1) What are some common situations that might cause a feeling of rejection?
The biggest reason that people feel rejection is that people don’t want to be wrong. Being rejected in our minds says, “you were wrong.” We are wired to be right about our thoughts, feelings, and actions. When someone says you aren’t the one for them, you blame yourself for your thoughts, feelings, and actions. This feeds into question number 2, why does feeling rejected hurt?
2) Why does feeling rejected hurt?
The only reason anyone ever gets upset is because an expectation hasn’t been met. Being accepted is our expectation for most relationships. Being rejected goes against that expectation. Hence, you now feel upset, hurt.
3) Why do some people experience the pain of rejection more intensely than others?
The intensity of the hurt all boils down to the level of expectations someone has set for themselves. If they expect that the relationship they have with someone will go very far, and then it fails, they have a bigger expectation that explodes in their face. When someone is casual about the relationship, the expectations are lower, and therefore the pain is less.
4) What skills or strategies would you recommend to someone who feels rejected?
The best thing I can recommend is practice. I’m not saying practice getting rejected (although, that does ease the pain later on), I’m saying to practice in a safe setting. Improv is one of the safest platforms for practicing life. It helps to set expectations beforehand and to learn how to handle rejections when they occur.