How to Keep Healthy Self-Esteem After Rejection

October 3, 2018 Sam Woolfe

Your self-esteem after rejection of some sort may falter. Learn some ways you can protect your self-esteem after rejection at HealthyPlace.

Low self-esteem after rejection is a common occurrence. We may successfully build our self-esteem, only to have it fall apart following a rejection of some sort. This is a universal experience, not something that only people with low self-esteem struggle with. Rejection can be acutely painful. It can make us feel not good enough and lead to some very unkind and harsh thoughts about ourselves. Job rejection and romantic rejection are two very common experiences of rejection. They can both really knock our confidence (although we tend to feel the most hurt from romantic rejection).

Here are some tips on how to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem after rejection, with job rejection and romantic rejection as the two examples used here.

Self-Esteem After Rejection Regarding Work

Applying for jobs is tough. We may send out job applications, day in and day out, only to be met by tumbleweeds. It can feel like a relief to be given the chance to interview. But the rejection can sting even more if you aren’t successful.

However, having healthy self-esteem is all about trusting your abilities and inner qualities despite the number of job rejections you receive. Here are a few things to keep in mind following job rejection that will help to protect your self-esteem after rejection for a job:

  • The job market is highly competitive. Hundreds of applicants may be applying for one position. This isn’t your fault.
  • You may simply not be suited to the position. This doesn’t make you a bad person. It may mean that you would be a more valuable asset for a different industry, company, or role. This can also be as much to do with personality as your skillset. Some personalities match well with certain jobs. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • Resume writing, filling out job applications, and job interview performance are skills in themselves. Don’t beat yourself up if your job applications or job interviews don’t go as planned. The fact that you can do better is not a sign of your inherent inadequacy; it just means there’s room for improvement.

Self-Esteem After Romantic Rejection

Unreciprocated love or being dumped can be crushing. Romantic rejection can make us feel small and unworthy. We may imagine that we must be unattractive, unlovable, broken, a failure, or a terrible person following this kind of rejection. But that’s never the case. It’s always helpful to take a reality check following romantic rejection. Keep these points in mind:

  • We can’t control our romantic feelings and we certainly can’t control those of someone else. If someone doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, this isn’t because you did anything wrong. We can all make mistakes that prevent or end romantic relationships, but unreciprocated love and falling out of love are (unfortunately) facts of life. They don’t necessarily reflect bad character.
  • Some people are compatible and some aren’t. Romantic rejection is not always so terrible. While it’s painful to be rejected, the person who rejected you may not be right for you. The good news is that the more you get rejected (like with job interviews), the easier rejection becomes to handle. You don’t have to view this process as a sign of failure, but as a process that helps you find a partner who is compatible.
  • Relationships should not be the basis of self-esteem. This is a common self-esteem trap. We believe that we can only think of ourselves as worthy if we’re in a relationship or we receive validation from a romantic partner. This isn’t true. We are capable, valuable, and lovable even if the person we dream of being with doesn’t want to be with us.

It’s important to keep the above points in mind so that, whenever rejection happens to you, you have a realistic perception of the situation. Healthy self-esteem should be stable and internally-based. You get yourself into all sorts of trouble when you let outside events dictate your self-esteem. It is possible to have healthy self-esteem after rejection of all kinds.

APA Reference
Woolfe, S. (2018, October 3). How to Keep Healthy Self-Esteem After Rejection, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Author: Sam Woolfe

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