In the fourth part of her series discussing her single life, Charlotte Jiggins deals with the feeling of rejection that can sometimes be the result of pouring your heart out to the wrong person. Telling someone your feelings gives somebody power over your emotions: they could grant you perfect happiness, or reduce you to feeling worthless. Here she discusses the balancing act of staying true to your emotions while protecting your own self-confidence.
If you were able to have a switch that could turn your emotions on and off, would you do it? There are certainly times when I’ve been so tempted to say yes, particularly after countless rejections from people. For me personally, I think it’s so important to always have that switch on, particularly after you have had a rejection and it feels totally s**t.
Lesson four: you’re only human.
I wear my heart on my sleeve and have always been honest about how I feel. Even though I like to think I’m Wonder Woman, it is really hard to tell people you have feelings for them. I’ve always managed to find a way - I admit, sometimes I’ve drunkenly texted or even, more recently, called people and felt like I was going to have a panic attack beforehand. So far, though, I’ve never regretted being honest.
However, every time I’ve told a guy I like them, and you can infer this from the fact that I have always been single, it clearly hasn’t gone well. I’ve had every reason: ‘I’m too good’; ‘I have complicated things going on with my ex’; ‘I don’t want to hurt you’; even ‘you’re too clever’ (because apparently being clever is just not an attractive quality). Anyway, what I think they all actually meant is: I’m just not good enough and no one really wants a project, do they?
As a result, I massively lack self-confidence and doubt myself a lot. Academically I’ve got near enough straight firsts through university and yet feel like I’m not clever. I doubt that people really want to hang out with me and always think I’ll waste people’s time. Simply, I just don’t think I’m good at a lot of things. All because of countless rejections.
Even though it can be hard, it is so important to keep that switch on. Rejection is awful. I, for one, usually take it as an attack on my personality. However, I think it is so important to be honest and care. In the end you will be okay. Time really does become your best friend! You may feel like the person of the moment is the only person out there, but someone recently said to me, ‘think of all the people you haven’t met yet’. How wise! I’m only 21 so I know I still have time.
For any future boyfriends, please know that I’m not a complete emotional wreck, but that everyone is a bit fragile, and mine has come from having never switched off that switch and feeling the full front of every rejection. It’s easy to think that because long-term single people have never dated, they never have emotional baggage, but they do. We’re all only human.