Rejection and Depression

Rejection and Depression
We all experience rejection at some point. Even the coolest of the cool are rejected, if they live long enough. Whether it’s being picked last for a team on the playground, or not getting a call from someone you thought you had a connection with-—it hurts! Being rejected damages our self-esteem, and that is difficult to overcome. And for those of us who suffer from depression, it can be devastating.

When we are rejected, especially when it happens multiple times, most of us tend to internalize it. Instead of thinking there must be something wrong with the person who rejected us, we automatically think there’s something wrong with us. The fact is that sometimes circumstances are the culprit, and there is nothing wrong with either party. Sometimes it all comes down to bad timing.

Unfortunately, in most cases, we never know the reasons we are rejected, so it’s easy to pick ourselves apart, doing even more damage to our fragile egos. We dwell on what happened because we think that maybe if we can figure it out, we can prevent it from happening again.

Okay, if it’s something as simple as realizing that spilling your Bloody Mary on his lap wasn’t a good move, you could probably avoid that. However, in most cases, even if you stress over it for ten years, you’ll never figure it out. You just have to accept the simple fact that it wasn’t meant to be. That doesn’t take away the pain, but it helps if you can stop feeling like it’s completely your fault.

If you are rejected repeatedly, especially with regard to dating, you need to evaluate the type of people who are rejecting you. Some people are very selfish and immature, and are incapable of being emotionally intimate or committing to a relationship. Is this really the kind of person you want to date or have as a friend? You deserve better than that, but if you don’t believe you do, they won’t believe it, either!

When evaluating whether or not a person is worthy of your time, first you have to be aware of the fact that you are worthy of love, affection and friendship. If that’s difficult for you to grasp, make a list of your positive attributes, from your great smile, to your awesome personality, to your generosity. When you value yourself, others are much more likely to see the value in you.

Be careful about the ones to whom you open up. Don’t trust anyone who hasn’t shown himself to be trustworthy. Don’t hand your heart to someone unless he’s shown you that he cares for you. And above all, don’t give up the goods until you’re certain that he is in it for more than a good time. (Forgetting that rule is sure to bring on the depression!)

As with other issues, it is very helpful to speak with a licensed therapist about your experiences with rejection, and your subsequent feelings. Sometimes hearing positive things about yourself from an unbiased professional is easier to believe than hearing them from someone who loves you. A therapist can also help you pinpoint ways that you might be putting yourself at risk of being rejected by your own actions.

I know it’s difficult. Trust me--I’ve been there. But look at it this way: If the arrogant guy you adored didn’t dump you, you’d never meet the wonderful man who will love and appreciate you. We should also remember that there is someone who can see the big picture, who is working for our good. Pray for guidance, strength and confidence, and trust that every rejection is a step on the path that is leading to acceptance, love and happiness, all of which you deserve.

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