Student Life

The art of being single: Rejection

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

Student Life

Let’s talk about sex

Rejection is a bitch, you don’t have to be

Rejection hurts, for everyone.

That moment when the proposal is met with a shake of the head, a roll of the eye, or a drink in the face, and the cold reality/ sticky drink sets in. You didn’t get what you wanted.

Whether the admittance letter you were hoping for; that friend you wanted to see who just couldn’t find the time; that job you wanted but didn’t get; that person you wanted to date—or sleep with—not being interested.

Your ego is put to the test when receiving such dejecting news, but remember that your defining moment is when you control your feelings and ensure that your bruised pride does not get the best of you.

The most important part, and biggest show of character, is how you deal with it.

I’ve been both the rejector and the rejected, and let me tell you it can get ugly on both ends of the spectrum.

Picture a guy in a bar or a nightclub: he walks up to a girl, chats her up, buys her a couple of drinks. He assumes there is chemistry here and that she will come home with him for sexy times.

Alas, no, the girl thanks him for the drinks and makes it clear she is not interested. He tries a little bit longer and eventually is dissuaded.

He goes back to his friends and laughs about what a bitch or tease—whatever derogatory term you want to use—she is because she does not want to sleep with him. These mini dramas play out as if spectator sports all over the city, and on the Internet, with rejections from those undeserving of said slanders, and bitter reactions from the rejected.

Now let’s look at the flip side of the coin. What if a guy were to reject a girl?

Hurrah for our society where women may be sexually forward and still perceived as feminine and desirable, but a 100 per cent success rate is still inexistant and rejections can easily range from, “no thank you,” to, “no. K thanks bai.”

When out with my fellows, sometimes proposed sexual encounters don’t lead to delight, as my anaconda sometimes just don’t want none. However, exercising my personal freedom of choice can lead to insults not only on my gender, but directly on my person too.

I have personally been told that I am “not the man for the situation” for not being interested in a woman. I have also been told that I am a “submissive male,” which is what my aloofness and lack of interest were confused with.

Ultimately, rejection can have ugly consequences. Everyone has their moments of being hurt, but it really comes down to the what Kenny Rogers said in his song “The Gambler”: “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Knowing how to fold gracefully—without sinking to childish insults—is a surefire way to not only walk away with your head held high, but to also exit the situation with more maturity than an 18-year-old first-time clubber.

Keep face when feeling the cold burn of rejection, and try to remember through the haze of dollar-tequila shots that your stinging ego does not entitle you to insult those who have turned you down. Similarly your own pain is in no way a justification to cause harm with those that have rejected you, ever.

Turn, walk away, and let it go. As your parents said since before you could walk, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

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