Rejection Isn’t Always About You

Rejection Isn't Always About You | Millennials with Meaning
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Rejection hurts. I know this from painful firsthand experience. It hurts our pride, it hurts our self-esteem, and often it hurts our chances of trying again because we get too scared and scarred by our memories.

I’m not going to lie to you (or myself) or understate the obvious: sometimes rejection is about us, the rejected ones. Sometimes the people who reject us truly don’t find us funny, smart, attractive, or valuable.

But oftentimes I think we just assume that, without seeing the potential other half of the story.

Like most of us, I have found myself on both sides of the coin in life. I have rejected. And I have definitely been rejected.

When I’m rejected, I instantly scan a mental laundry list of what the other person might’ve found wrong with me. I’m all too aware of what that list contains, so it’s easy to do. 

I ran my mouth again. Why can’t you just keep your mouth SHUT, Brianna?! Everyone tells you they want you to speak up more…until you do.

My outfit. It had to be my outfit. What on earth possessed me to wear that? I knew I should’ve worn…literally anything else.

It was my awkwardness. Ugh, why am I so weird?

No, wait. I bet it was the fact that I brought up politics. Oops, I did it again!

No, no, no. It was definitely the fact that I still live with my parents, I’m sure of it. I should’ve known; people always think less of me when they hear that. I seriously need to stop telling people where I live.

I could go on for hours. It’s a special skill of mine, one I’d like to lose.

But the thing I – and most of us – often forget is that someone else’s rejection of us may very well be more about them than it is about us.

When I reject someone (something I hate doing but is occasionally necessary), I often do so more because of circumstances in my own life than because of anything lacking in the person I’m rejecting.

I mean, think of rejection in dating alone. Most of us generally don’t say no to dating someone because we think they’re the worst human being to ever walk the earth. (I can’t say I’ve ever once thought that!) Maybe we say no because we already have our eye on somebody else.

Or maybe it’s because of a past relationship we’re still getting over. Maybe we need healing and realize it isn’t fair to rebound and drag a third party into the picture.

Sometimes we (and the ones who reject us) are just not in a good place to date, period. Financially, emotionally, time-wise, you name it. Maybe we’re deep in debt. Maybe it’s a tough family situation. Or a personal loss. Or an all-consuming job that leaves no time or energy for a relationship.

At times, rejection even comes from a place of feeling unworthy of the other person!

Rejection happens for many reasons. We rarely know the whole story. And although it hurts, what we do know is this: it isn’t always about the one being rejected.

It isn’t always about you.

Don’t assume you’re being overlooked because of a severe character flaw. Don’t believe the lie that you’re not enough – not good enough, not attractive enough, not smart enough, not funny enough. Don’t convince yourself that it’s all about you.

It often isn’t. And the right people will think you’re more than enough, flaws and all. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14 NIV

Sometimes the rejection we face turns out to be God’s protection, because it keeps the wrong people away from us so there’s room for the right ones. Other times, it wasn’t God at all, but he’ll still use it to strengthen us and draw us closer to him. ALL things work together for good sooner or later when God is involved. He can be trusted to unfold his perfect plan, no matter what happens and no matter who walks away. (Their loss!)

You’re enough. And the right people will see that in the right timing – God’s timing.

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