We have all been there. It canbegin when you are a child, and nobody picks you for their team. That would beme in grade school. At least with theschool teams they let everyone be on the team (that doesn’t mean you played,however). I was on the basketball team(official bench warmer I think). I also played baseball in the summer. Right field. Who really hits a ball to right field? It was the safest place to putme, if they had to play me. Mybrother-in-law even called me aimless, and continued to call me that for anumber of years, after attempting to play catch with me in the front yard. I am a hopeless athlete. Apparently my aim hasn’t improved. Thisweekend at the theater one of the actors was tossing something into thegarbage from the makeup chair. By theway, this is the same garbage can I had been tossing into from where I stood.
Actor: Think I can make it?
Actor: Well, the bar isn’t settoo high. You miss most the time.
I guess I will never be a great basketball star *sigh*.
I think high school rejection is the worst, usually by way of aboy. He doesn’t like you and you are inlove. Or, you are in love, dating, and he breaks up. You aren’t picked for the musical, didn’tmake the sports team, not on the homecoming court, didn’t make cheerleading, or invited into that oh, so popular group. There are so many ways to be rejected in highschool it is heartbreaking.
By college, you have gained maturity, found friends with likeinterests, moving on with this first taste of freedom. Stupid mistakes are made along with way, buthey, you are in college and entitled. Iactually think those college years are probably the best for being rejectionfree. Well, I am sure there wererejections, but I don’t think it happens as often and some confidence has builtso you can deal with it a little better. At least, I don’t remember a lot ofrejection as I found my place.
All too soon you graduate and rejection starts all over again whilelooking for that job. Or, finding thatjob and being let go.
What if you are an artist (author, painter, actress, etc.)? If you are,you are constantly setting yourself up for rejection. Everyone who is anyone (and even if theyaren’t anyone) will have an opinion with regard to your story, work of art, orperformance. And each time somethingnegative is said it is a knife to your heart. If youare an author, you have been rejected. If you have not, then you have notbothered to submit your manuscript to an agent, publisher or contest. If you have done these things and have notbeen rejected – congratulations, you are in a minority.
So, what does one do when one is rejected? I will tell you. When the rejection comes, whether it is froma break up, losing a job, not getting picked for a team or in a letter from yourdream agent, take a day and do the following. Though most of these ideas comefrom an author’s point of view (my critique partners to be exact), I think theycan all be revised and adapted to fit any scenario. So, this is how to spend the day when youhave been rejected:
Write a letter to the person(s) who rejected you and explain why theymade a poor choice. You should do this on paper or in a wordprocessing program and not in an e-mail, so you don’t accidentally send it. Never, ever send it. This is about making youfeel better, not burning bridges.
Read negative reviews of the books you love. It proves you are not alone.
Turn off the computer and go play with your child or pet or spend timewith people you love and who love you back.
Next, go shopping. Buy stuff foryourself or for others. Buy stuff you don’t need. Be frivolous for a moment and get somethingthat makes you feel good.
Have a good work out, let all the stress and tension go.
Pour a glass of wine and go soak in a hot tub, then have a good cry.
Grab some chocolates on your way to bed, refill your wine glass andcuddle up with your hubby. And, enjoy wherever that leads.
So ends the perfect day of a rejection. Just be sure to wake up tomorrow feeling invigorated and knowing that nomatter what that person said or did, you don’t deserve to be rejected and theperfect place or person for you is right around the corner.
How do you deal with rejection?