Egos are fickle things. Sure, some of us are more naturally confident than others but even the most self-assured person has been dealt a blow to the ego at some point in their lives.
And when it comes to the art of bruising the ego, rejection is one of the easiest ways to go about it. Especially rejection of the romantic variety. Hearing that the person you’re into has no desire to be around you, much less climb into your bed, sucks. It’s a difficult experience that hurts. But it’s also a part of life, so you’re going to want to learn how to manage the feelings that come as a result of that experience.
The reason I bring this up is that there have been a number of public examples over the years in which people (mostly men) have chosen to respond to romantic rejection with absolute vitriol.
If you’ve seen the recent news about Piers Morgan being called out on air by his Good Morning Britain co-host Alex Beresford for regularly attacking Meghan Markle, you may understand what I mean here.
During the show, Beresford told Morgan:
“I understand you don’t like Meghan Markle. You’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program. And I understand you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle – or had one – and she cut you off. She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has but yet you continue to trash her.”
Morgan proceeded to storm off and quit the show after this point. What Beresford was referring to in his comments was talk of a night where reportedly Markle and Morgan met for a couple of beers. The next day it’s believed Markle met Prince Harry, and Morgan has since said the Duchess of Sussex ghosted him. (Vanity Fair has put together a complete timeline if you’re interested.)
Anyway. Cue the trash talk, as Beresford stated.
This is not okay.
It’s also not new. There are many people who rather than accept rejection, would seek to hurt or humiliate the person who was once the object of their desire, instead. In some extreme cases (and to be clear, I’m not referring to Piers Morgan here) they even go past vitriol – they turn to violence.
So, what does a healthy response to rejection look like? Here are some tips.
1. Feel the pain, and accept that it’s hard
Psychologist and certified life coach Dr. Pam Garcy, spoke with The Oprah Magazine about this topic. She said:
“Accept the fact that you’re a human being with emotions and allow time to feel what you’re feeling.
“There’s an expression that ‘the easiest way out is through.’ Sometimes allowing yourself to have your feelings leads them to slowly reduce in intensity.”
2. Show yourself some kindness
You’re doing it tough right now. You probably need a hug and some loving words. Can you give yourself some extra attention and nurture your wounds?
Alternatively, reach out to the people who you can rely on. Seek out fulfilling connections with people who matter to you and will take the time to help you feel a little less alone in this shitty time. The Indigo Project has a useful write up on this.
You can also seek out the support of a psychologist. They’ll be able to hear you out and offer tools to help manage this difficult time.
Use all of this support to make sure you respect the other person’s boundaries. Do not contact them or try to see them if they don’t want to hear from you.
3. Look at the situation honestly
When you feel able, take a moment to consider what went wrong in your relationship or courtship. Was it a simple case of incompatibility? Or maybe there were some wrong steps taken. Don’t obsess over the details or play the blame game (do not trash talk the other person), but use this to learn and grow for future relationships. Take responsibility if there’s fault on your end, too.
Once you’ve processed the hurt and have taken a moment to move on from it all, you may find that the nasty experience has left you feeling stronger and more grounded. That ego may just heal itself. And taking the healthy route means you’ll have a better sense of what’s right for you, and other people, the next time you meet someone.
Sitting in a whirlpool of hatred just means you’re punishing the other person and yourself over and over again. No one wants that.
And remember, no woman (or person) owes you their time or attention, just because you’d like to have it.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, help is available. Contact 1800 RESPECT.