is programmed to seek and establish existential safe-zones. When a relationship dies, so does our brain’s safety net. Now, because our conscious mind is smarter than the primordial some of our parts, we know that a breakup has occurred, but our brain doesn’t. While we instinctively know it would be beneficial to move on, our brain wants it’s safe-zone back and it wants it now — and it certainly won’t give in without a fight. This is why panic and trauma prompt us to shred our dignity in a post-breakup scenario. The import thing is to not blame yourself entirely for your actions and to have faith that as you move on — whether you want to or not — your brain will establish a new safe zone, and the trauma will slowly end. Have faith that a passive form of healing (time) is working and weather the storm!
Keep An Eye On Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is the single most critical value in a post-breakup world. Without it, a vicious cycle of self-pity and denial will add further pain and injury to the healing process on top of rejection. One proven way to stabilize our flat-lining self-esteem is to meet small objectives on a constant basis. Getting in shape is a perfect way to enhance our value, meet small weekly objectives and placate our chemical and emotional malaise. Other examples could include:
- Doing charity work.
- Improving your impoverished (and if you were struggling with a co-dependent relationship non-existent) social network.
- Giving your career a bit of an upwards nudge.
- Reconciling with friends and family
Once you realize that most of your dented self-worth is an illusion, and that by putting yourself first once more you are making permanently positive changes in your life (nobody can break these up or take them from you) it is only a matter of time before you wonder how on earth you could have done without them in the first place.
Make Yourself Tick Once Again
Step three is always the most fun. I usually criticize commercially available advice because in my opinion they usually urge readers to attempt this first. Personally, unless we have a handle on objectivity and our self-esteem, it usually ends up being an exercise in futility that will ultimately lead the dumpee to fall back down the rabbit hole (I.E rebound relationships and dating too quickly). It can take time to detox to the point where you truly begin to understand the value of putting yourself first again.
Once you feel strong enough (usually around the point where being alone in the house isn’t uncomfortable any more) it is time to construct an entirely new safe zone with you dancing smack-bang in the middle of it. This is where action overshadows all the rational groundwork you’ve accomplished thus far. In short, have fun and indulge in the new privileges you have!
- Nobody’s judging you (in fact, because you’ve broken up people will put up with a lot more than they usually would — take advantage of this!).
- Become, do and say whatever you wish.
- Be on the lookout for something bigger and better than your ex (it will happen — it always happens).
- You no longer have to put up with anything you disapprove of.
- You have no expectations to meet and nothing beyond your own desires to haggle with.