Handling rejection without completely flipping out

Person sat in a field in a slumped position with head in hands
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So, you make a move on someone you're really into, and they say:

‘Sorry, but I…  

‘…have a lot going on right now and…’  

‘…think of you more as a friend so I…’  


Or ‘…am worried I'm going to hurt you in the future’ (What seriously? More than what you're doing right NOW?!)

There are plenty of reasons and ways that people will say they’re not up for it – but remember, even a heart-breaking rejection needs a cool and calm reaction!   

If nothing else, you want to walk away with as much of your dignity, happiness and vanity as you can!  

So just DON’T (not ever)…  

    Drake dressed as Hulk Hogan at a prom saying,
    • Don't... call, message or visit, begging them to change their mind – when someone tells you how they’re feeling, you can NOT be telling them they’re ‘wrong’!  Also, repeatedly messaging someone might feel like an appropriate way of expressing your hurt, but remember that persistent unwanted contact is harassment. Try to talk to family, friends or a professional about how you’re feeling instead.
    • Don't... make public declarations of outrage on social media (or IRL!) – partly because you won’t be doing yourself any favours, but more importantly because it’s incredibly disrespectful and potentially hurtful to the person you’re talking about.
    • Don't... turn up at their house in the middle of a family dinner and demand an explanation – Can you imagine someone turning up at your house and doing this? This is massively harassment. Mhmm, so, no… just don’t. 
    • Don't... sit in a public place and declare you’re on a hunger strike until they love you back – public displays of heartache might make some people feel better, but the person you’re longing for is not going to be one of them.
    • Don't... take it out on others - Nobody is ‘to blame’ here – not you, not them, not friends… so nobody should have to suffer or be punished for your heartache.  
    • Don't... stalk them – Absolutely, definitely not. Apart from being abusive and illegal behaviour, this is also a totally unacceptable way to treat a person.
    • Don't... hate them – Seriously? Have you not read anything above?

    Some of the stuff above is pretty clearly harassment, some of it’s just a really $hitty way to treat others, and yourself. It’s not a sign of your love – so don’t do it. Not inside a relationship. Not outside a relationship.

    And totally DO…  

    • Do... cry. Thaaaat’s it, come on now, let it alllll out, just keep sobbing till you taste your own snot.
    Dean Winchester saying,
    • Do... hang out with, and go out with friends .
    • Do... do stuff that makes you happy (e.g. eat a lot, sleep a lot, watch a lot). 
    • Do... exercise (e.g. go for a quick jog around the block or skip rope - get a dose of happy hormones).
    • Do... meet new people.
    Rob Schneider in Waterboy saying,
    • Do... (no matter what you feel about them) stay respectful – even if you think they’ve been a di(k about it – rise above. You’ll feel righteous. Eventually. When that uncontrollable sobbing stops.  
    • Do... trust yourself to get over this in time. Yes, this feels intense right now and a range of really full-on emotions might be flying around in your head and heart – but play it cool, treat yourself (and others) well, and you will get there in time.

    Sure, some of these suggestions contradict each other (e.g. sleeping a lot vs exercising, or tasting your own snot vs meeting new people) – but that’s the point, it’s about balance and variety.   

    This stuff hurts and sometimes friends, food, or that cutie you exchanged smiles with a few months back can provide some ‘life anaesthetic’ and stop you from...writing a collection of poems called 'The Darkness'.   

    If none of this is doing it for you and you feel like you want to talk about it to someone, please try 1800RESPECT , Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

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