Helping You Cope With & Stop



Being picked last for the team, not being able to find a room-mate in college, being left off of a party list, or not being asked your opinion while others can speak freely are just some examples of ‘rejection’ experienced by almost everyone. Being rejected repeatedly by the same person can be a form of workplace bullying and it hurts. The question is, how can you move on from the horrible emotional feeling of rejection and gain back the joyful existence you once had?

Why Do We Feel Rejected?

Feeling rejected is based on the target’s say-so. One cannot argue with feelings. Our ability to handle rejection: Those who had secure attachments earlier in life have a healthier view of rejection. Some people have a higher ability to handle rejection than do others. Who tends to reject us is another factor. If it is a transactional rejection such as a clerk in a store, admitting nurse or police officer whom we might only see once, we are apt to shoulder it a little easier than when faced with rejection from one’s primal or social community. It could stem back to early childhood; even the womb. Suffering rejection from our community gives us a ‘loose filter’ at best. It would be safe to say that one might not have the capacity that others might have during these times. We will either feel the effects as deeper wounds, or we’ll react to the slightest of rejections with more intensity – or both.

Why would someone reject us?

1. Someone is unaware of causing you to feel rejected. You have an expectation of someone, yet they are unaware of it. You decide it is rejection because you think ‘they should know better’. Consider these situations:

  • You volunteered for a whole year on a conference and the National President didn’t even thank you when they saw you. You felt rejected and hurt. After all, look at all the work you did. (This actually happened to me. Yes, I was the President. I was unaware and I do like to honour people. I had so much on my mind and had a ‘blind spot’. This one particular individual told me three years later and I was so sorry I ‘missed that one’. I still sense she is upset).
  • Your boss never quite says “Great job.” Maybe they’ve never been told ‘great job’. A pattern such as this can start in childhood.

2. Someone is aware of wanting you to feel rejected. They do understand what they are doing and how it will make you feel. Causing intentional rejection over and over again, is bullying. Remember, someone rejecting you is about them rejecting themselves. It is a projection of their own hurt. Here are some ways in which you may experience ‘rejection’ from another:

  • Sarcastic humor to put you down (remember – it’s only a joke if you are both laughing);
  • Superior or critical thoughts over you; they are mad you ‘don’t get it’;
  • You are left out of information loops or social situations in order to have power over you.

What drives all of this? Envy. The bully either wants what you have or they just simply do not want you to have “something”. The bully wants to take what doesn’t belong to them – your satisfaction.

What Happens When You Feel Rejected?

Some people, after years of rejection, may now act as the ‘rejecter’. Nothing seems to be good enough or acceptable enough. These people might find themselves constantly offended or disappointed. It might be situational, or all the time. This is a reaction to the initial rejection, or ‘wound’ that was once experienced.

Experiencing prolonged rejection we may:

  • Be accident prone
  • Be edgy
  • Suffer from anxiety
  • Suffer from depression
  • Think suicidal thoughts
  • Be unable to sleep
  • Worrying excessively
  • Analyze excessively
  • Feel others are talking about us
  • Feel others are out to get us
  • Feel apathetic: what’s the use
  • Procrastinate and we might become phony in order to cover up
  • Criticize others so we can feel better
  • Let others walk all over us, yet blame them for this too
  • Have feelings of self-pity, resentment, anger, jealousy, envy, greed, intolerance, impatience, selfishness because ‘it’s not fair’, over-sensitivity, vanity or indifference
  • Withdraw and alienate from those we love

What Can You Do?

Remembering that rejection happens to everyone is important. Secondly, being bullied and feeling rejected can knock even the most competent person off their stride. Having said that, and knowing you do not want to feel the hurtful and sad feelings rejection brings, here are some things you can do:

  1. Admit you feel rejected.
  2. Admit any negative self-preservation behaviors you may be doing in order to cope (ie) over-eating, excessive drinking or drugs, over-spending etc.
  3. When one is rejected, they feel out of control. Gaining back control is realizing and admitting you are powerless over your emotions. (Meaning we need help and also we cannot really change another).
  4. If you are suffering to a large degree, know you deserve to feel better; and it can get better.
  5. Consider Emotions Anonymous ( Look them up. It is the most effective and low cost solution support system I know that can restore hope, dignity and control back into your life.
  6. Look out for patterns. Do you spend a lot of your time harboring the feelings of rejection? Time to get yourself some help…it’s ok, we cannot ‘lean on our own understanding’ for everything.
  7. Keep a list of the best compliments you have ever received and review them. Keep an encouragement file folder with your ‘notes’.
  8. Work at knowing who you are. Suffering from high approval needs is an addiction that will never be met. When we know who we are and what we stand for more clearly, we tend to stand taller. Make a list of what is important to you and develop a life around these things.
  9. Decide: What you can control, what you cannot. What you can cure, what you cannot. What you did cause, what you did not.
  10. Expression is the opposite of depression. Decide to change things up and give something to someone else. A smile, an encouraging call, a joke. Something given as encouragement to another is a higher vibrational level than the feelings of sadness derived from rejection. This might sound simple and small, but it might be just the thing to turn your heart around, just when you need it…and you get to be in control of that.

