Rejections feel awful.
It doesn’t matter if it’s something small, like not hearing back from a potential romantic match on Tinder, or large, like being passed over for an important job. What makes rejection so upsetting, so intolerable, is the possibility that it indicates something really, really wrong with us – our skills and abilities, or our worthiness and lovability.
After a rejection, I want to feel better but sometimes recoil at well-meaning expressions of sympathy. Certain situations are painful because it hurts to admit how badly we wanted something, and even small slights can be upsetting if they shake our sense of self-worth or confidence. Rejections are made worse by the fact that we rarely discuss or publicize them, heightening the sense that they are shameful and dark. The failures themselves feel awful; the only thing more embarrassing is sharing them with others. (read more…)