How to deal with rejection effectively

Category: Better Endings | Author: Elly Prior | First published: 24-09-2010 | Modified: 03-12-2017

Knowing how to deal with rejection and what to do about it will help you to cope and recover more quickly. Rejection happens to us in so many ways and I'm here to help you handle it in love relationships, because it hurts like a physical pain.

If any of this happened to you (uuuuhm... I can almost guarantee you've had a deal with at least a couple of those - as I have too) I imagine you're feeling hurt, disappointed, perhaps angry and maybe even a failure. These are all normal feelings under the circumstances!

Whatever it is that brought you here, you'll find new ways of looking at the situation and specific strategies to help you feel better. Stick with me, I'm going to help you cope with that rejection.

Follow any of the links to my other pages, but do come back here for any of the following reasons for being so painfully shunned:

... and so on.

If you've been rejected in love, I suspect that "disappointment" doesn't describe your feelings. You're devastated! Rejection of any kind though can be very painful indeed.

Constantly feeling rejected or dismissed out of the blue?

That rejection could have come completely out of the blue or you were prepared for it.

Perhaps you have known for some time that your relationship hasn't been right. Deep down you may have been expecting a major fall-out.

Perhaps you’ve been puzzled by the way your partner has changed.  Maybe you thought that he or she was just having a bit of a rough time, or perhaps you suspected an affair.

If you've been getting the cold shoulder all of a sudden or for a while, I can understand if you're desperate to talk it through with someone you can trust. There's nothing more reassuring than some trustworthy advice on how to deal with the situation.

I've got your back. You can now very easily connect with an online licensed relationship expert (please note: this is a paid service).

Your article played the role of an Angel. Thanks a lot :"


The utter pain of rejection

I cannot explain it any better than Prof Helen Fisher in this TED talk:

Suffered a sudden rejection?

Your feelings are part of your very personal response to either bad news or feeling let down by someone important to you.

To explain that - someone else in your position might have brushed it off, felt even worse or couldn't have cared less.

Your reaction will to some degree depend on your specific circumstances of course, including your relationship history. The way in which you found out that you are no longer wanted or loved will also have a bearing.

However, the following ‘normal’ reactions - all on a scale - are what I would generally expect to see in anyone who has just been given really bad news:

  • during the first few minutes you may have felt unable to speak
  • you may have felt shaky
  • your breathing might have changed and perhaps you felt dizzy or faint
  • you might have felt rooted to the ground
  • equally you might have wanted to run away
  • you may have been conscious of how much faster and harder your heart was beating
  • you may still feel sick now
  • you might find it hard to eat anything
  • you're likely to find that your abilities to sleep, concentrate, remember and think are all affected
  • you may feel anxious about all sorts of things

Most of these symptoms are likely to slowly disappear in the following days, possibly replaced by a sense of gloom, sadness and lack of interest in anything. 

After a couple of weeks you should begin to see some light again. Very slowly the periods that you feel a little better will become more frequent and last longer.

After 4 - 6 weeks you’ll be getting on with things again, and feeling you are beginning to recover. 'Good' days may still be intermingled with really lousy days, but you can expect to be on the right track.

On the whole men recover more quickly than women. Men’s memory doesn’t naturally hold onto emotionally laden material. However, I have seen this reversed many a time in my counselling practice.

Dealing with rejection and insecurity

As human beings we have a strong need to feel secure.  But after you’ve been rejected your sense of security is threatened, you may feel abandoned, scared and / or hopeless. 

It’s no wonder that these feelings can so often lead to insecurity. You may be wondering when the next 'blow' with bad news and painful emotions will come and from which direction.

It's important that you don’t start to worry about feeling 'fragile' as well - under the circumstances it's normal to feel vulnerable. And that sense of impending doom will eventually disappear.

Criticism and rejection are very much part of life - everyone gets criticised and rejected!

But..., just in case it has happened once too often, you may want to have a look at my relationship test. It can help you to judge whether or not it is time to leave or what you can do to improve it.

How rejection fuels insecurity

I don't want anyone who doesn't want me. Oprah Winfrey

If you have felt badly led down in previous relationships - however old you were and for whatever reason - rejection now may fuel your feeling that you are ‘not worthy’ of having someone special.

It may also be that you have felt rejected over a period of time - perhaps in the bedroom, or by your partner generally treating you with contempt.

If that sense of worthlessness does not pass, please promise me that you'll find some professional help.  Counselling can really help you to 'find yourself' again and learn to deal with getting the 'cold shoulder'.

If counselling is not an option for you - for whatever reason - I can think of no better way than online self-hypnosis to help you regain your sense of self. You can learn how to (re)build your self-esteem via my page Hypnosis Online FAQ.

Alternatively, the most practical and thorough way to recover is with my own specially developed 5-Step practical course to getting over someone you love.

Feeling rejected because of your partner's infidelity?

If your partner / spouse is having or has had an affair, it is understandable that you worry about what might be wrong with you. Perhaps you have become acutely aware of your perceived 'shortcomings'. Trust me, I really get that.

Each and every one of my clients in your position, who came to me to find out how to deal with rejection, has gone through the same turmoil.

