“I sat in my room feeling lost and lonely and a million miles from home. In fact I was only two hours away from home and my family had only been gone for half an hour after dropping me off, but I hadn’t been alone like this before. I wished I had a friend to meet up with to share this experience, I wished there was someone there that I knew already. I consoled myself by thinking that I wouldn’t be the only one feeling so lonely and I’d soon make friends. I had two hours until the Introductory Meeting, what was I going to do with myself until then?  

Then I noticed voices coming from next door which was the communal kitchen area. Suddenly I fancied a nice cup of tea, what a better way of making friends that joining them in the kitchen for a cuppa and a chat. I started to shake I was so nervous, how could I walk into a room of strangers and speak to them, it just wasn’t something that I was used to doing. 

So I sat there with my mug in my hand arguing with myself. “Did I want to spend this week all alone not speaking to anyone?” Eventually I plucked up the courage to go and make a drink and hopefully some new friends. The muffled voices from next door sounded cheerful and friendly, this was not going to be as bad as I imagined. I could do this.

 I clutched my mug, painted on a smile and breezed into the kitchen. I don’t remember exactly what I said but I knew it had been friendly and I said it from my heart. I was met with barely a couple of glances as the group of women carried on chatting, ignoring me. I stood there for a while then walked over to the kettle where another woman was already making a drink. She offered me one of her tea bags and we made tea together in silence while the others carried on their happy conversations. I went back to my room, feeling so rejected and even more alone and drank my tea blocking out the chatter from next door.

 Later, when I emerged from my room to go to the meeting I was met in the corridor by the other lonely tea lady. 

“Shall we walk across together?” She asked.”

This was more than twenty years ago, but as you can see the story is ingrained in my mind. It wasn’t the first time I experienced rejection and it certainly wasn’t the last but it was something that shaped me and taught me to fear rejection.

More recently I was at a large convention, again alone. I looked around and saw a table of ladies that I recognised. I didn’t know them well, but I’d seen and spoken to them before. I was sure they wouldn’t mind me sitting with them. They barely spoke to me, I was not included in their conversation despite my trying. At one point the woman sitting next to me actually turned her chair so she had her back to me. Ok, she was having quite an intense conversation with the woman next to her, but still I felt that rejection sharply.

My instinct now is to avoid rejection and just convince myself that I’m ok to be alone. In fact I probably ooze that ‘don’t talk to me, I’m not interested’ type of non-charisma. In my head I’m telling myself over and over it’s better this way and I don’t care that other people either ignore me, or feel sorry for me but don’t want to approach me. My confidence has taken a bashing and I’m filled with a false sense of security. This is much better than rejection, right?

No, it’s not right. It’s never too late to change, from now on I will not take any form of rejection personally, I will not allow it to stop me from talking to people, from trying to make a connection. I really wish I’d learnt this sooner, by now I might have been totally over this hang up. I guess you do get wiser as you get older. I certainly don’t want to be stuck in my old ways. I know I’ll never be popular, or ooze real charisma, that’s just not me. But I can take the bullet and not be scared of rejection. It won’t be my loss!

Everyone needs to feel loved and accepted, that ‘s why rejection feels so harsh, but if you fear the rejection then it will stop you from finding out how different things could be if you were accepted. I don’t have many friends, the ones I do have are the ones that have made the effort to be friends with me. I’ve never actually initiated friendship myself. I consider myself to be a kind and friendly person, but it’s that initial step that I find difficult.

There are two important lessons here I need to learn (And anyone else needs to learn if they too fear rejection.)

  • Don’t take rejection personally, it’s not necessarily your fault
  • Learn how to handle rejection effectively so it doesn’t create such a negative impact on your life.

Mummy Times Two

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  1. Graham
    June 29, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    Wonderful just wonderful

  2. June 30, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    It is sometimes hard not to take rejection personally. I would in that situation but I'm rubbish at forcing myself on people so would prefer to feel rejected and then kick myself later. It is hard when you are in that situation though.

  3. rebeccabeesley
    June 30, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    What a brilliant blogpost that I bet so many people will relate too. Often even the 'popular' people have these deep fears of rejection too – possibly more so as I often notice the popular people in a group 'need' to feel loved and accepted in order to feel any sense of self esteem. I still have huge fears in group situations but i put that down to my asd traits which i could finally put an explanation to when J was diagnosed – but sometimes i feel able to take those small steps – often just a friendly smile goes a long way and doesn't put me totally out of my comfort zone as a full cheery introduction would. xxx

  4. June 30, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    It is hard not to take rejection personally but if you learn to handle it effectively then you find that it can lead to more happiness. Wholehearted people, those that seem to give everything and are liked by many have learnt to deal with rejection, they have to because no-one is perfect and everyone will be rejected at some point.

