Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Feminist Guide For Overcoming Rejection




Last night I got an email saying that I didn't get this pretty exciting job that I had applied for. That's the 3rd job rejection I've had in less than a month. That rejection and a recent heartbreak have left me feeling like shit.

Overall, I am confident in my capabilities. I think that every employer should want me. So I get overexcited every single time that I submit a resume. I also don't have a problem telling a guy that I like him. I mean, really? What would possibly go wrong? I'm smart, talented, and I look good! (I'd post a picture but that would be too much).

Anyway, something could go wrong: he could reject me. Just like I've rejected guys who I just wasn't "feeling". And when these rejections happen, I'm left hurt and whining about nobody loving me.

Sigh.

Well. Unlike men, women aren't taught how to handle rejection. Instead we get words of encouragement that might seem spiteful and that undermine the other party as oppose to empowering us: "he doesn't deserve you", "they're idiots for not hiring you", "it's their loss", etc. And not that these are useless, but they just don't cut it when you honestly felt that it was not about whether they deserved you but about you deserving them. AND YOU TOTALLY DESERVE ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT.

Luckily, these let-downs have made me a bit well-versed in the art of getting over rejection. So here is some advice for all my feministas out there who are struggling to get over that awesome job opportunity that didn't come through, or that perfect-sexy-feminist-lover that you thought didn't exist and once you found him/her/they, that person just didn't want you back:

Don't let it get to you: Initially, you may feel like you're not good enough and like the rejection was all your fault. Some thoughts that pop up in your head: "Maybe I came on too strong." "Maybe I should have sent a  follow-up email 2 days rather than 3 days after the interview". Well, it's too soon to look back at the should've's and could've's.

Recognize that there are moments when a connection just isn't reciprocated. There have probably been times when you've questioned your own reasons for rejecting someone because, although that person seemed perfect, there simply wasn't a "click". So, just because someone whom you were attracted to rejected you, doesn't mean that you're less awesome, it just means that you weren't his/her/their type. And for this I will say to simply move on to the next! You don't need to objectify or undermine that person by saying that he/she/they're less awesome. Simply accept that he/she/they disagreed with your point of view on how good of a catch you are, and move on.

Same for jobs. It's a disagreement on your capabilities. And with unemployment still at a high 7.2 percent, (the unemployment rate for black women is at 10 percent), there is tons of competition out there and someone with years upon years of experience might have applied for the same job as you.

It's okay to be sad: "Okay, I understand that I can't let it get to me...but I still feel like shit".

That's perfectly fine. You were really excited about this opportunity-- you might have even bought things to decorate your new desk! So, take a few nights (a couple of days please- not more), to just mope.

Eat a whole bucket of ice cream or chocolate or whatever makes you feel good; Watch movies that make you sad; Stay in your PJ's for the entire weekend; Drink some wine and sing to your favorite heart ache tunes. Here's one:



Just let yourself be sad for a couple of days...but, on a serious note, don't drive yourself into a depression. If you do feel like it's getting too far, and like you've been moping for weeks or even months, please make sure to call a relative, a friend, or your doctor.

Pamper yourself: Ok, it's time for the good stuff! Get off your PJ's, put on some clean panties and go do some of the things that you love! If you're broke, consider borrowing some money to really invest in yourself. Go get your nails or hair done. Go have some drinks with your friends. Go dancing! Whatever it is that you love doing, just do it.

And if you use your imagination, you might not even need money. For example, I taught a my first ever belly dancing class for free, and joined Facebook's Guerrilla Feminism network by starting they're New York City page. Go self-empowerment!

Be creative: If you're agnostic like I am, then the statement "God has something better for you" or "Maybe it's not your destiny" might not really cut it. In this case, creativity is key. Those who view God or destiny as an answer for moving on understand something crucial: when a door closes it simply means that another one will eventually open. There are other jobs! There are other fish in the sea! Now might be the perfect opportunity for you to change up your career and try something new. Or you can finally try online dating and see what all the fuzz is about.

You can also just go back to enjoying being single and loving yourself. Read bell hook's All About Love. Also, here's a recent blog post on my thoughts on romance and love. 

This is a perfect time to be creative when moving forward; especially since you feel pampered and energetic and got all those tears out of your system. Now is your opportunity to think outside the box. If you dare, it might also be a good opportunity to look back at the rejection and learn from it. Maybe there was a typo in the last email that you sent your employer. Maybe your resume needs some dusting-off. Or you might be surprised and find that there were no mistakes made and it truly was just a disagreement.

Either way, accept that you have the ability to look forward and continue pushing through.

Sister, it is tough out there. Feminist men (or whomever you're into) and good jobs are difficult to come by. But just know that soon enough a good opportunity will catch you because (believe it or not) awesome people like you are difficult to come by too.



Have any tips or thoughts on how to overcome rejection?Leave a comment below!

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