Mental Health

On Rejection (and self-worth)

Depression and Valentine's Day | Libero Magazine

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This morning I was watching Corner Gas, which, for those of you who don’t know, is a popular Canadian sitcom. In this episode, Lacy was experiencing some inner turmoil after her and Brent “had a moment” – she wanted to make sure he understood that she didn’t want to take things to the next level, that she didn’t feel that way about him and wanted to continue being ‘just friends’. When Lacy got up the courage to discuss this with Brent, he interjected before she had a chance to say what was on her mind and explained that he didn’t like her in that way, and was hoping they could put the incident behind them. Lacy agreed hesitantly, and walked away. Immediately after that, a distressed Lacy started asking people why they thought Brent didn’t like her – in short, she began second-guessing herself, she began questioning her self-worth.

Even though Lacy didn’t want anything more to come of her relationship with Brent, it was still difficult for her to swallow the fact that he didn’t want anything more from her. Her concept of self-worth was impacted by Brent’s feelings (or lack thereof) for her.

I’m sure we have all been there – at least I know that I have. Being rejected sucks. And whether you do in fact ‘like’ the person or not is, for the most part, irrelevant – because we all want to be liked.

I have been rejected on a number of occasions – sometimes graciously, and other times, well, not so much. In these moments it is hard to not take it personally. And, the truth is, there is nothing wrong with taking it personally because it is personal; when something involves a relationship between two people – whether good or bad – that’s about as ‘personal’ as it gets!

BUT the problem arises when we begin to question our own self-worth based on how others feel about us.

You like a guy (or girl) only to find out that he (or she) doesn’t feel the same way – yes, that is going to hurt, but that doesn’t mean that you are any less valuable than you were before you found out he didn’t share the same feelings.

When we place our sense of personal value in the hands of others, then finding a consistent sense of self-worth will most likely be impossible because we cannot control the way others feel about us AND because people’s feelings change. Just as easily as they can change for the better, they can change for the worse as well. And they do.

We need to find internal reasons to love and respect ourselves rather than external ones. Sure, it is nice to be liked, and it hurts when someone doesn’t feel the same way, but that doesn’t mean we are any less valuable.

A huge part of recovery is finding reasons to stop self-destructive behaviors, and those reasons are rooted in self-love and acceptance. If we hang this on other people, then we are taking a risk – one that should never be taken. But if we find a way to love ourselves because we see value in who we are, and we see a purpose in our existence, then we will be able to take rejection in stride – feeling the hurt, but not devaluing ourselves in the process.

Are you basing your self-worth on what others think of you and how they feel about you? Or do you love yourself because of who you are and because of the beauty you see within yourself?

Rejection hurts, yes, but it doesn’t mean you are worth any less. Please remember that.


Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.

SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.