A few days ago, I posted on my twitter timeline, this article, from psychology today by Dr. Melanie Greenberg, on how mindfulness makes people more tolerant of rejection. In this post, I am going to discuss the process of becoming emotionally resilient to rejection through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Through CBT principles, you can learn to accept rejection with ease.
Mindfulness in Summary
Firstly, I am going to discuss briefly how mindfulness works. Mindfulness is the process of becoming mindful of your thoughts and feelings. The primary function of anyone practicing mindfulness is to choose not to be reactive to self observed thoughts and feelings.
Unhealthy VS Healthy Thoughts
While mindfulness is not something I specialize in, I do appreciate its effectiveness and subsequent benefits. This being written, mindfulness is not the only method towards becoming emotionally resilient in response to rejection. A method that I specialize in, with helping clients who struggle with social anxiety is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is a process where you learn to recognize how unhealthy thoughts negatively influence your life. It is also a process on how to make the distinction between unhealthy and healthy thoughts.
For example, asking someone out, who expresses disinterest in going out with you can trigger either a healthy or unhealthy thought. An unhealthy thought would register the rejection as a bad thing, while the healthy thought would register the rejection as a good thing. If I were working with a client who was experiencing negative feelings, such as embarrassment or shame from the unhealthy thought, I would explore in-depth with him the origins and reasoning of his thinking.
How CBT Helps with Rejection
More than likely, such an exploration would reveal an illogical hidden belief, which might state something to the effect that men don’t get rejected. Or that getting rejected by a woman is a terrible thing. I would then introduce him to the radical idea that rejection is a good thing. Upon further inquiry, I would explain that if someone rejects you, it means that a relationship between you both was doomed from the get-go, and potentially volatile in duration. In my experience, the client would utter something like, “that makes sense.” Healthy beliefs make more sense than unhealthy beliefs because they are always based on truth.
This is how people who struggle with social anxiety, use CBT to become more resilient to rejection. By focusing on the truth of the matter. Any belief that leads you to become upset with being rejected, is a belief based on falsehood.
Being at Peace with Rejection
This applies to other facets of daily living, including job seeking and applications to various institutions. It may be a dream job you have fantasied about for a long time, or program you deeply desire to be a part of. However, if any of these communities reject you, it is a good thing. A good thing, because it means the place was not for you.
When people find themselves more at peace with rejection, they instinctively start focusing on people, places and things that are a good fit for them.
Ugo Uche is a psychotherapist and expert in anxiety and related disorders in Tucson Arizona. If you would like to learn more, you are welcome to call and book your first appointment or fill out my contact form and click Send.
Ugo also provides Online therapy for those who cannot travel to his office.