Surviving Rejection: The Awkward Moment

Rejection is freaking awkward. The most awkward moment is right after they say “no” to you. There are a hundred things running through your head, and you’re trying to figure out how to react. If you’re lucky, you’re in a private place. If not, there are even more things to consider (you know, like all of the people around you that are going to see your reaction). Here are a few things that you can do to get out of that awkward moment…and a few of the things that I don’t recommend.

Hit them. Don’t do this. It’s illegal. Plus, that’s just mean. I know you can be angry, but punching your pillow (or – gasp – a stuffed animal) is a much better option! Plus, it’s not their fault. They’re just being honest.

Cry. On the spot. This adds to the awkwardness, and causes a scene if you’re in public. I don’t suggest this, but if you can’t suppress the tears, it’s not the end of the world.

Don’t say anything. Just leave. This could cause a scene depending on how the rejecter (for lack of a better word) reacts to this. If they chase you, heads will turn. If you know that they won’t, it’s not a bad option. Just realize that this means that you two will have to have “a talk” later on to sort things out.

Say okay, hug them, and leave. This is probably the best option, though for some reason I never actually use it. (I’m a cry-er, not going to lie.) Saying “okay” is really important here, even though it’s just one word. It means that you respect their decision.

And when it’s said and done, it’s said and done. Sometimes people change their minds (often in movies), but I find that usually this isn’t the case. Accepting “no” as an answer is probably one of the hardest parts of this process, but as soon as you do, it makes you feel so much better. It means that you respect their decision and that you can start to move past this bump in the road.

Remember, that’s really what rejection is: a bump in the road. Don’t let rejection screw you over.


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About the Author,

College is a struggle. You know it, and so do we. That’s where Surviving College comes in. It’s a blog about all things college – academics, jobs, friends, you name it, we’ve written about it. Roommate troubles? Got a low mark on your last exam? Trying to land that summer internship? We’ve got you covered. The Surviving… series is written by Pamela Nguyen, the Managing Editor, and Vanessa Lam, the Editor, at