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How To Avoid Rejection

How to Avoid Rejection

I’m going to state the obvious: Rejection hurts! Rejection pierces deep into our soul realm where genuine pain is triggered.

Rejection used to be limited to immediate social circles or dating relationships. Now the serious and traumatic types resulting from divorce, job loss, betrayal and family abandonment are paralyzing. They are the type that plague us and keep us from having genuine connection.

Thanks to electronic communication, minor rejections are housed in the palm of our hand. Social media platforms and dating apps “connect” us to thousands of people on a daily basis, any of whom might ignore our posts, texts, instant messages, leaving us feeling rejected and — dare I say — wounded.

Whether the rejections we experience are minor or traumatic, one thing remains a constant truth: Rejection always hurts, and usually more than we expect it to.

The question is why?

Why are we so offended when no one comments on our post, likes our new profile picture or responds to a message?

Why are we handicapped for days after the hiring manager goes with someone else, or the call for a second date never comes?

Why are our moods and feelings about them and ourselves so affected?

Just the other day a call came through from a dear friend. She was calling to check in — to check in on my heart. I had sent out a text to a group of girlfriends who have been praying for me in a very difficult season.

“Friends, I need prayer right now. I just opened up two more emails telling me I am unqualified. I am unfit, and I didn’t make the cut. This marks the 18th job I was disqualified from. I have been told in the final round of 10 jobs, “We are going with the other candidate.” I have walked away from business deals that were morally questionable. I have had some of the most important people in my life cut me out without explanation. I have never sought God more, only to feel abandoned and rejected by my own Heavenly Father. Girls, I know who I am in Christ. I know that God has good for me. But my theology is not merging with my reality right now, and I need God to do what He promised He would. Girls, I need provision for the vision. I need God to show me I am not forsaken. I need Him to show me I am accepted, not rejected.”

My friend listened. She let me cry. She let me share my feelings of rejection, and she prayed. It was in her prayer that God brought an answer to the “why” of the pain of rejection.

Her words stopped. She exhaled, and then she prayed, “Jesus, in the middle of all the areas where my friend has experienced rejection, will you root her? Will you establish her place of belonging?


Belonging …

I hung up from that call, and began to sob, and sob and sob.

Belonging …

She was right. I did need to know my place. I did need to know my people. The countless rejections, delayed responses to heart cry via text, recent abandonment. I questioned my placement, my importance. Perhaps the greatest reason rejections hurt so painfully deep is because they sabotage our sense of “belonging.”

I will put the period on the last sentence of this article, having opened another email telling me I wasn’t good enough.

I’m still waiting for a “best friend” to respond to my text from four days ago.

I’ve had five people unfollow me, according to my Instagram statistics, and only 24 of my 1,868 “friends” on Facebook liked my new profile picture.

These things are true, and yet tears flood my eyes with both sorrow and joy. I’m still journeying through this whole belonging thing, and somehow the roots my friend prayed for have taken grip as well.

Here is what I have learned about rejection.

1. The greatest damage rejection causes is triggered by lies.

Going back to the heart-cry text: I sent that text to my five closest friends. I do life with these girls. We are in the thick of it with each other, and more than 24 hours went by before I got my first response.

The lie says: I am not important enough to respond to.

The truth says: The world doesn’t revolve around me. My friends love me, and they will get back to me when they can.

For the concerned of heart, the responses did come. They were so perfectly timed, with words that ministered to my wounded soul.

2. Most rejections are not a personal attack.

Out of the jobs I didn’t get, I still am in touch with 10 of the hiring managers. At the end of the day it comes down to the “best fit.” I wasn’t the best fit, yet they like me as a person.

Friends don’t fail to comment on posts because they want to intentionally reject.

Most times friends don’t comment because they don’t think it matters.

3. Jesus understands rejection.

When rejection hits, it’s so important to remember who you are. Each and every one of us was created by a God that calls us His own. His love for us is immeasurable and uncontainable. Jesus himself can relate to rejection in a way no other person can.

He knows what it is like to be kissed by a best friend and rejected seconds later — betrayed, actually.

“While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of man with a kiss?'” (Luke 22:47-48 NLT)

I hung up from that call, and began to sob, and sob and sob.

Belonging …

I sobbed at the feet of the one who knows a rejection that I will never know.

I sobbed with the one whose rejection brought my acceptance.

I sobbed with the one who establishes a stable place — a place of belonging.

About Chelsie Birks

Chelsie Birks is a dreamer, a developer, a daughter, and believer in the impossible. As a victor of domestic abuse, she is a champion for freedom, and living life to the fullest. Professionally, Chelsie has been a makeup artist for more than 17 years, covering everything from film to fashion week. As a speaker, writer, and blogger, she captivates her audience with her own journey of self discovery, a good dose of the gospel, and the tools to empower others to walk in their own identity. Chelsie is a member of Gateway Church in Dallas, TX, and prefers intimate conversations over a good cup of coffee or two.
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