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10 Benefits Of Rejection That Will Surely Impress You

10 Benefits Of Rejection That Will Surely Impress You

Like most writers, I’ve long since lost count of the number of rejections I’ve received. Rejections for written pieces (“This does not suit our needs at this time.”), rejections at job interviews (“You’re very intelligent and seem like you would be an asset, but we’ve decided to hire someone else.”), and even rejections in my personal life (“You’re a sweet guy, J.S., and I like you a lot, but…”). Rejections for this, that, and the other thing. If there’s one thing I know really, really well, it’s rejection. I also know the slow-burning anger in the gut, the frustration, and the despair that comes with it. If you’ve ever been rejected and felt like you wanted to throw a full-on three-year-old temper tantrum, install a new skylight by Hulk-smashing your couch through the ceiling, or just sit in a corner and cry until your body shrivels up into a mummy, then you know exactly how I felt, and you know that I know just how you feel.

Rejection is an unfortunate but necessary part of the human experience. Everyone experiences rejection at some point in their life, whether they realize it or not. What many people who experience this don’t ever realize are the benefits of rejection. While this may sound self-contradictory, ask anyone who’s ever been turned down for a job or had someone they cared about say they weren’t interested in the person that way. Most of the time rejection can actually be a very positive thing, if you just look at it the right way. Here are 10 benefits of rejection to consider the next time you find yourself in this position.

1. Rejection motivates us to do better.

“The position’s been filled.” “This isn’t what we’re looking for right now.” “You’re a sweet guy/girl, but…” Ouch! We’ve all been there and done that at some point, and it’s unquestionably frustrating. When confronted with rejection, this can be a sign that you need to be doing something you’re not, or stop doing something you are. Figuring out what that is will put you on the path to doing better, and experiencing less rejection in the future.

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2. Rejection reminds us we’re human.

human-evolution-1

    Everyone’s the star of their own movie, and this can lead to an understandable but inaccurate sense of one’s own importance in the larger scheme of things. Rejection is actually a good thing because everyone at some point could stand to be taken down a peg or two. Rejection helps us here because it reminds us we’re all only human, no matter how extraordinary we’d like to believe we are.

    3. Rejection teaches patience.

    Some kinds of rejection can be hurtful, while others can be outright devastating. Not landing that job you’ve spent a month sending resumes, emails, and faxes back and forth about can be one of the worst rejections because the bills and the cupboard don’t care about your hurt feelings. However, this is one time when rejection can actually help you by teaching you to be patient and keep moving. You may not get what you want right away, but if you’re willing to work hard and be patient, you will eventually find yourself where you want to be.

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    4. Rejection causes us to explore different paths.

    The Path Less Traveled By

      Sometimes rejection is life’s way of telling us we need to look at a different path to get where we want to be. Maybe the path we’re trying to take to get to our goals is all wrong for us, or maybe there’s a better way and we just haven’t realized it yet. Rejection can be a positive experience if you’re willing to take another road or try a new way of achieving the same thing.

      5. Rejection forces us to reevaluate ourselves.

      Many people deal badly with rejection. This is natural. Rejection is a painful experience. However, when someone hears the same thing enough times, they generally start to listen. “You have great skills with numbers, but you’re not too hot at dealing with other people,” is an example of such a rejection. Learning how to remake ourselves to be more goal-oriented, more people-oriented, or tweak aspects of our personalities to get along better with those around us is an important benefit of rejection people tend to overlook.

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      6. Rejection makes us reconsider our goals.

      As a species we tend to ignore warning signs that are there for our benefit, like the person who struggles through an MBA program because they’ve been told their whole lives that’s the ticket to money and power, when what they really want to do is play the violin in an orchestra. Then the person gets a job interview and is told they were woefully underqualified. At the same time, the local orchestra is looking for a third-chair violin player. Your passions will always shine through, and sometimes rejection is a way for the world to force us to consider that impossible dream we’ve always wanted to chase rather than the “safe goal” that’s going to make us miserable in the long run.

      7. Rejection creates opportunities for change.

      Think about the last time someone said, “I would never have found this job/met this person/moved to this place if the other place hadn’t refused to hire me/person hadn’t refused to marry me/town had more jobs available.” Rejection can be a powerful force for analyzing why we go for the goals we do and what it is about these goals that drives us on, or away. It can also be a good time for introspection and considering one’s reasons for going after certain things, people, jobs, or situations. If we would only take the time to listen to ourselves about these things, as a race we’d be a lot happier and a lot more confident in ourselves and our instincts.

      8. Rejection gives us new ways of looking at things.

      Everybody gets tunnel vision once in a while. We focus on one goal, one person, or one dream to the exclusion of all else. Rejection can give us a time to pause and take another look at our objectives and how we’re trying to meet them. In this case, the idea is to look around with new eyes and consider, not only new ways of getting to the same goal, but how we view our goals and dreams.

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      9. Rejection makes us stronger.

      push-up

        There’s an old saying: The strongest fish is the one that swims upstream. Rejection can often feel like it brings you to a complete halt, but in reality it gives you something to push against. People do not grow stronger when everything is working for them, but when they are forced to cope with the unexpected or the undesirable. In this way, rejection helps us by showing us just how strong, resourceful, and capable we really are when the chips are down.

        10. Rejection is an opportunity for growth.

        Rejection does not have to be an automatic negative. Instead, try looking at rejection as a chance for you to grow and learn as a person. Maybe you learn from rejection that your aftershave gives people sinus headaches, or that your demeanor in a work environment puts people off. The lessons you learn from rejection can be applied to just about any facet of your life, making you a stronger, kinder, more “polished” person.

        8 Habits You Can Adapt to Be Successful at Everything

          While rejection can be painful, you can see it can also be a blessing in disguise. The question now is, how will you deal with rejection? Will you take the opportunity it’s giving you…or install that skylight in your living room? The choice is yours.

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          J.S. Wayne

          J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on January 15, 2021

          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

          7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

          The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

          Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

          Posture

          First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

          • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
          • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
          • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
          • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

          All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

          Facial Expressions

          Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

          • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
          • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
          • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

          If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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          1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

          A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

          The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

          This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

          2. Relax Your Face

          New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

          The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

          To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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          3. Improve Your Eye Contact

          Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

          The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

          To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

          3. Smile More

          There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

          Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

          4. Hand Gestures

          Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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          It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

          5. Enhance Your Handshake

          In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

          “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

          It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

          6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

          As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

          Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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          Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

          Final Takeaways

          Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

          If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

          More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

          Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

          Reference

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