When it comes to dealing with rejection, I will say I am one of those that should have the capacity to deal adequately with the subject because from the womb to adult age, I encountered rejections and won. I don’t want to offend those who stood for me, and family members that showed immense love to me, therefore, I will not be going into details, the roles my parents played in my life, as they weren’t too positive to read. But the truth remains that when I write my autobiography, I will not shield any of them from the hammers because the world need to hear and learn from my painful experiences. In a previous book I wrote, I only gave a hint of my childhood and how it has come to shape my life, but if I hadn’t looked at the sunny side of life, I would have ended up in picayune, or probably in crime. I am grateful to God for the positive mentoring I got from my maternal grandmother – her words and advice shaped my life, and that life is what I constantly express in my writing. I have been to hell and back due to rejection, and I can tell you that the fire without the flame burns more than the fiery furnace. But in spite of all these, I won. I defeated loneliness and hurts. I defeated hate and bitterness. And to prove it, I spent my money to give a befitting burial to a father that never spent a penny on me, even if he had the money. I surprised people when I did it – they couldn’t understand my reasons – they felt I should be upset and tell his corpse to go to hell, but I didn’t. I did it to say to rejection, I am bigger than you. I did it to show that a man can compete with angels. I did it as a testimonial, reflecting man is god, or there’s God in man. My foes, for their greed and out of envy, thought I honoured my dad because of the numerous assets he had, but what is my life compared to assets? How many assets can pay for the pains I went through as a child? As a little kid, I used to be mocked by friends for not knowing my father. Or tell me, how many assets will pay for my twin brother that died in the course of our struggles? May God shut the mouths of the fools!
I will give you the tips that helped me deal with rejections, so that you too can follow the same pattern and overcome the situation. You can deal with rejections of various types – whether it’s rejection from families, relationship, workplace, or anyone – using the same principles, you can pull through.
1. Find Out the Reason
You must find out why you’re being rejected, because that is one step to overcoming it. Find out if it’s your fault, and if it is, deal with it. – if it’s not, don’t kill yourself about it. In my own case, I wasn’t responsible for anything that happened – I was a victim. My mum wasn’t responsible either – she was in love with a man, and being in love isn’t a crime. And should I blame my mother for refusing to abort me from the womb at my father’s request? Of course, NO! The three of us were victims – my mum, twin brother and I. So, if you are the victim, stop blaming yourself.
2. Be Honest with the Reason
When I became sensible as a child and understood my story, I was willing to go through life with it unhurt. I was honest about the vacuum that has been created and knew that it might be hard for it to be filled up. I was mocked by even some family members from my mum’s side. I remember one of my uncles calling us bastard children – I never let all of that pinch me because I knew it was a road I was born to walk, and I also knew it was meant to teach me some lessons in life, and part of that lesson is what I am sharing with you. I was honest with the reason for my situation.
3. Address any Personal Issues that need Attention
I made a decision never to reject myself. I made a decision to move on with life in spite of the confrontations ahead of me. I was quick to look inward, and always looked inward to address any loneliness or pain experienced. I knew if I could deal with personal issues, I would be able to go through the toughness of my predicament a better person, and that was exactly what happened.
Address your personal issues – don’t let you beat you – don’t let you defeat you. Rejection always hands a rope over to you to hang yourself, and unfortunately, some people fall for it. Don’t be a prey to the hangman. Don’t let your inner feelings sell you cheap. Be strong within.
4. Don’t let Yourself Down
People who resort to crime due to rejection, let themselves down. Those who become violent because they’ve been rejected score own goals. Ashley Tisdale said, ‘Don’t let anyone, or any rejection, keep you from what you want.’ If you want something, go for it. You must not let yourself down by standing still. By standing still, you aren’t impressing anyone – you’re only disappointing yourself. In life, you’re either a hero or a zero. If you let yourself down, you’ll be a zero, but if you big up, you’ll be a hero. Common on, big up!
5. Hold NO Grudge
If you want to shoot yourself in the foot and impede your movement towards your destiny, bear grudge against those who reject you. I remember some years ago when I was eager to change job – I was teaching and wanted to move to something else. There was a job advert in Pfizer, and I wanted to go for the medical representative position. The Human Resources Manager was the husband of one of my colleagues. I didn’t want nepotism, but I just wanted to be put forward for the recruitment test. Ordinarily, if I hadn’t known the woman, I knew I would be shortlisted, but I made a mistake by letting her know. For reasons I don’t know, the husband refused shortlisting me. I wept, and spoke to my mentor who was a senior manager in TotalFina, since both of them were classmates in the business school, and it happened to be the same business school I was attending. He spoke to him about giving me a chance, and out of compulsion, he did. In spite of that, he was prejudiced against me, which meant, my performance was irrelevant. I knew I wouldn’t get the job even if I used the brain of a computer, but I was determined to emerge amongst the best in the recruitment test, just to prove a point. I did the test, and scored the top mark. During the interview, the man said nothing – his assistant was given the responsibility to berate me. No matter how much I tried to spin the answer to a question, he kept bullying me – he continued calling me a theoretical man – I will never forget that language. When I came out, I needed not to be told that the job wasn’t mine. I wept like a baby because I was desperate for it. I knew my female colleague misrepresented me before her husband. I even went to beg her together with a few other people, but she sprang with wings like an eagle – begging her was my biggest mistake. I felt a lot of bitterness in my heart, but later made a decision never to hold grudges. I stuck to that decision. She was surprised I didn’t , and I was rewarded for not. I later got a job that paid two and a half times better than the Pfizer job, and from there, my life moved on. Today, the theoretical man has made at least, a little contribution to humanity. Talk about my books, articles, video and audio podcasts. Talk about the people I have influenced through my motivational speeches. I can go on and on. I may not have money, but I can impressively say that I am a person making impacts, and when the roll is called up yonder, I can stand to say I changed a life for good. Hold no grudges against anyone for rejecting you – get up, dry your tears and move on!
