How to Deal with Rejection in a Friendship


Question: What do I do when I want to be friends with someone, but they don't want to be friends with me?

Hello Dear Person,

Thank you for your question! First, let me tell you that you’re really brave for asking for help! And it’s awesome that you turned to U!Shine! Now moving on to your question, I want to give you five simple principles for creating good interpersonal relationships.

I assume, however, there might be some other underlying reasons why you’re trying to be friends with the “wrong people”. So I hope you’ll see what I’m going to share with you and I hope you will gain valuable insight and useful tips. I would definitely love to hear from you via U!Shine again!

Principles of interpersonal relationships

There are a few simple rules that you can follow to appeal to somebody. Making a good impression on others is important, so please take note of the following do’s:

  1. Wear nice clothes

  2. Take a shower and make sure you smell good

  3. Make sure you don’t have bad breath

  4. Show genuine interest in other people's lives and ask them questions

Additionally, keep the following don’ts in mind:

  1. Try not to come across as a know-it-all

  2. Try not to talk mainly about yourself

  3. Try not to complain or talk negatively about other people

There are also many helpful hints and tricks online for making a better impression. Please check whether some of them can already help you to make the change you’re hoping for.

Check your motives

First it is important that you accept being rejected by the other person, even if it’s hard to do. I suppose you want to be respectful to your friends, and that means accepting their decision to withdraw from you. Consider the following thought: "If the person doesn't want to be friends with you, then he/she doesn't deserve you at all”. You’re allowed to be picky about your friends and you can choose to surround yourself with those who love and appreciate you and make you feel good. But if you want to be friends with someone who doesn’t appreciate you the way you deserve, then you should ask yourself why you want to be friends with that person so badly. There are four possible reasons for this:

  1. The person is popular or part of a popular group you want to be a part of

  2. You think this person is charismatic (cool/popular/hip or the like)

  3. The person has certain attributes that you yourself would like to have and that seem attractive to you

  4. The person gives you a certain feeling that you miss otherwise

There could also be other reasons but all of them have one thing in common: There is a different motive behind this friendship than you liking this person and this person liking you. Actually, you’re trying to gain or arrive at something through this friendship so this friendship represents a means to an end. Do you have an inner need that you can’t satisfy yet? If this is the case, then I would like to give you a few more tips.

Love yourself first

Be the first person to love and appreciate you! :) This includes treating yourself in a loving way. We as humans tend to devalue ourselves mainly through our own thoughts, which can lead to low self-esteem in the long term. Be mindful of your thoughts and try to talk or think about yourself only in the same way you would talk about a good friend.

The process of learning how to love yourself is a long one and doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient with yourself. Don’t give up trying to stop negative thoughts about yourself and keep treating yourself in a loving and forgiving way.

There is one emotion with a rather negative connotation that could reveal some important information to you about yourself: Envy. Most people don’t talk about who they’re envious of and try to repress this emotion as much as possible. What and whom you envy, however, tells you a lot about what you would like to have and what you lack.

Therefore, observe yourself and think about the following: In what kind of situations do you envy what and whom? What does this tell you about yourself? What is it that you want to bring into your life that you currently lack? There are many coaching tools to give you the things that you would like to have in your life - whether they are material things, certain characteristics, or something linked to interpersonal relationships. These tools include affirmation and visualization methods. For this purpose, I recommend Barbara Sher’s book “Wishcraft”.

Lead authentic friendships and be picky

If you’re good to yourself and you take your wants and needs seriously and meet them in a responsible way, then you automatically won’t long for a friendship with someone who doesn’t like you and doesn’t appreciate you. There will always be people who don’t like you - no matter who you are, what you wear, how you look, what you say, or how you act. But this isn’t bad because you are the only person who should be content with yourself.

And you will find other people who appreciate and love you the way you are. Look for authentic relationships and friendships that lift you up and make you feel good and avoid those that get you down or make you feel inadequate. Just like every person, you deserve to experience balanced friendships and love!

I wish you all the best for you journey! Know that you deserve the best in your friendships and don’t settle for less. Be picky when making a decision about who you want to be friends with :)

Go for gold and & be blessed,


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About the Professional: Lisa Kögler

Lisa is a certified life coach and counselor with a passion for art and design. She launched her own coaching business called Verbesserlich - which is based in Vienna. Lisa loves to study so she is also currently enrolled as a student of psychotherapy at the University of Vienna. She cannot wait to put all of her coaching ideas, courses and knowledge into practice and to help people in Vienna and Austria. She is looking forward to helping especially those who are unsure of what they want to do with their lives, who feel stressed and need a (new) direction in life.

Lisa lives in a loving and fulfilling relationship with her girlfriend. In her spare-time she runs a group called “Zwischenraum_Wien”, which is intended for people of the LGBT+ community who are being discriminated against by their church.