How to Handle Rejection: 4 Tips from a Relationship Expert

UPDATED: May 6, 2024
PUBLISHED: June 25, 2021
How to Handle Rejection: 4 Tips from a Relationship Expert

Tracy Ross, a couples therapist based in New York City, is no stranger to seeing people get rejected. Lucky for us, the ways she coaches her clients to recover from a bad breakup can be instructive anytime you are spurned, even as a seller.

1. Feel your emotions. 

People often avoid feeling the pain and sadness that accompanies a breakup, Ross says. They’ll try to numb or distract themselves by pretending they don’t care or quickly getting involved with someone else.

Ross says that although it’s important to be resilient, it’s also crucial to process and really feel your negative emotions. The same applies in sales: Don’t ignore rejection. It’s important to let yourself feel upset, because it’ll likely motivate you to improve your skills as a seller.

2. Surround yourself with the right people. 

After a breakup, it’s important to avoid those who give unsolicited advice like, “I never liked him anyway.” The same can be said of who you surround yourself with professionally. Don’t spend time with people who say things like, “You didn’t want that client anyway.” Instead, choose to be around people who support you and encourage you to do better.

3. Remember: It’s probably not personal. 

Most of the time, breakups are not personal, Ross says. There are myriad reasons why you might get dumped, and the same is true in sales: If you focus on something you think is wrong with you—you’re not smart enough or sharp enough—you will just get stuck on one of your own insecurities.

“Being rejected never feels good, but if you don’t personalize it, you will be able to feel it and then move on,” Ross says.

4. Don’t be self-conscious or ashamed. 

Talking about your breakup with loved ones can be an opportunity to get closer to certain people in your life. “People are embarrassed when they are rejected, but it’s such a universal human experience and can be very connecting when shared with trusted family and friends,” Ross says.

If you lose a sale, don’t be afraid to share the news with your colleagues. It could lead to stronger professional bonds.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by fizkes/Shutterstock

Jamie Friedlander is a freelance writer based in Chicago and the former features editor of SUCCESS magazine. Her work has been published in The Cut, VICE, Inc., The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider, among other publications. When she's not writing, she can usually be found drinking matcha tea into excess, traveling somewhere new with her husband or surfing Etsy late into the night.