Published: Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 1:00pm

They say “Not Interested.” You say “Awesome!”

You go to a social event and someone catches your eye. You muster up the courage to approach them. Your stomach is doing backflips and at one point you wonder if you might even throw up. Your heart races as you think of what to say to break the ice and win them over.

You go to a social event and someone catches your eye. You muster up the courage to approach them. Your stomach is doing backflips and at one point you wonder if you might even throw up. Your heart races as you think of what to say to break the ice and win them over.

As you start talking, you find that you both really click – there is instant chemistry and attraction. As you continue your conversation, you find yourself more and more interested in them. And from the way the interaction is going, you believe this feeling to be mutual. You exchange numbers and they say they’re going to call. You leave the place smiling and looking forward to talking and seeing them again.

Days pass by. You still haven’t heard from them. Days turn to weeks. Gradually, you come to the realization that the call is never going to come. You realize that what you perceived as chemistry and attraction was mostly from your end. Truth be told, they were just not that into you. Bummer.

“I’m sorry, I’m not interested. “
“You seem like a great person, but I think we’re better off as friends.”
“I’m not looking for anything serious.”

Sound familiar? Almost all of us have heard these lines before. It definitely does its part in striking a dent in your self-esteem. Trust me, I know. It’s not a pleasant feeling and you are left wondering what exactly it was about you they didn’t like.

To be effective in the dating world, you need to be able to handle rejection. You need to know that not everybody is going to be receptive to your advances. Sure, it’s not easy to get a grasp on. But there are some steps you can take to make the sting less painful.
1. Don’t take it personally. This is easier said than done, but sometimes you have to take into consideration that it might not be you. There are a lot of factors that can lead someone to turn away from your advances. Maybe they’re already in a committed relationship. Maybe they’re just getting out of one and not ready for anyone new in their lives. Or maybe they just had a rough day at work. The point is there could be a number of reasons why they turned away – and it doesn’t always mean it’s you.

2. The more you get rejected, the less it bothers you. The best remedy to getting over your fears is to face them. In this case, the best way to not be affected by rejection is to go through it over and over again until it doesn’t bother you anymore. The fear of rejection can be debilitating. But the more you go through it, the more you are likely to find that it is not nearly as bad as you had imagined it to be. It can be a humiliating and for a moment you will be hit by a feeling of insecurity. But after a few minutes you will have forgotten all about it. Take comfort in the fact that the more you experience it, the easier it will be to deal with.

3. Learn from your mistakes. Sometimes the problem could indeed be us. We need to reflect on our actions and see if they came off as being desirable or a complete turn-off. Instead of sulking and feeling bad that you got rejected, be constructive and use it as a learning experience so that you don’t make the same mistake next time. Take rejection as a sign of progression – a way of better understanding your blind spots and understanding what people actually want.

Don’t let rejection discourage you from having a positive dating experience. Although it can be difficult, when someone says no to you, have the right attitude. Initially, you will be stirred up with different negative emotions. But when you let those emotions get the better of you the situation can get worse. Take a deep breath and ground yourself. Although it can be a bit disheartening, realize that the reason they said no to you is because it just wasn’t meant to be and you were meant to be with someone better.

We will not always be loved by everyone and we cannot love everyone. But we are all meant to be loved by someone. Don’t lose sight of who you are as a person and think of yourself as unworthy. Learn to accept it, learn from it and move on. And if all else fails then remember the one good thing about being Tamil – we always have arranged marriage!

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