3 Ways to Handle Rejection

with your husband...

There are probably more than 3 ways to handle rejection. I’m hoping you’ll add some in the comments today if you’d like to encourage some of our ladies here to keep trying!

You know what rejection looks like. It can be anything from “Not now,” when pursued, to “No I’m not,” when a compliment is given. “Can I offer a different thought?” results in, “Not interested.”

“Coincidentally,” I couldn’t land on what Dare 10 was bubbling up in me – and then I realized this concept of rejection ties in directly. And it followed me around all last week. I had a number of “A-Ha!” moments.

Dare 10 is the antidote to creating even more rejection feelings for our husband, for sure. 

But after you’ve done the dare (Respect 101), shall we take things up a notch?

Let’s do that thing where we first take a different perspective, okay? Think of the last time someone paid you a compliment, and instead of saying, “Thank you!” and/or giving the glory to God, you said something like, “Oh, that’s not really true about me,” or “This old thing? Nah,” or, “Anyone could do that,” etc.

You rejected a positive statement about yourself.

So here’s a thought – refusing to receive a compliment (rejecting it) is basically refusing to receive God’s love for you.

Unless you believe God makes junk and you’re living proof.

What is underneath all of that?

Unworthiness.

And a lack of understanding how precious we are to God, and should be to each other.

Did you know that less receptivity of love often equals a lower tolerance for pain?

We have all been in that place where someone’s splinter pales in comparison to our half-severed arm, but for them, if they’ve not been who they are in the Now they are in, or maybe never had a splinter, or maybe their pain tolerance is much lower than ours, they DO hurt as much as we do. Or “more” whatever that means.

The issue of “blame” and “responsibility” comes into play here.

Let’s say you leave your phone in my van. I forget to lock the van. Someone steals your phone. It’s blame if I say it’s your own fault by leaving it in the van in the first place. It’s blame if you say it’s my fault because I should have locked the van.

I need to own that I didn’t lock the van. You own that you shouldn’t have left your phone. Who is responsible for it getting stolen? Both of us, because we both contributed. The right thing to do would be to share the expense of a new phone.

IF I had a habit of locking the van and this was the first time I didn’t, and your expectation was that your phone was safe because of my habit, then it would be MORE mine to own, and I would be more responsible than you for the phone being stolen. The right thing to do at that point would be for me to buy you a new phone.

Here’s another example:

Let’s say you and I have a discussion where both of us don’t feel heard, both of us get our feelings hurt.

I need to own my behavior, and apologize for hurting you. The truth is that simultaneously,

  1. what I said was part of you getting your feelings hurt, as that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t said what I did, and
  2. I didn’t directly cause your pain, nor did I intend to hurt you, so I don’t own your feelings – I only own my behavior.  Even if I think what I did wouldn’t hurt someone else, or you misunderstood, I still said words that were part of you getting hurt.

You would do the same in this situation for being a part of hurting me.

However, neither of us is responsible for hurting the other person’s feelings. You didn’t “make me feel” frustrated/hurt/etc., because you aren’t controlling my thoughts. Nor do you have any control over my maturity level.  I could have listened better and waited to share my side, or given you the benefit of the doubt, etc., but I didn’t. I didn’t “make you feel” anything either.

Make sense?

I still need to own my behavior that hurt you, but you own your response because only you are responsible for your maturity and your thoughts are in your head.

The way we feel is a measure of our maturity level. As we mature, we are hurt by less and can give benefit of the doubt more. If I have a lot of maturity, when one of my kids says something mean, I don’t get hurt by it. Same with another adult – everyone has different levels of maturity in different areas. Our woundings from childhood impact our level of maturity, by the way.

IMPORTANT:

When I make a mistake, I also need to have compassion for myself – even when apologizing for how I hurt someone, I need to give myself the same compassion I give the other person instead of blaming them or me for what happened.

Here’s why: If there’s no condemnation in Christ Jesus, and HE doesn’t judge me, then it is wrong of me to judge myself (blame myself) or judge someone else (blame them)  because He doesn’t judge them either. Instead, I need to ask Him to let His compassion be larger than my hurt, and for compassion to replace the sin of judgment and blame.

What He did on the cross for you and me, He did for all. MOST of the time, there’s no reason to blame others, unless we are solving a repeating problem and trying to keep it from happening again.  And even then, it’s not really blame, it’s just talking about what happened.

The only One Who gets to judge is God, and that is at the end. That’s why we leave revenge up to Him, and why we refuse blame and shame for others and ourselves and instead dish compassion.

REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT:

When someone else blames us, we do NOT have to receive that blame!!!!  We will be tempted to, based on our levels of woundings, maturity, and compassion for ourselves.  We give power to other people by owning things someone gives us. “You made me so mad that I broke my flower vase” or “You make me so (insert anything)” are statements of people trying to not own what’s theirs to own and have us take all the blame because they think it’s all our fault.

Here’s an example if we were talking and I started to feel sad because I thought you weren’t listening (whether you were or weren’t isn’t relevant because I have no way of knowing, but I am feeling sad so I can blame or own):

Potential true statement: I don’t feel listened to. I need to ask a question to help me not feel sad.

NOT a true statement: You make me sad when you don’t listen to me.

With this example, you may or may not be listening to me – I need to own my feelings. J You can own your behavior – if it’s even true that you weren’t listening – which is something I don’t even know!

If we give the benefit of the doubt and assume most people are doing the best they can (even if they knowingly make a wrong choice, that’s usually the best they can do in that moment) we open the door to deeper connection and compassion for ourselves and others.

This ties into rejection because it’s all about giving and receiving love. It’s been my observation that to the extent we can receive love, we can give that level of compassion to others and ourselves.

To the extent we reject, we are not giving compassion to ourselves or others.

So what can we learn from this?

Here’s my suggested 3 ways to handle rejection:

  1. Know it is usually not about you – so don’t own someone else’s rejection of your affection – they usually don’t understand God’s gift of grace and compassion (they feel unworthy)
  2. The more you understand God’s compassion for you, the more you’ll have compassion for yourself and others
  3. The more compassion you have for others, the less you will feel rejected

See how that works? Pretty cool, eh?

So what about you? What have you done that has helped you deal with rejection in your key relationships?

Say, if you feel led to help other women find this kind of freedom (or find it yourself first and then share it with others!!) come to our Titus 2 Leadership Boot Camp in September. We take you through an experience that grows your skills and helps you connect with God, yourself, and others in a long-lasting, life-changing way.

It’s not like anything you’ve ever been through before. Also, tuition covers room and board – and many churches pay for their leaders to attend. Here’s the link if you want more info.

Can’t wait to hear from you today! 🙂

Love to you,

Nina

titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

3 thoughts on “3 Ways to Handle Rejection

  1. This is an excellent article. I would add one way to handle rejection “in that moment” while we are still growing, learning and maturing is, if we cannot think of the right way to respond, would be to not respond, go and take it to our Father in Heaven and pray and ask God to reveal to us and to them what it is he wants us to know about that particular situation.
    I want to also add that if you have teenagers like I do, this article is an excellent discussion topic.
    Love in Christ….

  2. What has helped me the most is knowing that people can’t give what they don’t have. So, for example, if I do something loving and expect love in return but feel rejected, I have to remember that the person can’t give away love that they don’t have. That fact helps me not to take it personally and to pray for that person more.

    • I agree. I have also experienced that this is easier to do when it is a friend, coworker or family member. It is harder to do when it is my spouse because that is a relationship that was sealed with vows. Just my thoughts……..

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