There are a ton of bad bitches on the internet who give great advice about processing romantic rejection and focusing on being THAT BITCH. I find wisdom in their mindsets and it helps me to cope whenever I find that rejection feels so deeply personal to me. I enjoy the humor in it and their callous disregard and disinterest in men provides the kind of “tough love” example that I need to snap me out of my emotional intensity.
However, even after absorbing myself in their blogs, YouTube videos, books and other content, I usually come to the same conclusion in the end: I’m not going to dial back my intensity; I’m just going to become more selective about access. As I learn more about myself I am also examining the things I like about me that I don’t want to change–my sensitivity is one of those things. I don’t want to become tougher and change my mindset on how I love and open up to others but instead I wish to become more protective of my own emotions. For me, a major part of this journey is to learn healthy ways to process rejection in a way that doesn’t make me believe that there is something wrong with ME.
If you are like me, perhaps hyper sensitive, introspective and reluctant to trust others with your emotions in the first place, I have written this for you. It can be difficult to deal with negative feelings or the realization that just because you have taken a giant romantic leap with your heart it does not mean the situation will turn out the way you wanted it to. In this day and age there is pressure to be so bad a bitch that these things don’t effect you but I wanted to write this for sensitive women to let them know that it’s ok to be disappointed and hurt and let down. Its ok to feel your emotions and it doesn’t mean you are giving the rejector any power over you, it just means you are willing to give yourself the power to FEEL your feelings (which personally, makes me more excited/prepared to date and/or face unexpected rejection in the future).
I should also mention that as a performer it is in my best interests to learn how to experience and heal from rejection because it is not always guaranteed that when I perform or audition for shows that I will be well received. This is a toughness I need to build within for so many reasons!
Below are a few tips that help me:
Dealing with Romantic Rejection
1. Severing ties with the person who has rejected me. In this day and age we like our ambiguous relationships and to stay on each other’s radar via social media. If it’s a trigger for you and leaves you jealous and pining or stalking: don’t do it. It doesn’t matter how it looks to the other person if you need to unfollow UNFOLLOW.
2. Processing the pain and shame of the situation as soon as possible. I try to take time to name the reasons why I feel so rejected and to also pinpoint other intense feelings that may have been triggered from the situation. I allow myself a timeline of how long I can dwell, commiserate with friends, journal then wrap it up and start to move on. My timeline is typically based on what I feel is reasonable depending on how meaningful the person was to me and I am ok to extend my “mourning period” if necessary because as I always say: self-compassion is a thing. (I just also have to be mindful of when I am dwelling in hurt feelings for too long!)
3. Acknowledgement that closure is a personal journey and that adult relationships are complicated. Sometimes we don’t get straight answers especially when we incorporate God and timing/seasons,etc. It’s not up to the other person to explain much to me or to provide closure. It’s up to me to accept the new reality and to nurse my ego back to health.
4. Remembering Madonna’s quote: “Power is being told you are not loved and not being destroyed by it.”
I was very moved by this quote years ago and never knew why but the older I get the more it resonates with me. In spite of having two children and a robust network of creative acquaintances I lead a pretty solitary life and I’m very picky about those I let into my world. Once I let someone in I’ve done so because I believe they can handle what it is to get to know the real me–if I am then rejected by someone who has seen who I truly am it sometimes hurts a million times more to me. It helps me to remember that not everyone who sees me will love or understand me, and my power is to not allow other’s acceptance or rejection of me to hold so much weight over my life.
I adore bad bitches on the internet with their “fuck that nigga!” advice, but I take it all with a grain of salt because the softness is missing for me. In my mind it is perfectly ok to allow myself to feel and mourn the end of a connection. It’s ok for me to be human and process negative feelings without villainizing men (or whoever has hurt or rejected me).
Healing lies in the willingness to be open and upfront with myself about my emotions even if it makes me appear weak.
Journaling tip: think of ways you can apply these tools to help you handle all types of rejection. Do you have your own tips and tricks to help you to process disappointment and rejection?