Managing Feelings of Rejection.
Any individual that is making an effort at building a life worth fighting for is going to have to face rejection.
We are going to have our efforts pushed back in our faces from time to time. Maybe in ways that are meant to hurt, possibly in gentle ways. The rejection could just be from simple misunderstandings.
Lets look a little closer at rejection and see if we can discover some ideas for how the feeling begins. As well as find some helpful solutions for moving through it as smoothly as possible.
Any Relationship Offers up a Good Deal of Rejection.
Whether the relationship is with family, lovers, children, co-workers or whatever form the relationship has, the feelings of rejection are going to happen. There is no way around it.
Life is always changing and that is the nature of relationships as well. Everybody has their own worlds of creative energy coming to the surface. The truth is that we won’t always have the same ideas in mind on how to move forward in our relationships.
Sometimes rejection is flat out rejection. Simply put, not everyone in this world wants our time, our thoughts, or our presence. We offer ourselves up, and individuals say “get out of here with that!” Other times the rejection may not be so simple.
Relationships are such a difficult thing to manage, they are complex. They require negotiation, compromise, hard work, and continuous communication. We agree on terms for the relationship, then the terms change.
Growth is needed to keep relationships alive. Boredom happens, making it necessary to leave some of the old behind. We may end up expressing ourselves in different ways, forcing others into the position to respond.
They may play along or they may decide not to play along. Not playing along can be a retreat to the old by the rejected, or a refusal to move into the new by the rejecter. Too much rejection and not enough growth can be the death of a relationship. In any relationship we are a part of this is the case.
Another time that rejection may occur in a relationship is when the other person or we are just not in the mood. In this case, even every day expected actions may not be acceptable. Most everything may be annoying and all others may need is the look on our faces to feel rejected.
A close friend told me that it’s okay for one person in a relationship to be in too sensitive state for a little bit, but not both. Probably because there ends up being too many rejections for a relationship to handle in a healthy way.
The Feelings of Rejection.
What it really comes down to is that anytime we introduce ourselves, speak our minds, offer or request support, give a gift or give a damn, there is the possibility of being rejected. So beware and remember that certain emotions may follow.
Powerful feelings may be triggered when we feel rejected. They can range from deep agony and loneliness to all-out blind rage. The feelings could also be as subtle as a little irritation, to really no problematic feeling at all. Some of these emotions can bring great pain. Especially if there was a great emotional investment in and great expectations for the relationship.
When we offer up our needs, desires, and assistance we are putting ourselves out on a limb of sorts. These efforts are an investment toward a way of life that we may want. As well as a bit of a lifeline at times to see that we aren’t alone in this world. It can suck to have our efforts rejected since other people are so important for our successful personal development and often times our survival.
The pain from rejection is very real. In this Psychology today article it talks about how feelings of rejection piggyback on physical pain pathways in the brain. Another hint at this is that pain relievers like Tylenol have actually been shown to dull the pain of rejection.
The feelings of rejection don’t seem to be just in our heads. They stem from somewhere. It’s very possible that a strong rejection I feel today could stem from a situation that happened in the past. It could have taken place many years ago and here I am feeling as if it is all has to do with this very moment. Or it could be that we just had a proverbial knife stabbed into our backs, or maybe right in our faces.
The Importance of Risking Rejection.
In any relationship, in order for it to grow and ourselves to grow in it, we must risk rejection. We must confront issues that arise and offer new ideas and new efforts to continue adapting to the changing world.
If there are too many problems in a relationship eating up our conscious or unconscious energy we are missing out on further adaptation. The energy that would be better-used tackling issues heads on tends to fester into anger, worry, resentment. The relationship risks rotting from the inside out.
Problems in relationships need swift action to remedy them. But when confronting problems in a relationship there is always a risk of rejection. It is almost as if we need to be willing to risk losing the relationship at times when confronting tough issues. But I have found that it is the avoidance of the issues, that is even more damaging.
I have lost many relationships and great opportunities throughout my life because I was not willing and possibly not able to deal with rejection. I am truly grateful that over the years I have learned a great deal about this process.
Dealing With The Feelings of Rejection and Finding Healthy Ways to Risk.
1. Know What We are Risking Ahead of Time.
Taking risks in relationships is critical to their growth and personal growth. But we should try to understand the risks we are taking before we take them. This can help curb undesired consequences and maybe save some pain.
Of course, rejection can be felt any time new little risks are taken that we don’t even think about. If someone doesn’t laugh at a silly joke of mine I sometimes feel rejected. Though life wouldn’t be much fun if I constantly measured my risk of rejection before every time I opened my mouth.
What I am talking about here is not constant monitoring, but just having some awareness of the big moves that are coming up in life. Thinking about them in a healthy way and preparing accordingly. It is also important to have an awareness of when the fear of rejection comes up.
2. Understand the Level of Risk Aversion and Test for Balance.
Some people are completely cool with taking crazy risk after risk. Others like myself need to come out of the shell to balance out high-risk aversion. Some people may risk too much, and others are way too uptight.
If you are on the too risky side and are troubled with feeling a lot of rejection, maybe slow down a bit. And if you are too risk-averse, finding yourself feeling stuck in life, jump out there and get your feelings hurt a little bit. It’s going to be alright. It is entirely possible for people with both tendencies to find a balance.
Some individuals recommend going out and actively seeking opportunities for rejection to help squelch the fear of rejection. This is not something I have actively tried. But over the decade I have spent in recovery from addiction I understand the need to take risks and prove our fears of rejection wrong.
3. Have Healthy People Around Often.
Without healthy people around to talk to we are essentially swimming around in an ocean of uncertainty all alone. It is more difficult to see our personal strengths and weaknesses. They can help us see the pieces of our reality that we currently may be blinded from.
Having healthy people around to bounce ideas and emotions off of has many benefits. They can keep us in finding solutions instead of allowing us to complain. As well as build us up and remind us of how capable we are when we are doubting ourselves. And they may be able to point out when we are in way over our heads and don’t see it.
4. Timing is very Important.
Not every time we want to make a change in our lives and in our relationships is the right time. Sometimes striking when emotion is high is the answer. Other times waiting for the emotion to cool down can keep us from overwhelming those we wish to grow with. Acting too fast or too slow may snuff out the fire of a new opportunity.
I like to take time out to meditate, talk to my trusted people and then meditate some more. Then I generally find that balance I am looking for. But don’t get me wrong, sometimes decisions need to be made quickly and that’s why it’s important that my thoughts and emotions are in a good place as often as possible.
5. Keeping Our Thoughts and Emotions in Check.
Life is unpredictable and without keeping ourselves in healthy mental and emotional states we can get tossed around like ragdolls. The feelings of rejection are much easier to handle if we are in stable mood states. We will not be able to predict all of the times that people will not be emotionally, mentally or physically available to us. Nor can we predict when someone will decide to maliciously attack our characters.
Of course, even if we are mentally and emotionally stable, rejection can hurt. But maybe we can stop that hurt in its place, then feel the rejection responsibly. Allowing us to keep the rejection from hurting us more, or winding up hurting others.
So yes, rejection is unavoidable. But this is no reason to avoid living our lives. Life goes on after rejection, coming with many more opportunities for interpersonal connection and personal growth. Step up and take some of those upcoming risks everything is going to be okay.
I wish you well on your path of navigating the feelings of rejection. This article was written out of what was learned from personal struggle and growth. We truly believe that if you take what was written here that it will benefit you greatly.
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My Life Experiment
Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.
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