Let’s Talk: Rejection

I’m going to be super honest with you guys: I suck at accepting rejections. Most people know me as someone who doesn’t get phased very often. My natural state of emotion is indifference. You’d think that I would be good at taking rejection, but personally speaking, I definitely am not. I might have the outward appearance of aloofness, but I tend to take things pretty personally… even if there’s nothing personal about the rejection.

With staying indoors more often, I have become very introspective, and I thought I’d talk about my take on rejection in a bookish context.

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For one, I think it’s important to acknowledge that rejection is never easy. Sure, it can get easier, but I don’t think it’ll ever be easy. Part of the reason why it can be hard is because our expectations and hopes were crushed.

From a bookish perspective, that could mean getting rejected after requesting for an ARC copy of a book you’re really excited for. I can say in the five years I’ve been a book blogger, I have been rejected WAY more times than accepted by publishers whenever I request an ARC. One thing I’ve been working on personally is managing expectations. As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, I tend to take things way too personally. What I have to realize is these publishers are just doing their job and do not hate me. There are many more outside factors that I cannot control that they take into account when they consider my request. Taking the full responsibility that they rejected my request solely because of me is bogus.

Also, rejection isn’t talked about enough on the internet. Much like any other person, I put the best version of myself on the web and social media. I don’t show the bad stuff normally, and it’s easy to assume other people do the same. That being said, it’s unrealistic to compare my successes (and failures) to that of a curated image on the internet. Because people don’t talk about rejection enough, it makes it look like it’s not common. That makes it all the more painful because I feel more like a failure when all I see on the internet are people succeeding. That is why I’ve decided to write this post and show that rejection is common, at least in my life.

[ I feel like I should caveat and say that I am solely speaking for myself in this post. People experience rejection differently, and this is my take on it. ]

I find that mindset is also super important when I face something difficult. I feel a lot better when I approach being rejected as more of a learning experience than a personal attack. Going back to the ARC example, when a publisher denies my request, I think back on what I did and what I could do better next time. This applies to the email I send, my internet presence, what content I post on my blog, the quality of the content, etc. etc. I feel like I gained more from the rejection than I would’ve if I just wallowed in my disappointment and felt like a failure.

That being said, I feel like there is an over-emphasis on having a positive mindset and attitude 100% of the time, which I don’t agree with. No one can be positive every waking hour. It’s not human. It’s okay to grieve a little when you get rejected, as long as you don’t let it consume you. One thing that I do when I feel like I have to have a self-pity party is set a timer for ten minutes and let myself feel bad. After that timer rings, I need to move on. (Of course, the time spend wallowing greatly depends on the size of the rejection. Because we’re talking about rejection in a hobby, I give myself a couple minutes. If we’re talking about something more important like relationships, schools, and job prospects, it might take a bit more time.)

Another thing that I’m working on is embracing rejection. I need to accept that without rejection, there can’t be successes. They’re like yin and yang. Also, fearing rejection can lead to missed opportunities. I would much rather be rejected than question what could’ve happened if I shot my shot. Yes, putting yourself out there makes you vulnerable. Yes, vulnerability is scary. But for me, the unknown is even more terrifying. I know for a fact I’ll regret missing an opportunity more than I would actually being rejected.

That’s why I’ve been worrying less of about my requests being denied and just going for it. Rejection is inevitable, and the outcome and decisions of others are never completely in our control. Acknowledging that my self-worth as a book blogger and as a human does not amount to what others think of me and my successes and failures has been learning curve, but I’m getting there. I am worthy regardless of what I do and whether or not others accept me because I am human. That should be enough. That is enough.

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So… that is my take on rejection! I hope you were able to relate in one way or another or gain something from this post. I know this is not like what I usually write on this blog, but it has been something that has frequently been on my mind for the past year or so. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with rejection in the bookish community (if you’re comfortable and willing to share, of course) in the comments!

I hope you guys have a lovely rest of your day, and please stay safe!

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Until next time….

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8 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Rejection

  1. Gerry@TheBookNookUK 07/28/2020 / 2:21 am

    Good post!

    For me I think the level of disappointment or sadness I feel when rejected for anything was the level of the stake I had it in in the first place. If I’m rejected for an ARC then I don’t care because in my mind – it’s an ARC for a hobby – but if I’m rejected for a job then that will sting a bit because there’s a lot more I could have gained but also the rejection is based on me as an individual to some level.

    I agree with your point about over emphasis on positivity which I’ve taken to calling ‘toxic positivity.’

    I have a real life friend who does this – even if someone is upset about something truly painful i.e. an illness – she tries to do the whole ‘it could be worse’ and ‘other people have it worse look at your blessings’ statements which is counter-productive and just makes people feel bad for feeling bad!

    Let people feel what they need to feel and if that’s sadness at being rejected than they need to feel it and work through it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 07/30/2020 / 12:34 am

      I totally understand what you mean when you say that the amount someone feels a rejection depends on how invested they are in that thing. I definitely feel the rejection more whenever it’s something related to jobs or education.

      I agree that it’s better to let people feel what they need to feel. I admit, I’m a culprit of the whole “look on the bright side of things” from time to time, and I have to remind myself that people need time to process their emotions, even the negative ones. I don’t like seeing those I care about in distress, but you’re totally right that it can be counter-productive to say things like that.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marta @ the book mermaid 08/16/2020 / 6:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing this!! I definitely agree that rejection is a topic that should be more talked about, because, as you mentioned, we only see the good side of the people on the Internet, and therefore it’s easier for us to feel like failures. I’ve thankfully being doing better at handling how I react to rejection in the book community. I never took it like a personal attack, but I often felt like I could never be good enough or do enough. That led to me distancing myself from the good things for a while. One thing that I try to do (and helps) is remember and appreciate every good thing that has happened to me so far, even if small. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 08/17/2020 / 1:03 pm

      I like your approach of focusing on what you have (the good things) rather than what you don’t when rejected. You are not alone in this! I totally get not feeling good enough… It’s something I’ve been trying to work on. I need to stop finding my self worth in other people’s decisions and start finding happiness within myself in what I do and who I am.

      Thanks for sharing! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Leyanis @ thebloggerandthegeek 08/31/2020 / 6:50 pm

    I think that the only time I have been rejected when it comes to the bookish community is when requesting at Netgalley 🤔 I don’t ask for ARCs so I haven’t experienced rejection often. But, when I do I just shrug at it because for me, is not the end of the world. But, I did love reading your perspective, I know everyone is different and I like how you improve rather than dwell on it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 09/01/2020 / 8:53 pm

      I like places like Netgalley and Edelweiss+ because you can shoot your shot in a low-stakes kind of way. Like you said, it’s not the end of the world if the request doesn’t get accepted, and there is a lot of opportunities to request titles!

      Thanks for sharing! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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