Tips From a Psychologist: How To Cope With Rejection

Everyone experiences a breakup at some point in their lives. It happens within a new relationship, or you’ve been together for a while. Rejection hurts, and no one enjoys breaking up. It’s essential to allow yourself time to grieve. However, it’s equally important to lean on your support system and develop healthy coping strategies to heal your heart and move forward with your life.

Here are some of my best tips to cope with rejection and get through tough times after a breakup.

#1 Use Social Support

Often, our first instinct is to turn inwards during rough periods in our lives. However, self-isolation will only make you feel worse. Instead, it would help if you learned to lean on your support systems, like your friends and family, during these times. Your relationship may have ended, but that doesn’t mean you lack self-worth. Your friends still love you and are there to help you get through this challenging time in your life. So, pick up your phone and reach out to them. Plan a weekend brunch date, go for a run, or see a movie together. You may have to force yourself to get up and move, but once you start getting back out there, you’ll find it easier to begin healing and moving forward.

#2 Avoid Negative Self-Talk

Most people’s first instinct after a breakup is to blame themselves. “If only I were better, smarter, or more attractive, then they wouldn’t have left me,” is a common thought that runs through most minds after a breakup. But unfortunately, when you constantly dwell on what you think you did to cause the separation, you continue to allow negative thoughts to influence your actions and emotions. If left unresolved, this negative self-talk can even lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

#3 Practice Cognitive Reframing Techniques

It’s important to reframe your way of thinking about the breakup, so you don’t spiral down even further. Cognitive reframing is an effective cognitive behavioral therapy technique, and you can use it to change the way you think about your situation. You can use it the next time you can’t stop dwelling on what you think you did wrong. For example, instead of thinking, “We broke up because I’m too needy or demanding,” you should think, “we broke up because we weren’t able to meet each other’s personal needs.” By practicing cognitive reframing, you aren’t internalizing the blame or wasting time or energy on holding grudges. Reframing your thought pattern is one important way to help you heal after a breakup.

Understand that sometimes, it’s really not about you but more about them. Sometimes people jump into a relationship much too quickly after a breakup and realize they aren’t quite ready. Others have issues with dating people who are more successful than they are. You should never internalize your ex-partner’s problems as an indication of your self-worth. If they said, “It’s not you, it’s me”, you should probably believe them.