I recently remarked to a friend that I had become inured to rejection. I claimed it didn't hurt anymore.
She remarked that it was either a good thing, because it meant any rejection I received wouldn't hurt me, or a bad thing, because it meant to reach this state, I'd probably been rejected a lot.
Both of us were reasonably correct.
I did lie a little bit when I said it didn't hurt anymore. (Yes, my bravado strikes again.) Rejection still hurts a bit, and sometimes, when rejection blocks me from something I really wanted, the ice cream I've been denying myself starts to look really good. But, on the other hand, it doesn't hurt nearly as much as it used to.
I have been rejected a lot. It's one of those things that happens when you're interested in theater and cannot act well, or you want a higher level position than you've previously worked, but don't have as many skills as others in the same field. Or, you know, when you attempt to publish a novel that's nowhere near ready, because your a publishing-world neophyte with an insatiable urge to act like a total noob.
But, I don't like to think of myself as much-rejected. I prefer to think of myself as possessing a highly toned muscle. A rejection muscle.
Getting rejected, especially if it's something you really want or is really important to you, often feels, in my humble opinion, rather like a sucker punch. Or, you know, a general beating in some slightly less specified capacity. But, then again, so does a hard core work out. It hurts, sometimes a lot, but it'll make you stronger for the next time around.
Hone the muscle with continued use (and we've all selected an industry where this muscle gets continued use) and exercising it won't hurt so much anymore. In any function.
How do you feel about rejection? Do you think it gets easier to handle with time?