However, right now I want you to stop focusing on your ‘faults’ by knowing that:

  • You are unlikely to find the real reason your partner has cheated
  • he or she may not even be entirely sure themselves and may just give you ‘half-reasons’
  • when you’re feeling down, you’ll have a very negative bias towards yourself – not the best time to review your attributes or characteristics!
  • being very emotional 'locks' your attention on all the negativity which is also not very helpful to yourself
  • you are likely to 'misuse' your imagination by going over all the things you might have done wrong and how much better, more attractive and desirable the other woman / man must be.
  • I have seen men and women reject the most beautiful / thoughtful / fantastic partners

If you want to start doing all you can to help repair your relationship or marriage straight away, then 'Save My Marriage/Relationship' will help you do just that. Lee Baucom, PhD is an expert in sorting relationships out... even if your partner doesn't appear to want to put the effort in.

If you feel pushed away, second best or 'replaced' because your partner is having an affair or has actually left you for someone else then you need another plan of action. Read my page on  The Magic of Making Up!

How to handle rejection - dealing with your feelings

Get over the initial shock first. See yourself through the initial couple of weeks as best you can – ideally with the help of friends and family, and by treating yourself kindly.

When you are over the initial shock the following suggestions may help...

10 Tips to help you deal with being brushed-off

  1. Learn to divert your attention away from negative thoughts, remind yourself of what you do have and enjoy, however small
  2. Postpone your 'processing' of what happened to particular times in the day and set a time-limit. Give yourself permission and time – 20 minutes or so – to mull over what has happened
  3. Begin to re-engage with all the things you used to enjoy, even if it feels like an effort
  4. Do not isolate yourself for too long, even if that was helpful initially - when you are feeling so lost and rejected, you ideally need to have familiar and supportive people around you
  5. Don't ask for antidepressants - your feelings are normal! (see useful links below)
  6. Accept that you are grieving – which is very normal after a significant loss. No antidepressants needed for that!
  7. Speed up healing with the help of the hypnosis download: Dealing with rejection or Unrequited love. See my article: Online Hypnosis FAQ
  8. Be in touch with nature - go for walks, sit with your back against a tree, make an effort to notice flowers, wild-life, lay on the grass or the beach, sit on a rock, notice 'weeds' grow in most unlikely places even in the middle of town. I promise you it'll sooth you.
  9. Write 'never-to-be-sent' letters (forget about capitals, spelling and grammar - just write!)
  10. Get help. Connect with a Better Help therapist (click the link to go to my page on online counselling.

You now need to make a plan to help you look to the future and move forward. Write down in your diary what you are going to do differently for every day of the week.

Also important is that you invest in re-affirming all that is positive in your relationship and build on that. My Advanced Communication Kit for Couples will help you achieve just that.

Effective self-help methods for dealing with rejection in love


Jeanette had told Mark that she was thinking of leaving him. She didn't mean it, she just wanted him to change 'his ways'.

It was a manipulative attempt at getting him to take notice of her and her complaints. I totally understood how she had got to that, but her method wasn't helpful.

Completely unexpectedly Mark then told her that he had been secretly planning to leave her.

And that was the end of their relationship. Well... that was until they decided to go for couple counselling.

It can be terribly hurtful to feel rejected in a love relationship, or by someone you would have wanted to have, or had, a relationship with.

  • If you have plucked up the courage to ask someone out and have been rejected, or if you are besotted and hopelessly in love but can't have that person, then download "Unrequited Love" via this page
  • If you are in a committed (long-term) relationship or are married and feel rejected, than the download "Mend Your Broken Heart" on the same page to help you recover.
  • If your partner is rejecting your sexual advances - read my article on sexual relationship problems

These hypnosis downloads will help to soothe the hurt in the shortest possible time.

How to handle rejection and build your self-esteem

I'd like to give you some strategies for rebuilding your self-esteem too. This is how you can begin that process…

  • engage in activities – mental or physical – that help you to feel a sense of achievement
  • make a list of the things you want to achieve
  • include small, medium and large goals – allow your mind to run freely to come up with ideas
  • make a start immediately with some of the smaller ones - the sense of achievement will propel you forward feeling much more positive
Feeling rejected? Have a group hug.Reach out and hug, and allow yourself to be hugged.

An opportunity? Really?

Don't forget, it may actually be a blessing that you were let down, thrown out, cast by the wayside or replaced! Perhaps, if you looked deep into your heart, you knew you were in the wrong relationship or that you had 'lost yourself', however much you loved that person.

And finally...

You now know a little more about how to deal with rejection. All the advice on this page advice is designed to help you to decide what your next step should be. Take that first step by making a plan - with a list of actions, each with a date and time. Then you can let your journey begin!

Remember: much unhappiness is not caused by what happens to you in life but how you react to and deal with what happens to you.

Take control and take action today to overcome your distress. You won't only survive, you'll thrive! I'm rooting for you.

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Where to Get the Best Relationship Advice
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How to 'Make' Your Partner Fall in Love with You again
How to Get over Someone
How to Fix Your Relationship
Problems in Your Physical Relationship?

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Elly Prior

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It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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