Situation: You clearly are rejected by someone you respect and wanted to have a relationship with
Critical (A) (The Adversity or Activating Event): I tried so hard to win their favor and it was clearly not enough. He rejected me.
(B) (Your basic attitude which is 100% under your control):
“It is awful to be rejected by someone who I tried so hard to have think well of me.”
1. Unhealthy feelings of shame
2. Unhealthy behavior of not wanting to mention the rejection
3. Biased future thinking: "When others find out I was rejected I will be thought of in a negative light."
(D) Disputing Questions:
1. Is it an exaggeration to define this rejection as awful?
2. Is it very disappointing that you were rejected or awful?
3. What is the impact on your ability to move on from this rejection when you define this rejection as awful?
4. Can some good come from this disappointing rejection?
5. On a badness scale is this rejection between 0% to 100% or is really off the scale and more than 100% bad? Awful literally means more than 100%. Is it really that bad?
REBT’s Suggested for a Healthy Reaction to Rejection:
It is truly disappointing to be rejected in this relationship as I wanted it very badly but it really is not awful. It is an exaggeration to think of it as awful and doing so will NOT help me move on from this rejection and learn from anything I may have done to contribute to it. On a scale of 0%-100% after reflection it appears to be about at most 70% bad. Far worse rejections and other bad events could happen to me. I can actually learn from this and perhaps in the future take something from it that can help me get accepted by someone who I may wish to have a relationship with in the future. Let me move on and learn from my contribution to this rejection.
Healthy Result: feelings of disappointment and you move on wiser for having been rejected…
REBT’s Homework Prescription:
Take a few minutes over the next few days and write the REBT Suggested Attitude on an index card to internalize it and ponder the wisdom of this attitude further. This will prepare you for the next time rejection occurs as it inevitably will.