Taming The Pains Of Rejection

What is Rejection? 

Rejection is еxсluѕiоn frоm a group, infоrmаtiоn, аррrоvаl, аffесtiоn оr еmоtiоnаl intimасу. If this exclusion iѕ dеlibеrаtе, our brаin intеrрrеtѕ it as rejection. Pѕусhоlоgiѕtѕ саll thiѕ Sосiаl Rejection. 

Iѕ rеjесtiоn раinful? I knоw I dоn’t need tо аѕk уоu – wе all know it does. And we also know nobody has ever succeeded in life or in love without suffering rejection at some points, so it is not something that can be willed or prayed away. It is absolutely natural to feel bad when the outcome veered wildly off our expectations. 

For instance, you went for an interview, the desired outcome is to get the job after impressing the interviewers and being able to negotiate a good pay, but you were not given the job. You were rejected. Your partner left you for another person - even when there is no other person in the picture, it wouldn’t make it any less painful. In fact, the knowledge that your partner is desperate enough to leave you when they are not seeing someone else will sting more!

Rejection hits at our core; our ego. We have an image of who we are, our capacity and the range of our prowess. Everyone will most likely think they are good enough for whatever outcome they seek, so anything or anyone coming with something contrary to that perception of self will not be accepted. In fact, our default setting usually is to reject the rejection. And people do this in various ways; from the mild and understandable to the unbelievably bizarre.

An instance of Pains of Rejection Left Untamed

The unbelievably bizarre side of coping with the pain of rejection played out in Okitipupa Ondo State recently when one Deji Adenuga, coming on the throes of acute pain of rejection – he was dumped by his ex-girlfriend Titi Sanumi, set fire to her house while her family were inside sleeping inside! The plan was to exterminate the entire family and he succeeded, save the lady who was out of town at the time of the incident. That was a pain of rejection left to run loose, unfettered and maniacal. That is how deadly the pain of rejection can become if not managed properly.

He destroyed a whole family and destroyed himself in the process. He has now become a fugitive of law as a result of his inability to rein in the toxic emotion.

What He Should Have Done

1.    Right from the inception of the relationship, he should have preempted that it could go both ways – north or south. He should have particularly considered the possibility of the relationship going south. Of course, that would be hidden in the recess of his heart not to be let out to anyone. It would have served as a form of buffer or insurance seeing how volatile he tends to be in cases of rejection. It will sting all the same but not as badly.

2.    Acknowledge and accept the lady’s right to not want the relationship any more. The lady accepted to be in the relationship as a matter of choice and can also choose to discontinue it. It is not a slavery contract. As painful as it is, he should have simply accepted and move on. 

3.    Silent the demonic inner voice. The voice in his head prompted him to: take a jerry can and go get fuel, take it all the way to his ex’s house in the middle of the night, break into the house through the window, douse the house with petrol and set the fire on! He didn’t at any point shut the evil voice off and allow calm and reason to come in, but went the whole hog thereby destroying an entire household and destroying himself. When we are faced with a very hurtful situation, the voice we should never heed come to us instigating us to do stuff we would deeply regret in retrospect, the good news is; we can talk back at it and say NO!

4.    Engage in activities that will distract him from the pain. The tendency is to stay glued to a spot and mope or stew in a rage all day, but he could fight it and break free. There are some sanity restoring activities that we should be deliberate about. Those things that can destroy us if left unrestrained are deliberate in their destructiveness so we should be aggressively deliberate in tackling them too. It could be to read a great book, visit friends or family, talk to people you trust etc. The point is; anything that will help in unbottling the negative emotion, do it.

5.    Meditation. It is very effective in unbundling the mind of toxicity. You can refocus the mind on a positive train of thoughts thereby achieving a mentally clear emotional calm and stable state.

In conclusion, rejection is usually not a sign that something is wrong with you; it is instead a clear sign that they are wrong for you!


I soothe with my pen. Or keyboard. Or both.

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