Friendship can be a tricky thing. You may feel that you are bonding with someone until you discover that the person is not interested in your company. If someone rejects your friendship, strive to rise above. There are many reasons for not wanting someone's friendship, and most of them are not about you. Try to let that lost friendship go, recognizing that it's not a personal matter and focusing your energies on something else. Be kind to yourself to better control your emotions, and when you're ready, think about whether you can learn something from the situation: maybe there's something you could have done differently. In the future, try to be more aware of your behavior.
Part 1 of 3: Finding Ways to Get Over the Relationship
Step 1. Avoid thinking about what happened
If someone didn't want to be your friend, you can find yourself thinking about it over and over, as well as asking yourself a lot of questions trying to figure out what went wrong and why after being rejected. However, try to avoid this attitude. Unless the person talks to your face, you'll never know for sure why they're rejected, so there's no point in worrying.
- Think about how close you were to the person. If you were just getting to know someone until you realized they weren't interested, think about how much you really knew them. It might be better to forget what happened and move on.
- Be aware of your thoughts. When you find yourself mulling over something, do an activity to distract yourself, such as reading a book or watching TV.
Step 2. Decrease social media interaction
If you are always online, avoid visiting the profile of the person who rejected you. Keeping an eye on your Facebook profile will only open the wounds again, as you can start thinking about why your friendship was rejected.
- Try blocking the person's updates for a while. Thus, it is possible to avoid accidentally seeing her page when browsing social networks.
- It might be a good idea to stay away from social media for a while, especially if you're having a hard time accepting the situation.
Step 3. Change the way you look at the situation
You may have trouble getting over it when you see rejection as just negative. Instead of seeing it as a defeat, understand it as an attempt among many others that failed. That way, it's easier to forget and move on to the next one.
- Think of it this way: You got out of your comfort zone and tried to make a new friend. Many people are terrified of expanding their social circles, so you deserve credit for trying to meet someone new.
- This friendship didn't work out and that's normal. Many individuals have diverse commitments and relationships, and if the friendship doesn't fit, they may simply decide to move on.
- Look to the future. That friendship didn't mesh, but there are plenty of other opportunities to meet new people and make friends.
Step 4. Accept the pain and then get over it
It's okay to feel hurt after a rejection. As you try to completely forget about negative feelings, you may feel them even more, so to get over it, accept the pain for a while. Thus, it is possible to release anger and resentment and then move on.
- Nobody likes to be rejected. When someone doesn't want to be our friend, it hurts. Allow yourself to be human and mourn the loss, taking a few hours or a day to be sad.
- Then focus your energies on the future, thinking something like, "It was a sad situation. I wish it had been different, but now we need to move on."
Step 5. Expand your contacts
If you are shy by nature and have difficulty making friends, rejection can hurt even more. A great way to forget about someone you didn't want to be friends with is to try to expand your network of contacts. Find places where you can meet new people.
- Commit to interacting more with others. Start small by promising yourself that you'll talk to more people at work this week, for example.
- From that point, try harder. For example, try going to a party you've been invited to, or going alone to a social gathering place, such as a coffee shop or community center, to chat with others.
Part 2 of 3: Controlling Emotions
Step 1. Avoid taking it personally
You can feel personally hurt if someone doesn't want to be your friend. However, the reason may not be personal, so try to look at the situation objectively. When being honest with yourself, assess: Was the rejection really personal?
- Think about the relationships in your life. Chances are, you've rejected someone else's friendship in the past. Perhaps a classmate or co-worker has asked you out several times and you have made several excuses. Was it personal? Probably not. Maybe your personalities didn't match or you were too busy for new friends.
- The person who rejected your friendship may have similar reasons. Maybe she already has a lot to do and doesn't want other friends or she thinks you're very nice but doesn't feel a greater connection. There is a high probability that the rejection does not reflect your value as a person.
Step 2. Increase self-confidence
Rejection can have a big impact on self-confidence and you may feel bad about yourself because of it. Rather than sinking into feelings of self-pity, try looking for ways to build self-confidence.
- Make a list of everything you like about each other. Think about the things you've done well during the week, examining your talents and abilities to see their value.
- It also takes an effort to remember current relationships. Chances are, you already have a lot of good friends now. Just because someone didn't want your friendship doesn't mean you're not nice.
Step 3. Say positive things about yourself
When you find yourself in a negative inner monologue, stop and replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Thus, it is possible to encourage trust and a sense of worth.
- Perceive the thoughts throughout the day, especially when the subject is the friendship that didn't work out. For example, you might hear this person make plans with another friend of yours and think, "I don't think I'm good enough to be his friend."
- Stop and redirect your thoughts. Replace bad thoughts with positive ones. An example is: "I didn't get along with Laura, but I know how much Mariana values my friendship. I must be doing the right thing to have a friend as good as Mariana."
Step 4. Remember that emotions are temporary
The feeling of rejection won't last forever. As you begin to dwell on negative feelings, stop and remind yourself of your worth. You won't be sad forever, even if it looks that way now. One day, it will be possible to move on and find other better friends.
Part 3 of 3: Learning from experience
Step 1. Accept rejection as a way to grow
It is possible to learn from being rejected, seeing an opportunity to develop resilience rather than seeing the situation as something purely negative.
- Rejection is part of life. Fear of social rejection can limit your circle of friendships and interactions.
- When you go through such a situation more than once, it becomes easier to deal with it. So see rejection as a practice – you've learned what it's like when a potential friend rejects you. Now that the situation is over, you won't be so nervous if it reoccurs in the future.
Step 2. Think if you could have acted differently
Nobody is perfect, and most of the time rejection is not your fault. However, could you have done otherwise? It is possible to benefit as a person from rejection by thinking of ways to grow and mature.
- Think about interactions with that person. Have you made rude or negative comments that may have made you uncomfortable? Did you talk too much too soon, cancel an agreement or make plans too rigid?
- Most of the time, rejection is not about you. However, if you've done something wrong, recognizing the attitude can help you grow.
Step 3. Consider the idea of fixing the error
How important is this person to you? It might be a good idea to try to repair the situation if you like it a lot, especially when you think that something you did caused the problem.
- You can try sending a short text message or email talking about the subject. There is no need to go into too much detail.
- Try saying something simple, like, "Hi! Sorry I screwed up. I want to be your friend, even if I didn't feel like it. Give me a ring if you want some coffee sometime!"
- Have the courage to go ahead and put an end to a friendship if you've tried to resolve the situation, but without success. You will feel better and know, in your heart of hearts, that it was the right thing to do.
- Apologize if it was your mistake. Leave the person alone if they don't accept the apology, as a good friend always forgives another's mistakes.