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Emotional First Aid ~ 4 Ways to Heal the Hurt of Rejection

Woman distraught, crying. Face covered.
The hurt of rejection can be devastating to your emotional health. Rejection can be viewed as a type of wound. It is precisely this reason why it is essential to apply the concept of ‘Emotional First Aid’ in dealing with the hurt of rejection.

Emotional First Aid

The idea behind emotional first aid is to act in terms of self-care, self-love, and wellbeing in response to out-casting or rejection. Unfortunately, the idea of Emotional First Aid is not as common as it could and should be. People are often unaware that they need to pay more attention to their emotional health.

Unlike when they cut themselves, and the wound is cleaned and covered, people often are too paralyzed by the pain to counteract the emotional damage caused by rejection. 

Furthermore, mothers tend to look after everyone else’s emotional health first and leave themselves till last. However, We need to teach ourselves and our children the proper way of responding to such hurts as these experiences can lead to depression or anxiety in the long run.

Here are some tips to help confront and process the experience of rejection.

Take Time to Listen to Yourself When Feeling Emotional Pain

When somebody hurts us, it’s easy to get lost in and brood on the pain. While the initial contact of hurt tends to paralyze, it is also the best time to sit back and be aware of the nature and cause of the pain. What led to your experience of rejection?

When we understand the dynamics of pain and its root cause, it will be easier for us to focus on rebuilding with regard to the specific experience. When emotionally crushed by rejection, it is all too easy to generalize. This triggers feelings of diminished self-worth and even self-hate.

Being able to spotlight the specific incident and analyze it will help prevent dangerous generalizations and their consequences. Later it may help to view the incident in light of other negative experiences to look for common or repeated patterns, but not now.

Respecting and understanding the experience of rejection is important because it is the pathway to an objective response. If we can objectively view our emotional pain, we can more quickly regain a sense of emotional stability.

Once we develop this objective understanding, we will have more energy to proceed to the next phase of healing.

Develop Your Internal Parent

There are times in our lives when we are alone in the face of rejection. When no support group is on hand, the next best substitute is to revive our Internal Parent. Internal parenting refers to our inner capacity and tendency to provide care that is akin to the way our ideal mother or ideal father would care for us.

Developing this orientation is very helpful because it helps us tune in to our ability to nurture ourselves and develop greater emotional maturity, which is essential to dealing with future rejection.


Depending on the transgression, this takes time. However, when we forgive the people who hurt us, we are closing the old chapter behind us, and we are gearing ourselves to start anew and try again in life.

Learn to Challenge Negative Thoughts in a Positive Way

After understanding the nature of rejection and why the event happened, now we must put a “psychological bandage” on the wound caused by the experience so that it will not affect other aspects of our lives. In the face of rejection, we sometimes forget three crucial things that matter

  • The first is that there are those who love us with all their hearts.
  • The second is that not everything is under our control.
  • The third is that despite everything outside our control, everything within us, we can control.

When we realign our thoughts to the truth that we are not alone, that our worth is not based on the opinion of other people, and that we have the power to shape our lives and choices for the better, we can redirect our energies to move on.

We can then add the experience to our emotional knowledge base. This builds resilience and emotional intelligence and helps us prevent and better deal with future incidences of rejection. 


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