You could be the greatest, most lovable person in the world, yet there is a high probability that you would have experienced rejection in some form or another. It happens to everyone. You could say it's a universal experience.
There Are Many Different Types of Rejection
A few examples:
A handsome young man is interested in courting a beautiful young woman and asks her out on a date, yet she rejects his invitation.
A researcher's manuscript is rejected for publication after undergoing a rigorous peer review.
A model applies for an upcoming winter fashion show but is rejected for reasons unknown.
All people experience rejection and a bruised ego at some point in their lives. Sometimes it is easy to deal with, other times it causes deep and ongoing emotional problems. The damage that rejection can leave with a person can grow, if that person doesn't deal with it effectively.
That can be the real heart of the problem. The issue and its subsequent emotional backwash needs to be objectively and comparatively reviewed, to provide relevance. This will allow the person to let go and move on. Their need for inner emotional strength is vital to their psychological growth and realignment.
However, this can be much easier said than done. Achieving the above requires a reasonable amount of emotional maturity, which results usually from life experience, unless the person is fortunate enough to have had a very supportive and emotionally educational upbringing. Most people don't have that luxury. When a rejection experience occurs at a vulnerable time, the effects can be long-lasting and deep.
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Is Your Ego Hurt?
When we experience rejection, the aspect of the self that gets hurt initially is our ego. Our ego is hurt when we experience rejection because it strikes our personal worth or personal value. When our self-worth is bruised, it makes us vulnerable to self-doubt. We start scrutinizing what we perceive as being our shortcomings, our deficiencies, and we start developing insecurities.
Rejection rocks our boat hard because it destabilizes our sense of worth and confidence. When rejection bruises our ego, we become susceptible to the negativity that develops in our mind, and magnifies the event unreasonably.
Low Self-Esteem or High Self-Esteem and Rejection
Whether a person has low self-esteem or high self-esteem, will greatly affect how they respond to rejection.
People with high self-esteem have a healthy sense of self-care and self-respect. They may experience hurt when they are faced with rejection, however, they are able to view the reason for the rejection through a non-biased viewpoint.
The ability to do this allows them to focus on how they can improve themselves, and benefit from the experience. These are the people who welcome the lesson that accompanies any rejection, and their ego is not damaged (maybe just a little, but only for a while).
On the other hand, those with low self-esteem do not take well to any type of rejection. Instead of regarding the feedback or rejection as an opportunity for growth, they see it as a direct criticism and one which they feel they don't deserve.
Even if the rejection doesn't disempower them totally, failure to acknowledge the lesson of the rejection can still harm their ego. Their ego is impacted, and the effects are re-lived often.
Rejection is a negative experience, but what is more important to emotional health is the person's reaction to it. It can be negative if rejection is perceived as having been shut out of other people's preferences. Of course, this can bruise anyone's ego. If it doesn't, lucky you!