Dealing with Rejection
May 10, 2008 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

Recently I have been asked, “How do I deal with people not liking me?” Or “How do I keep from feeling down if my boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t want to see me anymore?”

Christ said, “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” Matthew 12:34. What this means is that what other people say, how they say it, how others behave, act, interact and live tells us about the other person, not about ourselves. For instance, if you walk out into the parking lot of a super market and see a 40 year old man screaming at a five year old little girl. He is cursing, swearing and using all types of vulgarity. Do you look over at that and think, that must be a really horrible little girl? Of course not, you immediately recognize the man’s behavior is telling us something about the man. Even if the little girl had just gotten her brand new shoes muddy the man’s behavior tells us about him, not about the little girl. But what does the little girl walk away feeling like? Are her feelings accurate?

Too many people live like this little girl feeling bad about themselves when others treat them unkindly. But, Jesus said “the truth will set you free” John 8:32. The truth is, other people reveal what is going on in them by how they behave. As we are able to incorporate this truth into our hearts and minds then, when others lose control, say ugly things, are unkind, rather than feeling personally down about ourselves we can have compassion, empathy and concern for the other person realizing they still have much growing in grace to do.

When I talk to young people about dating and searching for a life partner one of the things I tell them is to look for the “qualifications” of the person, look to see if the person is “qualified” to be with you. And one qualification a person must have in order to be your life partner is, they must like you for who you are. If someone doesn’t like you for who you are then they are not qualified to be your life partner. Isn’t this true? Then when dating, if someone tells you they aren’t interested, doesn’t want to see you anymore, doesn’t like things about you, instead of getting hurt, feeling defeated or discouraged thank them for letting you know they aren’t qualified to be with you and move on!

From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. People tell us about themselves by what they say and do. Practice incorporating this principle into your understanding and dealing with others as you grow in God’s grace.

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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