Let’s Talk About… Rejection

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Jeremy Godwin, host of Let’s Talk About Mental Health (source)

I am no stranger to the feeling of rejection. Whether it be for a job or opportunity I applied for and was turned down from, a date that resulted in being friend zoned, or a text that went unacknowledged. I could go on and on about other moments of rejection in my life, but instead, I want to share a podcast episode I came across after looking for one specifically on this topic. Wondering why I was searching for information on rejection? Well, for one, it’s an uncomfortable feeling that I’m sure we all have experienced and don’t spend much time talking about. Secondly, one thing I know for certain is that we humans are social beings. We seek connection and a sense of belonging. When those needs are met with being rejected, left out, or unaccepted, it can leave us feeling deeply hurt. I know this because not only have I experienced it, but I’m sure it has been felt by many in the wake of the pandemic and the social isolation we experienced, or that was heightened for others. In this post, I will share some notes from the episode Let’s Talk About… Rejection with Jeremy Godwin, host of the Let’s Talk About Mental Health podcast. In this episode he shares a definition for what rejection is, why understanding its impact matters for good mental health, and how to deal with it.

What is Rejection?

  • Rejection is when another person avoids or ignores you
  • Related to words such as: abandonment, exclusion, shunning, desertion
  • Examples:
    • Being pushed away based on personal aspects that another person doesn’t like or agree with
    • Someone you’ve dated deciding not to see you again
    • A friend deciding the friendship has run its course
    • A family member not agreeing with who you are
    • A work colleague excluding you
    • A million and one other scenarios . . .
  • Goes against our instinctive desire to belong, feel seen, valued, and respected as a human being
  • Can follow a major argument or can come out of nowhere
  • Results in confusion, anger, hurt, sadness, self-doubt
  • Rejection is painful and can activate insecurities, doubts and deepest fears
expressive multiethnic couple having conflict on street

Understanding the Impact of Rejection Matters

“As far as your brain is concerned, a broken heart is not so different than a broken arm.”

Naomi Eisenberger, PhD
  • People who routinely feel excluded have poorer sleep quality and their immune systems don’t function as well as those of people with strong social connections
  • Rejection can cause emotional and cognitive consequences
    • Social rejection increases anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy, sadness
    • Reduces performance on difficult intellectual tasks and can contribute to aggression and poor impulse control
  • Identifying what you’re feeling and taking action is essential
  • The pain of rejection is felt because we are hardwired to want to belong
  • See rejection as a sign that something needs to change, whether you want it to or not
  • Only you have control over what you do, say, feel and what happens next
  • Learn from rejection in order to grow

How to Deal with Feelings of Rejection

  • Feel What You Need to Feel
    • Strong feelings of rejection or sadness happen to us because we care
      • For example, an emotional connection such an intimate or family relationship, or,
      • Wanting approval at work or maintaining a reputation
    • Feelings and thoughts are not facts, but reflections of our emotional state and if our needs are being met (e.g., the need to be accepted)
    • There is no right or wrong when it comes to your emotions, and how you feel is how you feel
    • The only way through it is through it
    • Process and work through your feelings (e.g., with a counsellor or therapist)
crop ethnic psychologist writing on clipboard during session
  • Remind Yourself It’s Not Personal
    • Hard to do when it feels personal
    • When someone rejects you it is about them and their choices
      • For example, the other person is fearful about a relationship moving too quickly and they’re not ready for that, or,
      • A family member set in their ways and not willing to accept others as they are
  • You May Never Know Why
    • Rejection can come with no warning or a surface level explanation
    • Closure is not a given
  • Healthy and Positive Relationships
    • Spending time with people you have healthy and positive connections with can lift mood
    • Positive social interactions can release opioids which give you a natural mood boost, such as with exercise
    • Seek healthy relationships or lean into the ones you already have
      • Take time for yourself and spend it with supportive people
  • Journaling
    • Can help to get emotions out
photo of person holding cup

Sometimes rejection in life is redirection.

Affirmations for Moving On by Ashley Diana

Rejection hurts, but it doesn’t define me.

I’m OK with rejection. It means I took a chance. I took a risk. I stood up for myself.

Rejection simply means that that thing is no longer meant for me.

I’m OK with being led in a different direction.

I happily accept that they were the wrong direction.

Source: Reframing Rejection: Affirmations for Moving On! Don’t Let Rejection Keep You Down

Let’s get comfortable talking about rejection.

What are some ways you have dealt with rejection?

Share them in the comments.



