A quick thought on the pain of rejection – banal, perhaps, but here it is: what makes rejection painful is my mistaken sense that I’m learning something about myself when I’m rejected. That the person rejecting me knows something about me which explains my rejection.
If you reject me, the danger is that I will conclude that your rejection means I am not desirable. If I can hold on to a sense of myself, to the knowledge that I am who I know myself to be, and that a) you actually can’t know me as well as I know me, b) you can want to reject me without in any way diminishing who I am, and c) I will be the same person after you’ve rejected me as I was before? Then I’ll be just fine.
Here’s a shorthand way I think about this: rejection isn’t something bad that happens to me. It may be something good (or bad) that doesn’t happen to me. But it’s not something that does happen to me. (Though it is something you may do. Or I may do.)
(Incidentally, this is a lesson I learned from a child.)