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The Rhythm of Rejection

by Madison Asher

When we ask ourselves how we handle rejection, I generally take this to mean “how do you receive being rejected?” More recently, though, I’m wondering about my relationship to rejecting. To saying no. How do I give rejection? There’s so much we can discover if we flip the switch on some of our trained thought patterns. Exploring the action of rejection rather than being rejected is like wiring a new route through our well worn thought GPS.

How do I handle saying no to an offering? What do I say? What actions do I take? What am I thinking and what emotions come up? Do I shy away from doing it as though it’s a last resort? Is the way I reject directly linked to how I perceive being rejected? With this last thought in mind, I like to practice rejection as a form of trust.

If someone is rejecting me, I take it to mean they trust me to take in the information and do with it what I will. They trust me to be strong enough, intelligent enough and mature enough to metabolize honesty. It’s when someone withholds information from me that I tend to grow more irritated, deceived and therefore less trusting of the messenger. By that reasoning, when I say no to someone from an honest place, I’m practicing giving that person my trust. I’m trusting them to handle their encounters and respond to information in the ways that allow them to practice strength, intelligence and maturity. And while it may be harder to reject someone who doesn’t exhibit those qualities, we may be doing them a disservice if we never say no. By not giving out rejection as a form of trust, we may be limiting what’s possible for us and for the one making the offering.

Reject something. Say no and pay attention. Where do you see the trust growing? Perhaps, it’s growing strongest with yourself.

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