This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

A Gratitude Exercise

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Danielle LaPorte (Canadian author)

“Appreciation is a form of wellness. It’s also what keeps us moving through difficult times and what brings us back to love, time and again. More importantly, when we tie our gratitude to the ‘why’ of it, we develop new forms of appreciation and depths of connection for living.” (Commune)

Gratitude, Appreciation & Connection 

Photo by Created Stories
  • Consciously focusing on our blessings have emotional and interpersonal benefit
  • Appreciation is a form of wellness
  • “ I am grateful…. because.…”
    • Being specific increases the sensation of appreciation; gives you access to more positive, life affirming feelings
    • Allows you to go deeper into the meaning behind the circumstances and people in your life you are thankful for
    • Expands your awareness of gratitude; illuminating the positive feelings

5 Gratitude Life Areas

  • Livelihood + Lifestyle: career, work, money, home, possessions, fashion, travel
  • Body + Wellness: fitness, food, relaxation, healing modalities, mental health, sex, sensuality
  • Creativity + Learning: culture, creative expression, education, interests, hobbies
  • Relationships + Society: romantic relationships, partnership, friendships, family, children, community, social causes
  • Essence + Spirituality: soul, inner self, faith, devotional practices 

What are you grateful for?


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Mindful Communication

Health & Lifestyle

“Great communication begins with connection.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

man wearing brown jacket using smartphone while using smartphone

How would you describe the way you communicate with others? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way people communicate. The way that I communicate. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way we had to communicate and the new ways that we do now.

Every single day we communicate. Whether it’s through our words, lack thereof, body language and/or actions, we are engaged in some form of communication. There are many different ways we can communicate with others. Face-to-face, over the phone, virtually/remotely, or in writing. Such as through text messages or written letters. Just to list a few. Compared to years ago, we have so many more methods of communication available to us.

Because of just how important communication is in our personal and professional relationships, I believe it’s important that we take time to reflect more deeply about how we communicate with others, and about ways we can do so mindfully and effectively. One of those ways can be through mindful communication.

What is Mindful Communication?

Mindful communication is the way in which we can bring awareness, attention and compassion to how we communicate with others. When we become aware of how we communicate with others through our words, body language and/or actions, we can start to pay close attention to how it influences the nature of our conversations and relationships. While there are many different methods that can be used in mindful communication, I’m going to share one I discovered by Gregory Kramer, author of Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom. He shares 6 meditation instruction steps (Insight Dialogue Guidelines) that can be used in interpersonal relationships.

1. Pause: Mindfulness

This consists of stepping out of the daily rush and letting go of whatever the mind may be attached to at the moment. It is a movement of the mind towards being more awake and present to a moment of dialogue. This can happen through paying attention to the breath and having a sense of body awareness to ground you. It includes noticing where you are externally (e.g., anything outside and around you), and internally (e.g., thoughts and feelings). In this way, you can enter communication with the whole mind, body and heart.

2. Relax: Tranquility & Receptivity

woman meeting with client

This step consists of relaxing muscles that are tense and paying attention to the feelings that come with relaxing, such as ease, allowing, and letting go. This can be tested in places that are not usually attended to such as the muscles below the eyes. Relaxation of other parts of the body such as the jaw and shoulders allows the mind and emotions to follow. This step helps to bring about mental tranquility and serenity, and can be explored as you speak and listen to others.

3. Open: Relationality

This step is about how we relate to others and invites an open inquiry into our internal and external experiences. It allows us to look at how mindfulness is resting, whether it be internally, externally or both. This is an intimate experience which allows us to notice where the mind is in each moment and what is being received (e.g., voice, face, eyes, pain, love, beauty, horror, tragedy, potential).

4. Trust Emergence: Attunement

This step is about having the flexibility to trust what will emerge in conversation.

5. Listen Deeply: Meditate

This is all about showing up and paying full attention. It includes a steady quality of listening which matures and develops through concentration. Through this step, you can begin to notice how you make sense and attend to something, while also observing and listening to the phasing, pauses, pitch and changes in loudness in another person’s voice. This also includes noticing beyond one’s language and words and actually hearing the person.

6. Speak the Truth: Language

This step pairs together with the former step – listen deeply, since speaking begins with listening. This step also flows out of the first 4 steps. Kramer says, “It rests on the mindfulness of the pause. It stabilizes with relax. It engages relationally with open. It gains flexibility with trust emergence. To speak the truth, we have to first know what the truth is”. It also includes discerning what gets spoken and what is left unspoken, and giving language to the moment of awareness.

How might you begin to integrate any of these steps into your communication with others?

To learn more about Gregory Kramer’s Insight Dialogue Guidelines

Are you interested in sharing a post on a topic or adding to our resources page? Let’s connect!


This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.