Dealing With Rejection

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

Getting rejected can be hard. It can make you sad, hurt, surprised, or angry. In general, getting rejected rarely feels good. So how do people deal with it? This factsheet is to share some tools and strategies to help you prepare for, cope with, and recover from rejection.

Why does rejection hurt sometimes?

Rejection hurts. It often feels personal, like we weren’t good enough for someone or something, and that can lead us to lots of other negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves. And sometimes that emotional pain can feel similar in our bodies to physical pain (e.g., feeling your heart drop, getting a headache or feeling woozy, noticing a rising “fight or flight” sensation, etc.).

Before Rejection

One way to take the sting out of rejection is to be ready for it. This doesn’t mean that you should stop caring about things or stop taking risks. Instead, it means thinking about why you want things and experiences, what it means when you can’t have them, and recognizing where you may need supports to help you feel less alone if and when rejection happens. Here are some things to consider:

· Recognizing rejection in your life.

· Learn from taking risks.

· Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.

· Talk to other people about getting rejected.

During Rejection

Rejection can happen in lots of ways: in person, online, by phone/text, etc. Sometimes it’s a surprise, and sometimes you know it’s coming. It can be hard to know exactly how you’ll react, but here are some things to consider on how to deal with being rejected:

· Take time to cool off.

· Allow yourself to feel all the emotions you feel.

· Surround yourself with supportive people.

· Or take time to be alone.

· Take care of yourself.

· Build your self-esteem.

· Talk to professionals.

After Rejection

Accepting rejection can be difficult, even after the initial hurt has passed. Here are some things to think about when working on accepting rejection:

· Healing takes time.

· Taking it personally.

· Reflecting on the experience.

· Keep taking risks.

Other Resources

Here are some services where you can connect with someone about dealing with rejection:

Good2talk: 1-886-925-5454 |

(for post-secondary students)

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 |

(for youth age 20 and under)

LGBT Youth Line: 1-800-268-9688 |

(for LGBT+ youth ages 26 and under)

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