Imagine a classic cheesy movie-scene: Bob, the protagonist, once again gets turned down by someone (this time it was cute but annoying Linda), ends up sitting alone in a bar, reminiscing about “all those places he lost to being there with the wrong person”. You feel with Bob, knowing soon the one and only right girl will come around the corner, releasing Bob the protagonist from his suffering and promising a happy and joyful life together.
Have you ever thought about the other side to it all? What’s with Linda, the poor girl that has just been labelled “the wrong one” – is something really wrong with her? Well, in this cheesy movie there obviously is, given that the audience needs dull hints on why she is totally wrong for Bob – but does that really mean Linda is not entitled to have a happy life herself?
Probably not. It’s all about the angle. In a (hypothetical) movie with Linda as the chief character, Bob the (former) protagonist is the wrong one. Now let’s try to connect to real life: Why on earth would anyone ever come up with the slightest doubt about themselves being not right, not good enough, having “something wrong” with them?
Because we tend to forget: we are the protagonists in our very own movies. If you put on your headphones with music so loud that the rest of the world is fading out, you get a feeling of how it should be. This movie is about you. You are the main character, and people in your life are either handpicked by you to join your main cast, or they simply make a special occurrence and then disappear again. That doesn’t change who you are. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. From your perspective, something’s wrong with them, they didn’t fit in your movie. They will find a role in a different movie, and not having them in yours permanently just makes your movie better.
Rejection might be one of the hardest things to deal with, but it really just depends on the perspective. There are hundreds of smart-ass texts written about how you shouldn’t feel bad about being rejected, especially if the person doesn’t really know you, because they can’t even reject you, they simply reject an image they have of you. The downside of these texts is that if you take them literally, you could just go and blame yourself for all the times someone actually rejected you for who you are – after a failed relationship, for instance.
So let’s not take those smart-ass texts for granted. Different approach, but equally flawed: you could always deliberately force your thoughts away from negative things and towards positive – for instance, by telling yourself it just didn’t work out because it wasn’t meant to be, or it is better that it ended because you were not happy anymore, and so on. But there are (at least) two catches to this approach:
- After a break-up, you are not exactly rational and emotionally balanced to think like that
- Maybe in your eyes it was a perfect match and the break-up came as a total surprise to you
No, we need something easier, more catchy. Luckily, a witty friend of mine recently broke the whole dilemma down to very comprehensible essentials: If you are a triangle, and you don’t fit through the round hole, whose fault is it? The hole’s, or the triangle’s?
Right. There is no real fault. It’s just a wrong match. So whenever someone rejects you, think of them as the round hole. Even if you could manage to fit through the hole, you don’t really wanna be living a life as a triangle in a world made for round stuff, do you? Sometimes, the round world seems like a triangular one from afar, and sometimes you only realize in retrospective that it was in fact round.
So, even if it sometimes feels like your (triangular) world is about to end because you lost someone special who turned out to be too round for you, remember: Your movie is still running. There will be new casts. And, hopefully, you are not in a superficial romantic comedy, but in a way more complex movie – so your plot doesn’t even need to revolve constantly around finding the lit to your pot.
In your own movie, you are always on the good side, because you are the main character. The most awesome person in that movie is you. The one everyone else admires, and wants to be friends with, it’s always you. Don’t let anyone steal your leading part – you only got that one movie.