Rejection hurts. You put yourself in a vulnerable position and then are rebuffed by someone you had high hopes for. It can be in a dating situation, a marriage, the workplace, a friendship, a competition, showing your artistic works, or any number of things.
There are two main options when you are rejected. You can retreat, build a wall to protect yourself from more pain, and never try again. Or you can have a resilient spirit, brush your ego off, and keep on proving your worth to the world.
After rejection, many people build themselves a wall or even an impenetrable fortress, then wait like a damsel in distress for a knight in shining armor to rescue them.
But what is the knight supposed to rescue them from? The princess's own fortress? Good luck! The princess will have to wait longer than Sleeping Beauty for a knight who thinks it's worth the effort of breaking it down.
How is the princess going to be saved from her self-built fortress? How does a person get out from behind a wall they built?
They have to tear it down themselves.
As much as we'd all love the right person who is 'smart and has the right tools like respect, love and communication' (SP)* to come along and do the work, we better not bet on it. There's a better chance of winning the lottery.
Here are some words of advice given to someone I know after a rejection.
'If you expect that the right guy can break your wall, you might be single for the rest of your life. Getting in a relationship is give and take. You sacrifice, they do as well. ... Love hurts. It always will. I'm not saying that you have to have no walls ... but you are the ONLY person who can bring your walls down, and it may be for a person you don't expect.' (CCW)
'These [experiences] can only teach you the facts of life and make you, not your wall, stronger.'
These are words spoken from experience. Though these words were meant for a relationship break up, they can be applied in most any area of life.
No one makes you build walls. You can definitely build walls because of an experience with someone, but you still choose to build it. You choose to keep it up. You won't be able to enjoy life without taking it down. It's terribly hard to have bad things happen, but it's part of life. Your happiness will mean less if their is no sadness to compare it to.
There are some people that it's definitely worth keeping a wall in front of, but don't make the decision lightly. There are certain situations that should be kept clear of. There are experiences that it's okay not to have. You don't have to leave yourself open to hurt, but don't block out potential happiness also.
Though others may strongly influence your life, ultimately it is you who chooses your actions and determines what level of happiness you will attain. Choose wisely, my friends!
* I borrowed some words from others, and to give credit while protecting the innocent, only their initials will be used.