I think we all have been at the crucial point where we try to love someone and they push us away, with a word, a touch, or just a turn of the head. Or maybe that guy or girl you met last week just didn’t call back? It leads to us to blaming and questioning ourselves wondering what we may have done to be pushed aside, forgotten and rejected.
The pain of rejection leaves many of us with some raw psychological wounds. It disintegrates our confidence in ourselves, ravages our self esteem, and throws us out in to left field feeling disconnected and alone. Most of the time we get over it and move on, with time healing those wounds; however, many of us fear rejection and avoiding this pain can become the number one unhealthy motivating factor in our lives.
Emotional pain results from rejection, some describe this pain as a knife to the chest and the pain equivalent to childbirth. The pain of rejection topples over the pain of fear, disappointment, and frustration. This pain links us back to evolution and feeling the need to be part of the tribe, so when we fear we are being ostracized there is a severity of pain in the chest. However, we are not old wolves cast out from the pack left to starvation and death.
It is human nature to want to feel secure, but after being rejected we feel abandoned, scared, and hopeless. These feelings lead to insecurity and the need to protect ourselves from further hurt. This need to protect ourselves can cause people to act out in an aggressive way. Violence against men, women, and people going ‘postal’ are examples of rejection aggression. This type of aggression can also be turned inward leading to self injury, sickness, and depression. When we are rejected the first thing we do is blame ourselves, by finding fault in ourselves. Rejection makes us feel inadequate and unworthy. By blaming ourselves and attacking our own self esteem only deepens the emotional pain and makes it harder to let go of the pain we feel.
When we have been rejected the pain we feel makes us unable to think clearly, this may lead to snap decisions that may be regretful later on. When our motives are focused on avoiding the pain of rejection, we end up pushing away the ones we love the most, and feel rejected once again. Rejection can be an endless cycle that individuals can easily get caught up in if they don’t take the time to think it through with clarity.
The pain of rejection is a part of life, everyone feels it and everyone goes through it at one time or another. As much as it hurts, it is normal to feel vulnerable, while none of us may like the feeling, it is necessary for learning and growing. Rejection is simply a signal that tells us we are a poor fit with another human being. It can also indicate a lack of chemistry within a relationship. Rejection can be as simple as two people wanting different things at different times. Rejection can help you judge whether or not it is time to leave or a time to improve a relationship. By not understanding the realities of rejection a person can develop a very damaging pattern of emotion and behavior. These behaviors can cause real hurt to your relationship with yourself and others, and impede upon your enjoyment life in general. If this is happening, it may be time to seek out the help of a therapist. Remember, happiness comes from not what happens to you in life, but how you choose to react and deal with it.
This article was written by Laurell Morse, a writer for dusk magazine.