It’s no secret that rejection–whether it’s from a college or job, in the form of a breakup, or simply not getting a text back from someone–doesn’t feel very good. In fact, if you have ever experienced it, you will know that, when you’re going through it, it can feel like one of the worst things that has ever happened to you. You might spend most of your time crying. You lash out at the people you feel close to. You either want to eat everything or nothing.
And, as it turns out, there is a pretty good reason for all of this. Heartbreak and rejection isn’t just an emotional thing–a lot of the time, it can cause a physical reaction in the body. The bad news is that you can never really be prepared for when it’s going to happen. The good news? You’ll get over it. You just need to know what’s happening to you. So, check out these weird things that can happen to your body when you get rejected:
You Lose Your AppetiteIf you feel sort of sick to your stomach after going through a rejection, you're definitely not the only one--a study done in the Netherlands earlier this year found that your body actually goes into survival mode after a tough breakup, which means that hunger becomes a much smaller priority for you than it normally might be. (You'll also have trouble sleeping and a heightened heart rate. Fun!) Because of this, it's pretty likely that you won't even think that much about eating after a hard breakup. Image source: Getty
And Then Gain It Back In A Big WayOf course, the post-breakup ice cream binge cliche exists for a reason. Once your hunger comes back (and don't worry, it will), you're going to crave fatty, calorie-dense foods, since you've likely experienced a calorie deficit. So, if you really want some pizza? Go for it. You deserve it. Image source: Getty
It Has Physical EffectsSomething that may or may not surprise you about rejection is that, when you're going through it, it affects you physically as well as mentally. This is because the areas of the brain that signal physical pain are also activated when one experiences emotional pain. In fact, if you're really devastated about some sort of rejection, you can try taking a Tylenol to ease the the blow--it's actually been shown to lessen the pain of rejection, much like it does when you take it for physical pain. Just don't make a habit of it. Image source: Getty
One Rejection Makes You Hyper-Focus On All Of Your Other FaultsWe've all been here, I think. Your crush doesn't answer your text, or you don't get the part you wanted in the school play, and, all of a sudden, you start thinking about all of your other qualities that make you a heinous, unlovable troll that will never find happiness. This is a spiral! And, apparently, it's pretty common--most people tend to attack their own self esteem after experiencing rejection because it's easier to try and find faults within yourself rather than thinking about other factors that may have caused the rejection. So, if you get rejected in any way, try to pay attention to any self-destructive thoughts that crop up and try to nip them in the bud. Image source: Getty
It Lowers Your IQIf you don't feel like you're at your sharpest after experiencing a rejection, that's because you probably aren't. A study that asked people to recall a recent rejection experience and then perform IQ, decision-making, and recollection activities found that recalling the memory was enough to negatively impact test performances. So, if you've gone through a breakup or rejection recently, try to give yourself some time to recover before doing something like a job interview. (And, you know, don't look at texts from an ex right before taking a big test. Pretty standard stuff.) Image source: Getty
You Might Lose Your HairI mean, not, like, all of it. But major emotional stress (which includes rejection and heartbreak) can cause your hair follicles to switch from active to resting mode, which can cause your hair to shed at a faster rate than usual. Which is pretty rude because, you know, you have enough to deal with if you're handling some major heartbreak--chances are good that you don't want to add premature balding to the mix. The good news, however, is that going through something stressful one time doesn't mean that you're going to be bald forever. The hair will grow back once you've regained some equilibrium in your life. Image source: Getty
It Lessens Your Self ControlFeeling impulsive? It's probably the rejection. One study that had participants imagine and experience various forms of rejection (which is pretty rude, in my opinion, but whatever) found that people who experience rejection have much less self control afterwards than those who do not. This, basically, shows that rejected people are capable of self-regulation but are normally disinclined to make the effort. Image source: Getty
Were you surprised by any of these things? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!