“What should a well adjusted person be able to do well?”
Sigmund Freud’s answer: loving and working.
1. Love. Love the achievement of intimacy with another person, the sense of being cherished for who you are.
2. Work. Work is the experience of competence,being admired for what you can do.
Love and work. If we lose them, how can we cope for our well-being?
Harold Kushner, author of Conquering Fear offers this insight.
First, realize that sometimes smart people make mistakes.
It may have been the result of someone else’s limitation, not yours. Sometimes you deserve to be chosen and cherished, but other people’s blindness kept that from happening.
Secondly, sometimes smart people get it right even if we don’t like the result.
If you don’t get the job, it’s not a rejection of you as a person. It may mean that your skills were not what the interviewer was looking for or what the job required, or that, impressive as you may have been, someone was more impressive.
No one has ever done anyone a favor by giving them a position that is not right for them.
Third, and most important of all: Do Not ever let your opinion of yourself be shaped by someone else’s opinion of you.
No one has the right to make you feel like a failure by dumping their problems on you. You can ignore one person’s rejection as stemming from her problems more than yours, but if you keep getting the same message time after time, there might be a reason to take it seriously.
In life, we will experience rejection. For me, it helps to remember the enduring truth by Viktor Frankle in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning:
You cannot control what other people do to you, but you can always control how you respond to what they do. You can make the rejection serve as a spur to increased competence and self-awareness. I’ve learned to get over rejection by realizing I don’t have to do it alone. I do not hide what’s happened out of a sense of embarrassment. I reach out to friends and let them help me. They always reassure me that I am worth cherishing.
My friends and family deliver to me the unspoken words: You’re good, you’re capable, and you are someone we care about.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Frankle
I know I can’t solve other people’s problems, but I like to think that the time I spent listening and encouraging them made their problems easier to bear until circumstances changed for the better.
Hang in there. I am on your side.