Rejection, whether it be from our peers, family, or significant other, is one of the deepest fears we can experience. But why? What are we really afraid of, that underlies this deeply-rooted fear?
Rejection can come in many forms- such as being turned down for a date or a job, a friend ignoring your text messages, not receiving an invitation for a party, the list goes on. To many of us, rejection can affirm some of our fears- that we are undeserving of love, destined to be alone, or that we have little value or worth. Another big part of our aversion to rejection is our fear of pain and hurt, which rejection usually spurs within us. As all of us long to be accepted and wanted, it hurts to be rejected, so much so that it can cause us to come to the most extreme conclusions about ourselves.
As we try to avoid this, we can act in ways that affect our relationships. We withdraw from people rather than risk reaching out. We hold ourselves back from expressing our authentic feelings. We abandon others so they won’t have a chance to reject us. The key to dealing with rejection in a healthier way is to sit with the shame and other negative emotions we experience in response to the rejection.
Our bodies have a way of healing on its own, it is called grieving. By trusting this natural healing process, we can allow ourselves to feel loss, fear, loneliness, anger, or whatever emotion that arise from our process of grieving. Just as we can heal from the death of a loved one by grieving, we can heal by grieving the loss we experience from rejection. As we become less afraid of what we experience inside, we become less intimidated by rejection and more empowered to give love and receive love, which can ultimately make our relationships more fulfilling.
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