Few things can feel as crushing as being rejected by someone who you’re either dating or romantically interested in. No matter what stage of a relationship you’re at, no one enjoys finding out that the person they love doesn’t feel the same way. Knowing how to handle rejection in the best way possible is such an important skill because unfortunately, it’s a part of life.
Coping with the negative emotions associated with being rejected by someone is far from easy. That said, it is definitely doable if you can reframe the situation for yourself in a way that’s easier to accept. According to L.A.-based dating and couples therapist Dr. Gary Brown, the first step is letting go of the idea that you can change their mind about it. “One of the first things you can do to help you cope with rejection is to not fight the person who has rejected you,” Dr. Brown tells Elite Daily. “Instead of arguing, try to find a way to gracefully accept that it is over. Trying to change their mind is only likely to make your pain even worse than it already is and begging for them to stay or remain in the relationship is degrading.”
We can all probably think back on a situation where we were so unbelievably into someone and no matter what they would say or do, we’d find a justification that played into the narrative we were telling ourselves. However, Dr. Brown emphasizes the importance of realizing that carrying on a relationship that requires you to constantly chase after the other person isn’t conducive to a satisfying dynamic.
“Consider asking yourself the following: ‘Why would I want to be with this person — or anybody for that matter — that doesn’t want to be with me’,” says Dr. Brown. “In reality, it might help to realize that they may be doing you a favor because you deserve to be with someone who really wants to be with you.”
In the midst of an intense heartache, it may also be tempting to immediately deny to yourself that you’re hurt or even care about the rejection. After all, having our egos bruised is never a fun thing to admit, even if it’s just to ourselves. Dr. Brown advises against trying to squash your negative emotions. “Denying your pain is not going to help,” confirms Dr. Brown. “Repressing your pain is only going to prolong your heartache. Instead, it’s important to acknowledge your pain openly so that you can begin to grieve the loss of your loved one.”
If you’re still wondering how to keep yourself from sinking into a post-heartbreak rut, Dr. Brown recommends focusing on hobbies or anything positive that brings you joy. “Most who have been rejected find it very helpful to continue or resume activities that have always brought them pleasure,” explains Dr. Brown. “This can help you reestablish your independence and help you find some happiness in the midst of the pain.”
It’s also important to remember that no matter how terrible you’re feeling at any given moment, as annoying as it sounds, this too shall pass. It may take a while, or you might move on faster than you’d have thought — either way, the worst case scenario would have been wasting your valuable time on someone who doesn’t value you in the same way.