Rejection pierces our heart.
When someone criticizes or shuns us, we can feel insignificant, worthless and unlovable.
Our desire for acceptance and approval is at the core of all rejection. We want to believe that people like us, enjoy our company, and even prefer our friendship over others.
When someone rebuffs or mistreats us, we create negative feelings about ourselves and we label ourselves as unimportant and undeserving.
Your co-workers met for happy hour and they didn’t invite you. Your boyfriend or husband criticized and neglected you. Your girlfriend ditched you to go out with a man. You go out with man, had a great time and he never called you back. You post your vacation snapshots on Facebook and no one gave you a thumbs up.
Sadly, you feel like you’re not good enough and others dislike you.
We let someone’s negative attitude define us and we mistakenly assume that their opinion is also the opinion of others.
Someone’s disapproval may not be about you, but about their negative mindset and attitudes.
Don’t take it personally. It’s their problem; not yours.
When you embrace someone’s rejection (be it real or imagined), you create a spiral of negative emotions and behaviors.
- Rejection inspires irrational, self-deprecating thoughts.
- Self-deprecating thoughts create negative behavior.
- Negative behavior produces someone’s disapproval and more rejection.
- More rejection induces self-condemnation and self-hate.
- Self-hate causes us to act out harmful behavior.
- And the cycle perpetuates itself.
In my past life, I was hyper-sensitive to someone’s condescending remarks and inconsiderate behavior. The slightest unkind word or discourteous action would crush my spirit.
Note: The names have been changed to protect the guilty, inconsiderate women.
Rhonda was going through a nasty divorce. She gravitated to me for consoling advice. I liked Rhonda and I valued a new friendship with her. She texted me New Year’s Eve day, saying she was having a hard time being alone during the holidays and she asked me to meet her for 4 o’clock cocktails.
I was looking forward to enjoying a wintry evening, curled up on the sofa with crab cakes and a glass of Prosecco, but I, instead, took an hour to get dressed to be with a friend who needed me.
Rhonda texted me at 3 o’clock, telling me a girlfriend had asked her to meet for cocktails (saying her friend was having a bad day). She invited me to join them at a restaurant 30 minutes away. I texted Ronda, saying I couldn’t get there at three, but I would meet her at our designated time at four. Rhonda said she probably wouldn’t have time to meet me at four.
What the crap! I changed my plans to accommodate her.
My third husband (yes, 1, 2, 3) pursued me like I was the last breathing woman on earth. He made me feel adored, special and secure in our relationship. After we married he shut me out of his life and he ignored my emotional and physical needs. I insisted that he communicate with me and work on our marriage. He decided it was too much work. Two years after we married, he moved to Florida to live alone.
I was devastated. It was my third marriage and it was extremely important to me to have a loving and lasting relationship. I knew his extreme passive-aggressive behavior destroyed our relationship, and yet I felt like there was something inherently wrong with me. I felt like a failure in life. I felt unattractive, undesirable and unlovable.
I left my husband eating my pink dust.
I moved to Nashville. Shannon and I quickly became close friends. Shannon was attractive, engaging and witty. When we sat at a restaurant bar or table, she always made sure she had the advantage seat. Time and time again, she asked me to give up my bar stool so she could sit between me and a girlfriend.