How to Cope With Being Turned Down

Three Methods:Staying ConfidentFinding New DirectionsGetting Support

Being turned down can feel awful right after it happens. You may feel like you're not good enough or that there's no use in trying again. Rather than focusing on the negative, stay confident and positive. Everyone faces rejection at one time or another. The risk of being turned down for a job, a date, a school, or a competition is a healthy one. Focus on how this shows your strength and determination, rather than your faults.

Method 1
Staying Confident

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    Avoid overanalyzing the situation. The reasons for being turned down don't necessarily have to do with you exclusively. Rather than immediately picking apart all the things that you did wrong, take a step back. Sometimes you won't know all the details of why you were rejected. Focus on what you can do for the future. [1]
    • When a negative thought keeps popping back up in your head, recognize this. Redirect your thought to something productive and positive.
    • Avoid making assumptions that small personal details like the wrong handshake, the wrong word, or the wrong outfit can define what happened. While what you do matters, fixating on every detail will make you anxious and stressed.
  2. 2
    Be proud that you took a risk. In life, we all take risks in order to find work, love, and success. No one is immune to mistakes. The difference is what you do after being turned down. While in the moment you may feel like a failure, think about the strength you had to ask someone out, seek a competitive job, or get noticed for a talent. [2]
    • Being turned down is part of life's risk-taking. It shows that you're willing to push your limits and not afraid to go for it.
    • Putting yourself out there may mean that you'll be even stronger and more confident in the future.
  3. 3
    Keep things in perspective. Being turned down is not the end of the world, literally. It can feel in the moment that way, but this too will pass. While you may feel like others are judging you or noticing what happened, the most likely scenario is that no one really cares what happened except you.[3]
    • Being embarrassed is something that happens to everyone. While it feels bad in the moment, this feeling is temporary.
    • Focus on how you can control your negative thoughts. For example, if you're turned down for a date, focus on what that person is missing out and what you have to offer, rather than thinking you're no-good.
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    Accept yourself. Love yourself. While you are not perfect, no one else is either. See yourself as having worth and value. Surround yourself with people and things that bring you joy. [4]
    • Practice self-affirmation. Make a list of qualities that you like about yourself--both external and internal. Choose one quality to write about. Write a brief paragraph about one of your strengths and what you have to offer.
    • Say these words of affirmation to yourself, "I fully accept myself and know that I am worthy of great things in life" or "I choose to be proud of myself."

Method 2
Finding New Directions

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    Understand the circumstances for the rejection. While you may not get answers after being turned down for a date, getting clarification from places that have a lot of submissions may be useful. Reach out to the people involved in the hiring or selection process. See if they can provided insight. [5]
    • Reach out to others that may be applying or seeking the same thing as you. Understand the context of the rejection from their point of view.
    • For example, many writers may submit their works to publishers, journals, or writing competitions. Find ways to craft your work to the appropriate audience. Some places may be looking for certain ideas or points of view.
    • Sometimes we all want the same type of thing, but this means more competition. See if there are other places or people that may not have as much name recognition but fit better with your personality.
  2. 2
    Use this as a learning experience. Take an optimistic approach. Being turned down may help you to think about what to do differently in the future. Think of each trial and error in life as part of the journey to being a better and happier person.
    • Use this as a time to be wiser and stronger. After the initial shock, maybe you'll see that being turned down isn't has horrible as you imagined.
    • Think about your strengths and weaknesses equally. Avoid dwelling on the negative. Before the next opportunity arises, think about what you have learned and how to apply this knowledge.
  3. 3
    Keep trying. Avoid giving up and retreating. Be confident that you can continue to achieve what you want with perseverance and determination. Most people don't get what they want the first time they do something. Sometimes getting what you want takes practice.[6]
    • Being turned down is just one moment in time. Keeping going as one moment does not define you and your worth.
    • Being more confident afterwards may help you in the future. That person or place that turned you down may see you again, and see that you are resilient and strong in the face of rejection.

Method 3
Getting Support

  1. 1
    Give yourself permission to feel down. It's okay to acknowledge what you're feeling. Don't feel like you have to ignore or deny your feelings of sadness or pain. By dealing with these difficult emotions head-on, you'll have greater confidence to move forward. When you suppress or deny what you're feeling, you may be letting those feelings linger longer than you realize.[7]
    • Allow yourself to feel for a few hours or a few days, depending on the circumstances.
    • Do things that help you let out what you're feeling inside. Cry. Hug someone. Talk with a friend. Write in a journal.
    • Opening up is important. Just make sure to avoid dwelling on these emotions for weeks or months. This is your time to release these feelings, not let them take over you.
  2. 2
    Get advice from others. Find support through friends, family, co-workers, mentors, and other people you trust. They may have experience the same thing that you're going through. Use their wisdom to help you think more objectively about the situation.
    • Find someone you trust, and talk with them one-on-one about what you're feeling and what you've experienced. Listen to what they say and think carefully about what they have done to move forward.
    • If your feelings of self-doubt, depression, or anxiety persist for weeks or months, consider talking with a counselor who can help you with your self-esteem. When you're experienced a set-back in life, counselors and therapists are trained to help you cope with this time.
  3. 3
    Do activities that help you relax. Redirect your time and energy away from negative thoughts or feelings of doubt. Give yourself time to rest and relax after being turned down. Take time for yourself and do things that make you happy.
    • Get active. Exercise. Take a walk. Go to the gym. Join a fitness class.
    • Spend more time with friends or family. Connect with your support system.
    • Be creative. Let out your emotions through art or music. Write. Draw. Paint. Play music. Build something.
    • Relax your body. Take a hot shower. Stretch. Do yoga. Take deep breaths. Get good sleep.

Article Info

Categories: Handling Rejection