In parts one and two of this series, we talked how to create a “safe friends” list and how to talk to others about anxiety by using a slow reveal. If you haven’t read those articles, you’ll definitely want to give them a quick once over before diving into this post.
This brings us to the question of the day: what do you do if you feel rejected?
In truth, some people may reject you. The keyword here is MAY. Most will be empathetic, but some just might not “get it.” And they might not even realize that you feel hurt.
The thing is that everyone feels misunderstood at some point in life. Yes, feeling misunderstood is painful. It’s embarrassing and it hurts. But that’s life.
In this respect, there are three important things to remember. Really read these things and write them down. You’ll probably want to refer to them later.
1. Don’t take rejection personally.
When it comes to opening up about anxiety, I’ve found it helpful to remember that everyone in life is different. Most people will be empathetic, but some simply won’t understand your struggles. These people seem to do one of three things: tell you to “get over it,” try to fix the problem, or divert the conversation.
Not only does this feel awkward, it hurts. Plain and simple. You feel heart broken. And you feel silly for opening up. Plus, “quick fixers” are annoying. If there was truly a quick fix for anxiety, we would have found it by now.
The thing to remember is that this is your journey. Everyone has a different path, and paths diverge. This doesn’t mean that the person you have opened up to doesn’t care about you. It means that he or she may not be a good fit when it comes to talking about your battle with anxiety.
Another thing to remember is that people who don’t seem to understand your struggles now may try to understand what you’ve told them later. Tomorrow is a new day-and you may get an apologetic phone call. You just never know what hand of cards life will deal.
In short, try not to take rejection personally. And remember that you may be perceiving the situation incorrectly. I’ve done this more times than I can count. After all, those of us who suffer from anxiety can be very sensitive.
2. Try not to hold grudges.
It’s easy to put up a wall and hold a grudge when we feel misunderstood. That’s human nature. However, you’ve got to be mindful when it comes to this concept.
Just because someone doesn’t SEEM to understand the story you’ve told them doesn’t mean that they don’t care. So try not to push people away. You really don’t know what they’re thinking-and how they may follow up on your conversation later.
That said, always protect yourself. You deserve to be treated with respect. There are many people that we can’t easily remove from our lives, like siblings that we don’t get along with. But we do have a choice when it comes to friends. We can always take friendships to a different level.
3. Keep moving forward.
If you feel like you’ve been rejected, brush yourself off and keep moving forward. Don’t let one awkward experience force you back into a shell. As I often say, lots of things in life are a two steps forward, one step back process.
In closing this post, I want to stress that opening up about anxiety is a personal thing. What’s right for me might not be right for you. You’ll know when you’re ready.
P.S. What are your thoughts on this post? Do comment. We love to hear your feedback!
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