I know it’s trashy, but I live for my weekly viewing of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, or—the king of them all—Bachelor in Paradise.
Maybe it’s because I live a boring and drama-free life compared to the people who go on these shows, but sometimes after a stressful week, nothing can make you feel better about your own life than watching guys or girls (depending on whether it’s a bachelor or bachelorette time of year) lose their minds over a love interest they barely know.
I find the most common thought I have (or statement yelled at the TV) while viewing is “why are you crying? It’s OK!”
Especially early on in the seasons, it’s a little silly when contestants start crying when they aren’t chosen to continue on to the next week of dates.
The thing is, these contestants aren’t crying because they are brokenhearted over losing a chance with the bachelor or bachelorette; they’re crying because they’re facing rejection.
Rejection is a tricky emotion. It can manipulate you into thinking you care about something you really don’t. It can trick you into thinking you have feelings for someone you don’t.
This happened to me as a teen. I was not happy in a relationship, but once I was the one facing rejection, I did everything in my power to get the guy back because I thought those feelings of rejection were something that they weren’t.
Just because those feelings of sadness aren’t real feelings for a person or for something in your life (maybe it’s a job offer or not being included by a friend), that doesn’t mean those feelings of rejection don’t hurt. They hurt a lot! That’s why it’s all so confusing.
The pain is still very real and has to be dealt with. The key to accepting rejection in a healthier and less painful way is to change your perspective.
The reason people cry when they’re rejected on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is because they compare themselves to all of those other candidates who were chosen to continue on. They think they don’t stack up compared to them. Perhaps the girls are prettier or funnier. Perhaps the guys are more attractive or have more appealing careers.
This way of thinking is toxic and completely the wrong way to look at it—that’s why I end up yelling at the TV, “Why are you crying?!”
It’s not because I think they shouldn’t be sad; of course they should be. It’s extremely disappointing to be sent home, but they usually start spouting off a bunch of self-deprecating, pity-me comments about how they don’t understand what the remaining contestants have that they don’t.
That’s the thing—it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what those candidates might have that the person crying in the back seat of the limo doesn’t.
What should matter is that it wasn’t a love connection. Those remaining people just click a little better with whoever is handing out the roses that season. They are by no means better people than the ones being sent home (well, most of the time!); they just are better matches.
It’s the same with being rejected after a job interview. Whoever got the job isn’t better than you; that person just fits better with the position you both were vying for.
It doesn’t make the rejection sting less or make it any less disappointing, but it can keep you from losing your confidence or being too hard on yourself if you think of rejection as more of a two-way street.
Even if you are going through a time in your life when you feel like you’re facing rejection in the dating world, in your career, or amongst your friends or family, think of it as a saving grace.
Chances are that, if you’re being rejected from something, it probably isn’t a good fit, and that rejection is saving you from a possibly miserable situation dating someone you wouldn’t be happy with, working in a job you’d hate, or spending time with someone you maybe shouldn’t.
Rejection never means someone is better than you. We all have different flaws and strengths. Rejection just means someone may be a better fit than you for that particular situation.
It means you probably have something way better out there waiting for you. And isn’t that worth celebrating?