As meet new people there’s one thing that can make a big difference for the worse – if you let it –  it’s the way you handle rejection. I had more than my share of rejection when I was growing up and I learned the hard way that there are essentially three things you can do with rejection: you can dismiss it, you can let it get to you and wreak havoc with your self-confidence, or you can welcome it.

What are you going to do when you are rejected? It’s bound to happen sometime, it’s part of life. Handling rejection requires an immediate adjustment in attitude. If a person doesn’t return your call or your interest, that’s not a cue to give up and get depressed, it’s a call to move on! If you were an apple picker and you came upon a tree without apples on its branches, would you take it personally and feel hurt and sorry for yourself? Of course not! You’d just admit there was nothing there for you and move on to the next tree. If you feel sorry for yourself, you’ve lost sight of your goal.

Most people will let you know they’re not interested in friendship in a diplomatic way, but you’ll probably meet some rude and ungracious characters along the way too. When you do, just excuse yourself politely and give thanks that you found out what kind of person he or she was relatively quickly, before you invested more of your precious time and emotions in this “friendship.” Ideally, the rejection/selection process would be painless, but you’ll probably get your feelings bruised once or twice. It’s human nature to feel bad in situations like this, but don’t allow yourself to wallow. Instead, you have to welcome rejection/selection as part of the exploration, the journey, the adventure.

Understanding the principle that there’s no rejection, only selection, means that if you’re chatting with someone and things aren’t clicking, it’s not anybody’s fault. It has nothing to do with you as an individual. It just means you don’t have enough in common or you’re not psychologically compatible. So, enjoy your time together, be yourself, remain polite and gracious. At the end say thanks and good-bye and move on. And remember, you may end up doing some rejection (politely and diplomatically as well, of course) yourself: you don’t have to try to be lifelong friends with everyone you meet.