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Curing an Addiction to Rejection

Updated: Jan 11, 2022 I go again. Transparent, self-reflective, and unfiltered...

I turned 65 this year. (I'm a former C-level executive, current entrepreneur, mother, nana, mentor, and thought leader).

But I'm still a work-in-progress.

When I heard about this month's theme (Resilience) and the guest speaker (who's talking about how to "Go for No"), I started thinking about my own reactions to rejection.

Whether it's a harsh comment from a client, criticism from one of my team members or daughters, or even a "smile and good morning" to a neighbor on the elevator that isn't reciprocated, I still feel a slight mental pain (ranging from the psychic equivalent of a mosquito bite to a slap upside the head).

As I get older, the extent of the "hurt" and the amount of time it lasts has started to shrink, but I'm more aware of this tendency than ever before. I've analyzed its origins and am committed to overcoming it.

I have even started to question whether I put myself into no-win or toxic situations. This article from Psychology Today gave me some terrific insights that apply to both work and personal relationships.

One of my fave superhero girl crushes is The Cheerleader from Heroes. Her superpower was regenerating after physical trauma. When facing rejection, I "teleport" myself into the TV show (not literally -- I haven't perfected that superpower yet). I imagine a wound closing up immediately and a scar fading.

I have become more aware of those people (bullies, scolders, constant "pickers") who trigger a reaction, and I avoid them whenever possible. I am learning to separate the words that people use from their intentions and have come to realize that kind people sometimes say things unintentionally that produce hurt. Rather than reacting, I question and discuss (and usually forgive and forget).

Rejection is inevitable, especially when you work in sales or client-facing businesses. Learning how to face it head-on, bounce back from hurt, and face the next challenge with confidence and humor is a skill we all need to perfect -- at any age or stage!

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