The Tentacles of Rejection.

Via Greer Van Dyck
on Oct 3, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

Source: via Nancy on Pinterest

Rejection, I feel, is one of those things that rears its ugly head in so many parts of life.

It maintains a solid foundation, but waves poisonous tentacles all over a person’s world, instilling a fear inside that prevents the free pursuit of a rich and fulfilling existence.

For me, as of right now, I have defeated its strength and power over me, and have developed an antidote for the poison it injects. But for many years, I was stopped dead in my tracks due to the fear of rejection.

I can think of two main areas in which rejection has played the biggest part in my life: relationships and academics.

I have seen the power that rejection has had over me and absolutely willed it out of my life. But trust me, this isn’t a process that necessarily concludes when you want it to. Sometimes the power of “hearing no” almost acts as abuse. Once you experience that initial bruising and hurt, the pain may never be alleviated.

Relationships, for me though, have been interesting. I have put myself out there to men and without a doubt, heard no. But over the years, I have learned to take that rejection not necessarily as a result of my own flaw, but merely as an opportunity for exposure and growth.

When I hear “I don’t think it’s going to work,” I have to respect that for the many reasons why. I can’t just assume that all of the reasoning has to do with me as a person. I feel like when the recipient internalizes rejection, that sets up a cascade effect of unhealthy patterns. For me, being proactive in a romantic pursuit can be accomplished by maintaining my reverence and respect for myself. Find the balance.

With academics, I came to my father crying because I had been turned down at a college that I really wanted to go to.

He looked me in the eyes, took my hands and said only, “Greer, rejection means you are shooting high enough. If you had been accepted everywhere, it would have meant you weren’t striving as high as you could.”

That put me in my place, and for the first time, I really and truly felt okay with No. And now that I have more years under my belt, I see that with all of the times I have heard “No,” I have also heard “Yes.” And I know that all of that brought me to where I am today.

Therefore, in my life I am not necessarily going to demand that everything I want to happen happen, but I must maintain the assurance that I made every effort I could to hear Yes. There will be no regret, no opportunities missed.

Does hearing a “No” mean you took steps back? Absolutely not, it doesn’t make you are any worse off, it just means that you are embracing vulnerability and turning your back on insecurity.



Editor: Brianna Bemel


Like elephant Health & Wellness on Facebook.


About Greer Van Dyck

Greer Van Dyck, M.A. appreciates the quiet of the early morning hours. Proudly representing herself as a “realistic optimist,” she thrives on challenging herself in the workplace and on the playing field. She works for a startup company called TherapySites, who specializes in providing web based solutions for mental health care practitioners and gets geeked out over riding her single speed mountain bike. The work keeps her stimulated and always tests her creative edge and business savvy. She references the words of Kahlil Gibran often and appreciates the wisdom of his words. One of her favorite quotes is, “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.” Game on. Providing therapeutic services in and around Boulder, CO. Please feel free to call at 706-714-6500 or email at [email protected]


9 Responses to “The Tentacles of Rejection.”

  1. Korumaze says:

    Wonderful perspective!

  2. lisa says:

    one of my favorite little sayings is "rejection is god's protection"..and SOOO much good in my own life has occurred after being rejected in some way. thanks for the article!

  3. Cesare says:

    Awesome article. Especially loved the quote from your dad.

  4. Kelly says:

    Thank you Greer.

  5. Cocco says:

    That is a VERY nice picture.

  6. Dace says:

    I believe rejection is a good teacher to love and value yourself more. However difficult at times in all cases rejection is not a burden but a platform to climb up. It is truly God's protection not to be in a wrong place in a wrong time. Rejoice the blessing and time will show that it is true.

  7. […] up in the self-pity and insecurity rhetoric that is so often a part of our thought processes. Old, comfortable feelings of inevitable embarrassment and failure come over us like a warm blanket. This place isn’t particularly nice, but it’s familiar, […]

  8. […] Rejection might well be the source of our greatest fear and anguish and for good reason. Looking back at our tribal origins, rejection is imprinted in us as a matter of life and death. […]