It used to anger me.
Now, it doesn’t even faze me.
Rejection started early.
From never being invited to birthday parties. To not being invited into conversations.
I was never bullied. Nobody was ever mean to me. It didn’t however mean that I was included. It was in a sense, just as bad.
And it’s followed me throughout life. Whenever someone else was in control of my faith, I was rejected.
I always did very well in school. I was always good in anything that had metrics, anything that could be quantified. Things that could be quantified could be used to gain ground and fight rejection. That is how I got into a good school, ivy league university, research programs.
But when it comes to friends, love, jobs. All things founded on subjective merrits, I loose. (Sure you can be a better candidate at either one of those based on merits, but not get chosen anyway).
And coming second, means you were the first, the first to lose.
Academia taught me to not take rejection so harsh, to distinguish criticism from beratement. But it didn’t teach me how to handle my CV being thrown in the trash before it was read. Or to process my coworkers going for dinners and drinks without inviting me, being rejected from a romantic partner.
Time and endless amounts of rejection taught me that.
And it taught me this: being rejected for who you are can be a merit for self analysis. But it can also be a reflection of the person rejecting projecting its negative perceptions, racism, sexism and a million other variables you can’t control.
The worst thing about these types of rejections, when they come in abundance, you start to internalise and normalise being rejected, so you do it to yourself. You start with self-rejection.
You don’t work on that idea you really believed in
You don’t ask the person you like out for a date
You don’t apply for your dream job
So, the lesson here is to take rejection for what it is. And not make it who you are. Because once you do, you’ll enter a rejectionship with yourself and that never ends well.