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Dealing with Rejection

Dealing with RejectionIt’s been kind of a hard week. I’ve been sending out queries to literary agents for a new book I’m putting together and it’s been crazy. I sent 140 queries out over the last week and so far the only ones I’ve heard back from have written to tell me they weren’t interested.

In hindsight I’d advise not being so feverish about something career-oriented because on about the 20th or so rejection I just felt this sick, sinking feeling in my gut.

The notion occurred to me that perhaps my writing just isn’t any good, that there’s something about the words I write that just sucks. On top of that, I asked a girl out who I was crushing on. Needless to say, that didn’t go so well either.

The point is, over the last week I’ve seen a good amount of rejection. Although I’ve grown up and it doesn’t affect me like it did when I was younger, there’s still an awful sting to it.

Rejection comes in many forms and nobody is immune to it.

The fact of the matter is that you will get knocked down in this life and it’s up to you to get back up and to keep trying. Don’t be afraid to give yourself some time to recuperate, though. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been in a funk for the last few days just trying to get a handle on things. I’ve spent a lot of time on the couch watching Netflix simply because doing anything else kind of hurt.

Today, though, after a hot shower last night and a really good sleep I’m doing better.

I’d like to say I could offer some holistic method of meditation and acceptance to get over rejection, but I can’t. I have learned, though, that it takes time to recover. Give yourself a couple of days if you’re having trouble.

Another thing that helps is being kind to yourself. Treat yourself well with some good food, maybe a beer or a glass of wine at dinner and allow yourself to sleep in. Just let yourself take it easy for however long it takes to feel OK again.

Rejection happens repeatedly throughout life. As we get older, we get more used to it. What would’ve destroyed us in high school and college is just a little nip in our 30s. We’ve seen the myriad ways rejection can slap us across the face and it’s not so painful after it’s happened a hundred times.

Sometimes too, that slap in the face is entirely what we need to change our thinking about a situation. Maybe you’ve been approaching it wrong all along and you finally get to a point where you can see that if something hasn’t worked the last dozen times, it’s time to reevaluate things. Just remember the famous quote about insanity being trying something over and over and expecting a different result. If we see enough rejection, eventually we see the problematic common denominator. That’s essentially what has to change. This is growth and this is growing up.

You have to find the problem and fix it instead of giving up completely and retreating to a a house in the woods where you’ll never see another soul.

As much as rejection can hurt, you can’t let it crush you. Take a few days if you need to but use the rejection as a lesson. Use it to glean some morsel about life in society that you can use to your advantage the next time something comes along.

The simple truth is that life is a learning process and being aware of that can shield you from a lot of problems.

Dealing with Rejection

Michael Hedrick

Mike Hedrick is a writer and photographer in Boulder, CO. He has lived with schizophrenia for many years and his work has been published in Salon, Scientific American and The New York Times. His book is available here You can follow his blog on living with schizophrenia here

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2018). Dealing with Rejection. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 1 Dec 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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