We are more than our emotions. We are wonderful people worth celebrating and honouring. For additional support and information on handling rejection, Check out our book Mastering the Art of Success to help you.


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13 responses to “10 Tips to Stop Workplace Bullying Rejection”

  1. Gruntherd says:

    I found your article on rejection to be essentially ‘right on’, as it pertains to my own workplace nightmare.

  2. SanDee McBride says:

    Hello Valerie,
    Thank you for having the insight to bring work place bullying to the forefront. I have endured it for years but did not know it was bullying. I always thought it was all me, I was wrong, I was broken, I could never fit in. It seemed all my hard work did not amount to anything. NOW, having bought your book, and reading your online insights, I AM NOT THE PROBLEM!!! Yea!! I rejoice!! I have hope, I worry less, I am recognizing the bullie’s tactics and she does not get me to responde to her like she wants anymore. Therefore, her tactics are changing…she isn’t quiting yet. But neither am I! Is there a support site for targets? Would love to find one.
    Sincerely, SanDee

  3. admin says:

    Regarding Emotions Anonymous: EA assists people with being able to handle the emotions that arise as a result of any trauma, bullying, difficult situation etc. We are more than our emotions and while it does not give you strategies specifically to deal with a bully, it gives great help in helping the target/victim etc know how to think differently about how they are experiencing the bully. Being captive by our emotions is bondage. Hope this helps!

  4. Donna says:

    I looked at the website for emotions anonymous.

    If you are trying to help people being bullied, this group just supports the idea that they are the problem (or have problems.)

    Not good for someone’s self-esteem when they are trying hard to hold onto whatever they have left of it!

  5. Interesting and informative. But will you write about this one more?

  6. Merl says:

    Many studies show that bullies are often intelligent, over confident, have superiority complexes, are popular in school or at work, are attractive, socially well situated, and are often from wealthy families. Remember the in crowd in high school, college, and later at work? Bullies are therefore not always envious, or insecure. Rather, bullies are hateful, contemptuous, vindictive, spiteful and sadistic. Bullies enjoy causing chaos, trouble, and pain. Bullies cannot stand to see anyone happy or content. The truth is that bullies bully because they can. When bullying is not tolerated in the work place or at school morale is better. Bullies target anyone they see as weak; or anyone they consider as unjustifiably happy or satisfied. Bullies think they are better persons than their targets. Bullies never envy weak people; they despise them; this is the truth about most bullies. That being said and known the only way to stop bullying is to discourage or sanction it. One indiviudal is helpless against a bully or bullies given free reign. And many bullies have lots of friends who will pile on; so their victims don’t stand much chance; no matter what they do. That is why bullying must be discouraged or outlawed as it becomes addictive; because it gives the bullies power rushes; and that is addictive. Most politics and social in fighting is based on bullying; so it is often difficult to know where to draw the line; and that is one reason bullying is ignored or tacitly accepted in the workplace.
    However, sexism and racism are essentially forms of bullying. So it might be a good idea to discourage bullying.

  7. Valuable thoughts and advices. I read your topic with great interest.

  8. Stefanie Twining says:

    hello. I live in the UK and I am being “Casebook mobbed” at work. I read the notes on mobbing and sure enough it will be the next thing to happen.

    I feel so alone and do not know what to do. I have always been a very hard worker and have has no complaints until I met this particular GSM who took a particular dislike to me which was evident from the very start. He actually pretended to spit on the floor when he was walking up to me. What on earth am i expected to do with that?

  9. Robert Hernandez says:

    This is the best of the series so far. Is ladden with info. You are dead-on. I had those feelings not very long ago, I endured and somehow the situation improved (a dirty little secret, my faith helped me. But that’s another story). But I know it will probably come back, I mean if it happened once it can happen again, right? But I think I know better now.

    Keep up the good work. Is a great thing you are doing and I hope more people finds you. Lots and lots. On my part I’ll be forwarding your e-mails to people I know is being bullied.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  10. buy propecia says:

    I really like your blog and i respect your work. I’ll be a frequent visitor.

  11. Alice says:

    Our boss keeps us out of the loop and is always emphasizing that because I am part time that I am not an essential part of the team. although I contribute as much as I can when I am there. It is to the point where I don’t even want to do anything for her anymore. I don’t feel the motivation.

  12. Cherie Bates says:

    Hi Valerie,

    I would be very interested in the DVD series for the workplace. I am the HR Director of a large organinzation in northern California and this might be of help to our organization. Thanks!

  13. Cindy Barnes says:

    Greetings. I would like more info on your upcoming DVD series and will be approaching my organization to invest in your products.

    I have worked at Health Canada for 20 years and am only now learning about workplace bullying after having endured years of it. For an intelligent person, it surprises me that I didn’t understand what was happening and certainly never foresaw the horrible events it would lead to at work and in my life – devastating to say the least. I am a shadow of my former self and struggle every day to carrying on(have just returned to work after 1.5yr).

    Your web site has really opened my eyes and given me words to express and validate what happened. Not sure I’ll ever be whole again but am trying to learn, heal and hopefully move on one day.

    Thank you and keep up the good work!

    Cindy Barnes

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Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to

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