Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Billy, Me & Your Second Wind

Pam and Lindy have done a wonderful job this week of discussing the challenges and trials of rejection as well as how to overcome a rejection (or several rejections) to ultimately feel empowered. They’ve provided solid advice as to how to keep rejections of all kinds in perspective. Truly, they’ve covered the subject quite thoroughly, and I don’t think I have anything of relevance to add that would significantly expand the topic.

And if there’s one thing I don’t like to do, it’s to ramble without adding something to the conversation.
Instead, Billy Joel and I plan to talk about some of the responses that the Big No (rejection) elicits in us.  You didn’t know that I’m tight with Billy Joel? Oh, yeah, we go way back. I’ve known him for most of my life – his moods, his feelings, his ups, his downs. Sure, he has not a clue who I am, but every friendship has its hurdles. So anyway, Billy Joel and I came up with an acronym to aid in remembering the 5 primary emotional responses to rejection: D’PASH. What does D’PASH stand for? Read on:

·       Despair:And every time I’ve held a rose it seems I only felt the thorns” ~ And So It Goes
Well, despair might be overstating it slightly, but sometimes when we experience rejection, our first reaction is to feel sad. Sometimes we feel a little sad, and yes, sometimes we do feel desperate. This is often the emotion that’s easiest to overcome, as long as you allow your friends to comfort you. That’s a skill set most friends have in spades – the ability to make you feel happy again. Let them practice this amazing skill on you. You won’t be sorry.

·       Pride: “Because you had to be a big shot, did ya. You had to open up your mouth.” ~ Big Shot
Where sadness can be easiest emotion to move past, pride is probably the most intractable. And who among us hasn’t felt at some point that the person rejecting us has no right to reject us or clearly has absolutely no sense whatsoever? But what’s more critical here is pride’s ability to close our ears to what the person rejecting us has to tell us. Sure, they may simply not like what we have to offer for reasons that have no bearing on anything, but they also may convey something to you that you can use in the future – to help avoid future similar rejection (from publishers, from potential employers, from Billy Joel), to understand another point of view that’s unfamiliar to us, or even to use in a plot line someday!

·       Anger:Give a moment or two to the angry young man, with his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand. He’s been stabbed in the back, he’s been misunderstood. It’s a comfort to know his intentions are good.” ~ Angry Young Man   
Closely related to pride is anger. Have you ever been rejected by a loved one when you needed him or her most? Have you been let go from a job for unfair reasons? In such situations, it’s easy to feel flat out
pissed. Furious even. Move over pride, anger’s taking the stage. Be careful when anger subsides, though, because if self-acceptance doesn’t assert itself, despair can wander in.

·       Stress: “But you will come to a place where the only thing you feel are loaded guns in your face and you’ll have to deal with pressure.” ~ Pressure
Depending on how much you are counting on someone to accept what you had to offer, a rejection can really kick your stress into high gear. If you’re struggling financially, a job rejection can make impending bills loom like skyscrapers. When you’ve put your heart and soul in to a manuscript, every “no” letter may make you question all the time you put into writing and can stress you out over possible “lost time.” A rejection of a more personal nature – a spouse, a significant other, a friend, a family member – can simply increase worry about ending up alone without a support system. When the stress piles on, take a deep breath. Stress won’t help you overcome your rejection, and it won’t help you move on. It will just make you… stressed. So while it may not be just that simple… chill out. Do whatever you need to do (think: healthy) to relax. Seriously.
I shouldn't have had that second carafe of coffee before reading the rejection email... or maybe I should have another.

·       Honesty: “Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue.” ~ Honesty
The healthiest reaction (read: the least common reaction) is honesty. Self-directed, truthful assessment of ourselves. It’s the toughest reaction to have, and often it takes a huge, conscious effort. Think about it. If the person rejecting us can teach us something of value in his or her rejection rationale, then listening openly to and learning from their reasoning can only make us stronger. Conversely, if we listen attentively and honestly to the reasons the person rejecting us has to share, and if we can conclude that he or she is full of it or is flat out wrong, we can be that much more confident in ourselves and what we have to offer. It’s a win-win! It’s so difficult to manage, but if we can do it, the benefits are so worth it.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the wisdom and fine lyrics Billy Joel and I shared with you, and I hope that we’ve managed to contribute something of value to the knowledge provided earlier in the week by my co-bloggers. And next time you face rejection…

Don't forget your second wind
Sooner or later you'll get your second wind
~ You’re Only Human

* If it wasn’t clear, all lyrics in this post are from Billy Joel songs.


Pam Asberry said...

You are a genius, Megan! These song lyrics dovetail perfectly with this week's topic. From now on, whenever I hear Billy Joel's crooning I will think of you. Thanks for getting my day off to such a great start.

Megan said...

Billy J and I, we're tight. ;) Actually, his Bridge tour was my first concert. Ah, memories...

Lindy said...

There is no doubt you have an "in" with ole Billy. Great post my friend. No doubt it spoke volumes to me today as I sit at that crossroads we talked about only a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for your insight. - Lindy

Megan said...

Don't thank me. Thank Mr. Big Shot. :)

Tami Brothers said...

LOVE these song lyrics. You really put a lot of work into finding the right ones. I can't wait to hear another Billy Joel song. I'll be thinking back to your post and wondering if this was one of the ones you listed.



Megan said...

Aw, Tami. :) Seriously, the lyrics popped into my head unsolicited. I'm that much of a long-time fan. And because of your comment, next time I hear a Billy Joel song, I'll think of you now!

Julee J. Adams said...

I actually got paid (work/study program) to see Billy Joel in concert during his "52nd Street" tour and it was awesome. You're right, there are so many great songs that help us along the road. Thanks for your post!