We all have faced rejection in our lives. The first time is usually early on in life. I remember the first serious rejection for me was when these two girls in my neighborhood were best friends and when the got into a fight one or the other would want to be my best friend. You can see where this is going, can’t you. Well I wanted to be special and fit in and it always turned out the same way. I did finally figure it out, that it wasn’t about me. This was agonizing for my mom to watch but eventually we both got over it.
I think that those early rejections were pretty painful and made me very sensitive to the pain of rejection. It has made me try to avoid rejecting or being rejected at any cost, not expressing my true feelings accepting mistreatment or even for me the worst just going along without resistance even when I didn’t want to.
Recently I was rejected by a customer. I had worked hard to address some problems they had with my product. In the end they were completely satisfied with the product but decided they didn’t want to work with me on the next project that was even bigger. I was hurt in a way that seemed disproportionate to the situation. After analyzing the situation I realized my pain took me back to other more personal rejections.
I went through the same inventory of my short comings as I did when I was rejected in my personal life. Did I do everything I could? Did I anticipate all their needs? What is it about me that isn’t good enough? It isn’t always personal. Sometimes you can’t be what the other person wants you to be without compromising who you are and sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do, things are as they are, regardless.