Congratulations, you are normal. Everyone struggles with feeling rejected. Even the most popular and well loved people experience rejection.
In fact it’s possible that the most popular people feel the sting of rejection even stronger.
Are You Feeling Rejected?
The sensation of feeling rejected comes from an underlying belief.
The belief says “I am not wanted” or “I am not good enough” or “something is wrong with me”. We all want to feel loved and accepted.
When we get a cue that love and acceptance isn’t happening, it hurts.
In an article http://ideas.ted.com/why-rejection-hurts-so-much-and-what-to-do-about-it/ about rejection, author Guy Winch explains:
“Our brains are wired to respond that way. When scientists placed people in functional MRI machines and asked them to recall a recent rejection, they discovered something amazing. The same areas of our brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. That’s why even small rejections hurt more than we think they should, because they elicit literal (albeit, emotional) pain.
But why is our brain wired this way?
Evolutionary psychologists believe it all started when we were hunter gatherers who lived in tribes. Since we could not survive alone, being ostracized from our tribe was basically a death sentence. As a result, we developed an early warning mechanism to alert us when we were at danger of being “kicked off the island” by our tribe mates — and that was rejection. People who experienced rejection as more painful were more likely to change their behavior, remain in the tribe, and pass along their genes.”
Feeling Rejected Can Take Many Forms
- Feeling left out of something that’s happening on social media.
- Getting turned down to have sex. Losing a bid on a big project.
- Not getting the job you applied for.
- No invitation to an event that your friends are attending.
- Feeling like you’re not wearing the right outfit.
- Feeling like others are whispering about you.
- Fearing that your child isn’t as special or smart as someone else’s.
Remember the underlying belief I mentioned?
Tweet: The more insecure you are about your worth, the more susceptible you are to rejection.
If you get self esteem from achieving, producing, looking good and having money you are susceptible to rejection.
Tweet: Being “good enough” and “having enough” are subjective and change with the social tide.
If my self worth is based on someone else’s measurement of my performance – I’m fucked.
My life is never my own and I don’t get to decide my own value. I’m not trying to throw stones from a glass house. I am vain and I like nice things.
The important thing to know is those things do not give me value or define me. My value and worthiness are my divine right. It’s the constitutional concept that I am entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – just because I am.
Start believing your are enough.
Let go of any rejection cue you may have experienced in your life.
Your rejection cues may include past abuse or neglect that left you feeling insignificant and unsure. Experiences or memories that leave you with a feeling of rejection need to be released.
Exchange those old feelings for a confident choice to value yourself.
Stop taking things personally.
How other people treat you is not about you.
We all choose to live our lives based on our beliefs and value systems. We are not all going to agree. Thank God!
Diverse beliefs and ideas are what make this world so exciting, interesting and wonderful. Getting the stink eye from someone about your idea, your shoes or your choice?
Let it go. Remember, no one else is in charge of your life but you. If you are feeling resentful or hurt by other people’s opinions, cut it out!
Create and cultivate loving relationships.
If you are immersed in a culture of external values (image, money and power); evaluate if that is working for you.
Getting over feeling rejected is easier when you have authentic people to support you.
If you have any relationships where you can be your true self, that is wonderful! If you are struggling to feel accepted, put more energy into your most loving relationships.
Sometimes, we perceive others as not accepting us but it’s actually our fear of vulnerability that is keeping us imprisoned.
Adjust your Social Media involvement.
I get it, these things are woven into our lives.
I use them also. Does it create a sense of unrest, dissatisfaction with your life, cravings to buy things you can’t afford?
If you notice any of these sensations, it’s time to alter your social media strategy. Be aware of how often you are on these platforms. It’s also important to be aware of how you feel after using these platforms.
Limit screen time, add more positive things to your feed and let go of things that trigger inadequacy.
If you think I can help you work through feelings of rejection, call me at my Boca Raton or Key Largo therapy office at (561) 221-5575 or fill out my on the house consult and we will find your win-win.
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If I have said anything about how to deal with judgmental people that resonates with you, please share your thoughts and comments below.