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Among the many clients I've helped as a psychologist over the years, handling rejection is often a major problem. Typically, they tell me how the self help books and tapes they've tried often don't seem to work. As one man said recently, "They always exhort you to be positive and don't take things personally. It only makes me feel worse when I ask a woman on a date and she refuses."

What really helps us to handle rejection is to recognize that there is a part of our minds which ALWAYS takes disappointment seriously. This part connects us to childhood emotional feelings of insecurity- something we all have experienced. Any disappointment, frustration, and loss will make us feel anxious and small, what I call a "child state."

The key to handling rejection is to have COMPASSION for such young feelings. All too often, people(especially men) are self critical when they feel vulnerable-e.g. "Why am I making such a big deal of it" This only shames us and makes us feel bad.

What REALLY works is when we can say, "Look, this WAS a disappointment and it hooked child feelings in me. OK, so how can I best take care of myself to get back on the horse and get going again." Such self compassion and active coping with rejection gets us back in an "adult state". This difference between adult and child states is important to understand in our personal AND personal lives.

When you don't get a raise at the office, for instance, it is important to remember that child state feelings are evoked in that situation as well. The key, once again, is awareness and compassion for such feelings. Doing so can have amazingly positive effects on enhancing future success!

About the Author
Norm Ephraim,Ed.D. is a psychologist in Boston, Mass. He is theauthor of MOOD SHIFTING: UNDERSTANDING AND TRANSFORMING YOUR NEGATIVE MOODS. This 3 step program helps you transform negative and pessimistic moods into more positive and productive ones.

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