Rejection : Causes, Effects And How To Deal With It

Riya Halbhavi
Aug 24, 2019   •  6 views

Rejection is the feeling of not being accepted in society or a group of people. We all have had experiences of rejection among peers, family or friends, from performing poorly on a test to being deliberately excluded at a social event, and can agree that it is not the best feeling. This article highlights and elucidates on the causes and effects of rejection and how to deal with it.

Kinds of Rejection

  • Rejection among peers or friends.

  • Rejection among family.

  • Rejection in a relationship.

Why do we feel Rejected?

It can be said that among people similar to us, we feel embraced, but we feel rejected or inferior among people who are ‘out of our league’ - people who possess skills or abilities which we lack - due to feeling ‘not good enough’. This feeling arises from a variety of factors, such as low self-esteem or confidence, personal failures, bullying, or the feeling of not conforming to the ‘norms’ of what is considered ‘acceptable’ in society.

Not Conforming to the Social Norms

These social norms include one’s character or personality, behaviour, appearance and conduct, and more. We tend to feel rejected when we are sure that we do not ‘fit in’ a peer circle because we are different, or stand out, in a bad way - straying from the archetype of the ‘ideal’, popular person in our group. The portrayal of this ‘ideal’ person all over the media can affect us by convincing us that we are inferior to such people.

Personal Experiences & Failures

Personal experiences of failures also play a role in creating the feeling of rejection. We may feel inadequate due to a few specific failures in the past; the mistake of us letting those failures bring us down is what makes us feel that way. Personally, at the beginning of the ninth grade, due to the change in board of education and thus the level of academics which I was not accustomed to, I felt academically inferior to my classmates, which I hung onto for a while - which was a mistake, but I did not let that make me feel rejected.

Inferiority can be associated with many other things - creativity, influence and power, or social skills.


Competitiveness among peers also results in the feeling of rejection when we are unable to surpass them and achieve a specific goal due to a failure.


Sometimes rejection can arise due to personal reasons; however, others intentionally making us feel excluded - for example, through bullying - can fuel our feeling of being rejected.



We sometimes allow experiences of rejection to prey on our self-esteem and confidence, and thus make us feel bad and insecure about certain aspects of ourselves, whether it is character, appearance or personal preferences.

Anxiety & Depression

In the long run, rejection may lead to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. We may feel out of place and become isolated among our peers - possibly even friends. It may reach the extent of making us socially inept and unable to mingle with people.


This is common among people, especially children and adolescents, who have been subjected to continuous rejection from family members or peers.It may have a great psychological toll on one’s mind. Some people develop a chronic fear of rejection over time due to having numerous traumatic experiences in the past.These people may even lose the willingness to socialize and isolate themselves due to this fear.

Hostile behavior

Rejected children may display aggressive or rude behaviour towards peers. In adults, this behaviour is not as explicit.

Dealing with Rejection

Regardless of where you go, you will be rejected by someone. Thus, it becomes essential to tackle it and not allow it to bring you down. Several ways include self-reflection, changing your perspective on others, having a good opinion on yourself, and listening to the good ‘inner voice’ or critic in your head that we all have. This will help you identify some of your negative traits or qualities which make people reject you.

Moreover, remember that we should not allow anything to make us feel rejected - ultimately it leads to no benefit. After all, we are nothing short of human and we all deserve to feel equal.