Rejection, it hurts. But why?
What really is rejection anyways?
tr.v. re·ject·ed, re·ject·ing, re·jects
1. To refuse to accept, submit to, believe, or make use of.
2. To refuse to consider or grant; deny.
3. To refuse to recognize or give affection to (a person).
4. To discard as defective or useless; throw away.
(By now many of you may have figured out that I can tend to be a word geek– I actually like looking up words and their meanings, but I digress)
We have all encountered people that we do not overly like; people who for no particular reason just don’t appeal to us or rub us the wrong way. We all have been part of people’s lives and at some point have moved on. We do not become friends with every single person that we meet (Facebook friends do not count). Sometimes we out grow relationships; or pull out of them because we realize that as much as we may love the individual the relationship is unhealthy. These are normal things, that happen every day, so why is acceptance from others so important?
Why does the idea of being rejected by our peers, or anyone for that matter, cause sweaty palms, feelings of anxiety, even nausea? Why does the act of being rejected by some-one who has been part of our life cause anger, fear, or even tears? Could they just be moving on as we ourselves have done over and over in our own lives?
It seems to me that when we boil down so many of today’s fears, we end up with the fear of rejection remaining. The fears of failure, public speaking, commitment, being alone, making mistakes, etc. all basically come down to rejection. The only rejection that truly matters is when we give up on ourselves and reject who we really are.
All of us, every single one, throughout our lifetimes, will fail, will speak publicly (whether it’s a sentence in a group setting or a speech at a conference isn’t really the point), will come across the uncommitted and will be the uncommitted, we will spend many hours alone, and we will encounter many, many mistakes, ours and those of others, so what are we so afraid of? Rejection is a fact of life, a part of growth and is perfectly normal. Yet it fills most of us with dread.
I know I don’t want to be rejected. But I know I will be, and have been. I think learning that some experiences in life are there to help us grow is vital. I also think that we need to realize sometimes these things just happen and there is no deep reason, no magical lesson, that it’s just part of life and its constant evolving.
Sometimes people close themselves off and deny themselves the beauty of their emotions for fear of being rejected. We refuse to allow ourselves to really live when we do this. Our emotions are there for a reason, and it can be delicious when we allow ourselves to really revel in them. (Even the so called negative emotions can be glorious – a good cry can leave you feeling renewed, and complete blow out can release built up tension) But with that comes consequences, one being so-called rejection.
Perhaps the real problem is our focus, that we take rejection personally; when often it is merely circumstantial. There is absolutely nothing personal about it in many situations. Maybe it isn’t even rejection at all. Just because people don’t applaud our every word or welcome us with open arms doesn’t necessarily mean we are being rejected.
Anyways those are my thoughts today… feel free to share yours 🙂