  5. June 30, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    I'm with you there, I find group situations very scary and I'm sure I put people off talking to me, it must show in my face. I never forget when someone does take the time to speak to me though, thankfully there are some lovely people out there who don't have a problem approaching someone because they fear they will be rejected.

  6. coombemill
    June 30, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    I have certainly experienced this situation before, I think most women, however confident they appear, will be able to point to at least one time when they felt lonely and shy. Learning to understand situations like this and not take them personally is part of the wisdom that develops with age.

  7. July 1, 2016 / 10:45 am

    It's hard to not take rejection personally, but I agree we have to paint a smile on our face and muddle on through it. It means we can walk with our heads held high x

  8. July 1, 2016 / 11:14 am

    Oh I'm so sorry you've gone through this. I'm always conscious to try and spot new people and make them feel welcome, it can be difficult though, especially when you're catching up with old friends, but it's no excuse.

  9. July 1, 2016 / 11:18 am

    Oh it's a such a shame you experienced this. I think you have a good attitude towards it. If I feel people are being frosty towards me, it makes me feel rubbish – but like you I do try and remind myself it's unlikely they're doing it on purpose.

  10. July 1, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    It's tricky isn't it? I think part of the problem is that we are all as individuals all more open to new people on some days more than others. Also, with rejection sometimes it's more of an issue than at other times. I think we've all had some bad experiences, but I hope you won't let them get you down.

  11. bavariansojourn
    July 1, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    It's funny, it's not the big group things that phase me so much, there are some good sides to being an expat and that's not really caring about being rejected in this kind of situation, but in my family circles, and with close friends, I hate the idea… A horrible feeling!

  12. July 1, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    I still have certain issues about rejection but I don't take them personally any more, as I've got older I've realised that it's not the rejection itself but all the missed opportunities I've had because of the fear of being rejected.

  13. July 1, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    That's it, we should be able to hold our head up because it's not always our fault that we are rejected. x

  14. July 1, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    I'm really good at spotting people who look like they are feeling out of place, but I find it just as awkward to approach them. I'm also really good at attracting certain types of people when I'm left on my own, for example those who like to talk about themselves only.

  15. July 1, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    Oh yes, I never think it's me at the time, but sometimes when I think back on it I do wonder if I did or said something wrong. I do try not to let it bother me too much though.

  16. July 1, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    I always know the friendly faces in certain places Erica, and yours is one of them x

  17. July 1, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Oh yes, it's a different ball game when you are rejected by family and close friends, not nice at all.

  18. July 2, 2016 / 10:13 am

    I love how you have turned a negative experience into a positive. Rejection almost certainly isn't personal, and learning to handle it well is a great skill to have for resilience. Everyone has felt this way at one time or another, but we can dust ourselves off and move on.

  19. TheMadHouse
    July 3, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    It is really hard to not take things personally and to carry that with you. I am so pleased that you felt the fear and carried on. Well done.

  20. loumessugo
    July 4, 2016 / 8:16 am

    Having moved country so many times in my life I can really relate to this and as an attempt not to be like those that have rejected me I try so hard to be welcoming to new arrivals in any situation. I think most people fear rejection, but you're right to not put up with it.

  21. July 5, 2016 / 9:28 am

    I'm so sorry you were made to feel this way and I'm pleased you're moving on from it.

  22. April 3, 2017 / 11:35 am

    Nice post, I think we have all felt like this at one time or another! #postsfromtheheart

  23. April 3, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    It's scary being the new girl or the odd one out in the room. I'm a firm believer in making sure I include others when they are new to a group. Keep trying and definitely don't feel rejected – I think people often don't even know that they're ignoring people…they are just too wrapped up in their own little worlds. #postsfromtheheart

  24. tinmccarthy
    April 4, 2017 / 1:33 am

    It cuts to the bone doesnt it.

  25. optrixxaris1
    April 6, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    Rejection is horrid but do you really want to be part of a rude, unfriendly gang? #PostsFromTheHeart

  26. The UnNatural Mother
    April 9, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    I am so oblivious to most things . My job means i have to talk to lots of new people each day and take board meetings so i bearly even notice if i am being ignored or not. As you said it's best not to take it personally and just keep smiling #PostsFromTheHeart

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