6. Don’t Believe in their Negatives
Usually, those that reject you have some negativities about you, even if a number of them may not personally know you. Sometimes, based on certain prejudices, they isolate and classify you – don’t believe their classifications. When I moved to London, Hackney Borough, mainly occupied by black people was considered a low class area, maybe, simply because of the dominant race in that community. In my opinion, I didn’t see any difference between the borough and others in London. Today, you will pay through your nose to get an accommodation in Hackney. Same thing happened in Stratford – the presence of the Olympic village and the hosting of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the presence of Westfield Shopping Centre turned it into a city. Today, it is called Stratford City. Listen, the negatives of today, can become positive, tomorrow. So, don’t believe the negatives of those who reject you.
7. Don’t Try to Impress
Let me be honest with you – there’s nothing you can do to impress those who deliberately reject you. So, don’t fool yourself by trying to make them happy because they won’t be. You look stupid when you try to impress people who don’t like you. If you’re in a relationship where you give everything and the other person isn’t ready to give anything, find your way out – if you don’t, you’re dumb. Don’t force yourself on anyone who does not like you, or anyone who rejects you.
8. Strive to be a Better Person
Never let anyone meet you where they left you. I will go a bit religious – when Jesus Christ died, the disciples, especially some two three women kept going everyday to perfume his body. On the third day, when they came, they didn’t meet him in the grave – they thought they would keep meeting him where he was buried, but they were wrong. Rejection can be a sort of burial – don’t let anyone meet you where they left you – strive to do better than their expectation of you. Develop beyond the point of rejection. Grow beyond the point of rejection. Advance beyond the point of rejection. Aspire to be the better you.
9. Give Them Space
Like I mentioned earlier, never force yourself on anyone – give them space. If people don’t want you, don’t go begging to be wanted or to be accepted. There are times when you should walk away from people who reject you – don’t go begging for friendship or relationship – sometimes, keep your distance. I see people crying because some persons don’t want them, or sometimes, in spite of the knowledge that someone is deliberately refusing to court them, or that someone distaste them, they keep getting closer and getting more embarrassed. That’s nonsense! Don’t beg for love – love should come naturally. Back off and give them space. You’ll be more appreciated and respected when you give them space. And if you do the things suggested above, one day, they’ll come looking for you, and then, you may have moved on.
10. Don’t Be Depressed
Some of the problems that escalate depression is rejection. I took this from the Telegraph -“Back in 2015, researchers at Michigan University asked a group of depressed people and a group of non-depressed people to view the photos and profiles of hundreds of other adults in an online dating scenario. Participants indicated those they were interested in. Then, whilst their brains were being scanned, they were told who liked them in return and who didn’t.
The scientists observed that upon learning of their rejection, the brains of those who suffered from depression released less of the chemicals that are produced to relieve pain and stress. Rather than feeling ‘numb’ at the snub, they experienced the full the sting of rejection more sharply, and found the pain less easy to deal with.
In the happier event of learning that the person they liked reciprocated the feeling, both depressed and non-depressed individuals reported feeling happy and accepted. No surprise there. However, the researchers noticed that the upturn in mood was much more fleeting among those who were classed as depressed.”
Don’t be depressed because someone rejected you, and if you’re already depressed, don’t worsen your situation with rejection. Don’t be at war with yourself.
11. See the Big Picture
Big pictures always get you out of messes. Big pictures always make you see life from different perspectives. Big pictures make you have a better mindset. When people look down on you, instead of looking down on yourself, look at the big picture. What makes you see beyond where you are, and get reassured that the future will be better than today is the big picture. Big pictures will help you deal with rejection.
12. Change Direction
You may be rejected because you’re in the wrong direction. Listen; that job may not be for you – no matter how you force your way through, you’re going to be rejected, so, change direction. That business may not be for you – no matter how you invest in it, you may not succeed, so change direction. That relationship may not be for you – no matter how you force your way through, it’s not going to work, so change direction. If you’re not meant to be there, you’re not meant to be there, and do not force yourself to be there!