How To Soothe the Sting of Romantic Rejection Real Quick

Rejections! They suck! Professional rejection, romantic rejection, it doesn’t always get “easier” for either, though we can equip ourselves to navigate the aftermath of rejection a bit better even if we can’t fully armor ourselves against them. We’re here to talk about the latter, romantic rejection. And while there’s all sorts of long-term self-work you can do when it comes to rejections, that’s not what this article is. Rather, I’m talking about the short-term solutions, the salves, the quick hacks for fast-acting rejection relief! These are the things you can do right away to make yourself feel better after experiencing rejection. Fair warning that the salves might not last and that you may need to do some of that more long-term self-work to boost your resting confidence levels, but life is hard, and sometimes you just need some cheat codes to get through the immediate future. So here are some tricks to try out the next time you’re feeling the sting of rejection.

Get your friends to gas you up

Text your group chat selfies and let them compliment you. Ask your bestie what their favorite thing about you is. As queer people, we often rely on our friends to fulfill a lot of roles, and that can absolutely include reinforcement that you’re hot if you want it to! While it has never personally been for me, I do know some queer people who even consensually send nudes or thirst traps to friends or in group chats so everyone can hype each other up. But it doesn’t have to be all that; you can literally just send a regular photo of yourself that you like to your friends and let them compliment the hell out of you. It can also just help to vent to friends a bit about the rejection. They’ll likely chime in with words of support, compliments, and perhaps stories of rejection of their own to make you not feel so alone. Which brings me to…

Listen to/read other people’s rejection stories

With the caveat that this doesn’t work for everyone, one way to possibly get over rejection real quick is to consume other stories of rejection. Read stories online about the worst dates people have ever been on. There are whole Reddit threads dedicated to worst rejection stories. The friend you have that has no problem sharing their most mortifying stories? Ask them (politely) to hit you with a tale of rejection. Again, this method isn’t for everyone, but if you’re the kind of person who tends to feel better when you realize other people have had similar experiences as you, try it out!

Do something you know you’re good at

I know I’m good at darts and bowling. If I experience professional rejection, I’ll often go play darts or go bowling. Because I know even if I don’t do perfectly at either, I’ll at least do baseline good (and actually, the worse I feel in life, the better I tend to be at these activities). I’m married and not dating, so romantic rejection isn’t really on the table for me anymore, but if it was, I know these methods I use in the event of professional rejection would work just the same! It feels bad to feel rejected for any reason, and it feels good to be good at something! Pretty simple! Remind yourself what you’re good at and then do that thing!

Write down five things you love about yourself

I’m a sucker for a self-improvement journal prompt. It can feel really uncomfortable or strange to write down things you like about yourself, but that is exactly why I think we should all practice it more often. Write down just five things for now. They can be anything! Then challenge yourself to come back the next day and write five more. Remind yourself that the things you love about yourself are things other people can love about you, too, even if whoever rejected you can’t be that person for you right now.

Go on a Hot Queer Adventure

Hot Queer Adventure (HQA) is something I literally just made up, but it basically means you should go do something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t. The “hot” and “queer” specifications are already met! You’re hot! You’re queer! Try that new restaurant out. Sign up for surfing lessons. Invite friends over to play a new game or go on a solo date. Have fun, feel hot, and get a quick boost of excitement from trying something new, even if it’s as small as an ice cream flavor you’ve never had before.

The sting of rejection is often acute but brief, so treating it with a special treat or a compliment buffet from friends sometimes works quite nicely! There’ll be time to work on yourself in more sustainable ways later. For now, let yourself have a quick fix.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 861 articles for us.

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