How to heal the wound of rejection

You don’t know how to handle a love rejection? Here are 7 things you can do to recover from unrequited love.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on November 13, 2021.

Last update: November 13, 2021

Rejection is something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. Love won’t always be reciprocated, and let’s be honest, almost every relationship has a full stop. If you are going through a situation of this type, we have prepared some tips to heal the wound of rejection that will be of great help.

Overcoming a love rejection takes time and commitment. It is normal that you have a lot of negative feelings right now, and understanding this is part of the process. We promise that if you reflect on our steps to heal the wound of rejection, you will be able to recover from it and look up to what awaits you in the future.

7 steps to heal the wound of rejection

An article published in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience in 2015 he examined the emotions that occur after rejection. Found that people develop feelings of jealousy, loneliness, homesickness, guilt, shame, social anxiety, sadness, and anger.

Other research published in Science in 2003 he estimated that pain caused by rejection is similar to physical pain. This if we consider the response that the brain produces in front of it. With all this we want to tell you that what you feel today is perfectly natural and that it is not because you are exaggerating the significance of the episode.

For the reflections that we will give on how to heal the wound of rejection we have taken into account a loving context. However, these can also be used for job rejection, for the rejection of a friendship or any other situation that you consider.

1. Accept it

Although it can be sad, thinking and accepting that rejection is real is the first step to healing.

Yes, the first step in healing the wound of rejection is to accept it. This is much easier to write than to do, as it is quite a complex process. However, you will never be able to get out of the quagmire if you don’t first accept that you have been rejected.

Among other things, this happens by respecting the decision of that person. You have to be aware that the human being is free to accept or reject the proposals of others, so that you can do nothing to force them to choose what you want. Accepting rejection is accepting this principle, which of course implies an exercise in humility.

It also translates into stepping back, starting to take the first steps to close the loop, knowing that your current ambitions will not materialize, and avoiding blaming that person. Accepting that you have been rejected implies realizing the reality, one that you have in front of you.

If you believe that this reality does not exist, or that you can do something to alter it in your own way, then you will fall more and more into the pit. As we’ll see shortly, this doesn’t mean hiding your feelings or pretending it didn’t hurt. Rather, it implies assimilate that someone has expressed that the love you profess reciprocally does not correspond.

2. Embrace your feelings

As we have explained at the beginning, the cocktail of feelings that you feel right now is completely normal. You will develop one or the other with greater intensity according to many variables, although rest assured that you will experience them all.

Pain is the most characteristic, after which it is followed by sadness and anger. The last thing you should do is repress these emotions, since making them not exist does not imply eliminating them. On the contrary, what you do is hide them so that sooner or later they sprout from you. They will do it as frustrations and dissatisfaction with a much greater intensity and repercussion.

Of course, accepting your emotions does not imply that they control you. Yes, cry when you have to cry and feel sad when this emotion invades you; but also learn to manage them. Otherwise, your whole day will be conditioned by them and you will not find a space for others such as joy and hope to emerge.

3. Get an apprenticeship

Like other life experiences, healing the wound of rejection is done by learning from it. Of course, you don’t have to do it the first few days, but after a couple of weeks you have to objectively assess what lessons you can glean from this.

For example, it may be that the strategy you used during the flirting was not correct, that you were very direct or that your expectations were very high. Be that as it may, do a reflection exercise to find out what mistakes you have made and how you can improve them in the future.

Of course, you may not find anything to salvage. As we have already pointed out, free will is something you must respect; since the fact that you love someone does not imply that your love is reciprocated. Even this is a great apprenticeship, one that will serve you well for your next love experiences.

4. Seek support from your friends

Loved ones are there to give support in the most difficult moments of life, including situations of rejection.

Your friends and family can be of great help in this process, so never leave them aside. It is very common that we want to face this experience alone, and even that we isolate ourselves from others. Understand that your friends and family are there to support you in moments like this.

Not only can they offer you a shoulder to lean on, but they can help you put things in perspective and give you helpful advice. Too, they can serve as a distraction so you don’t think about him or her over and over again. So do not hesitate to do activities with them so that you begin to recover and heal the wound of rejection.

5. Remember who you are and what you are capable of doing

As the researchers indicate, low self-esteem is one of the classic responses to rejection. Even when you are a person with strong self-confidence, it is inevitable that it will suffer a bit after an episode of this type.

So, to heal the wound of rejection, you must remember who you are and what you are capable of doing. Don’t let this experience translate into a bad opinion of you, one that can get in the way of your next love affairs. There are many ways to regain your self-esteem, so here are some ideas.

6. Keep going

By this we mean not taking a step back and isolating yourself from everything around you. Life goes on, and it will always do so regardless of all rejection. Maintaining a commitment to your work, interacting with your family, friends and colleagues, taking time for your habits, playing sports and creating spaces of distraction are just a few ways to move forward.

It can certainly be difficult for the first few days, as you will continually remind yourself that you have been rejected. Precisely moving on with your life will allow you to reduce the moments when you have a blank mind, and it will also remind you that there are many things in it that you value.

7. Don’t let it condition your next experiences

Finally, one of the ways to recover from a love rejection is not to let it condition your future experiences. With this we do not want to immediately encourage you to start dating someone else; just don’t close yourself completely to this idea after you feel ready.

As we have already explained, healing the wound of rejection is something very complex, a process that each person experiences differently. There are those who recover in a day or two, and there are others who take months. These tips will help you to recover and encourage you to live your life without turning your back on new love experiences for fear of disappointment.

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