How do you deal with being around people you’ve rejected? Better yet, how do you deal with being around people who’ve rejected you?
Were you rejected by someone that you asked out from your class and then had to spend the next 10 weeks in a group project with them? Did you turn down someone that you see on a regular basis, such as at your local coffee shop or the gym? Did you become close with someone, shoot your shot, were rejected then remained friends? How about the contrary situation where you become friends with someone, very clearly have chemistry with them, shoot your shot, get rejected then never speak again? Well, if any or all of these scenarios have happened to you and you’re trying to navigate being rejected or rejecting someone, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you are the rejected or the rejecter, I think the same can be said for people in either position. The first thing to try to tackle is understanding the external circumstances, i.e. the possible previous relationship you had with this person or the routine you had developed with or around them. Do you absolutely have to be around this person again? Do either of you make it awkward when you—if you—interact? Is there bitterness on either end about things not working out as hoped? Truly, at the end of it all, does any of it matter?
The second thing to consider is the internal circumstance, i.e. how mature you are. This might be calling some people out but, hey ho, someone has to: if you cannot deal with being rejected or rejecting someone that you have to be around after the fact, get your head out of your ass and be mature about it.
If you are the one being rejected, don’t take it too personally—unless they’re bashing your entire existence, in which case, kick their ass—and don’t let it affect your day-to-day life. If you’re not mature enough to do so, I also have this to say: don’t make your feelings other people’s problems. Own up to your actions and emotions and don’t take it out on the other person for being honest with you. If you’re the one doing the rejecting and the other person makes you feel like shit for it, don’t. Rejection is a natural part of socialization and you shouldn’t feel bad for being honest.
Graphic by Loreanna Lastoria