Everybody Hurts Sometimes

So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again

1 Don’t look on the bright side

“Managing any negative emotion takes at least 48 hours,” says Deborah Grayson Riegel, a behavior and communication expert and author of Oy Vey! Isn’t a Strategy. During that time, you should communicate only with those who won’t try to prematurely cheer you up. “Avoid the ‘hurry up and get over it’ people,” she says. “I want a friend who says, ‘Oh my god, that sucks! That is the worst!’”

2 Accept that you’re not perfect

“In our culture, people treat failure as the exception rather than an ongoing process,” says Karen Steinberg, a therapist and executive coach based in New York. What can you learn from failing at work? “Maybe you were mismatched with a particular client,” says Steinberg. “Or you don’t have the skill set you thought you did. Maybe this was a sign that it’s time to get out.”

3 Watch out for paranoia

“Worrying about being unliked actually makes you more unlikable,” says Karl Aquino, a professor at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. Remember: “Other people really aren’t thinking about you,” he says. “They’re preoccupied with their own lives and careers.”

4 Try not to be a jerk

Resist the instinct to talk to whoever rejected you. “Are you honestly trying to repair the relationship,” asks Riegel, “or are you letting off some emotional steam? If your objective is ‘They made me feel like s--- so I’m going to make them feel like it,’ that’s a good sign you shouldn’t have that conversation.”


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