Rejection comes as one of the most brutal stakes to the heart because it deals a direct blow to our ego

Rejection is as much a part of our world as is approval. It drives a healthy system of competition and ensures a high standard of quality. But what happens when we reject each other?

One of the most brutal stakes to the heart

Rejection comes as one of the most brutal stakes to the heart because it deals a direct blow to our ego. The ego is the inherent part of the self which holds intact our pride, esteem and self-worth. When the ego is bruised, a core element of our being is damaged. We feel reduced to a lesser version of ourselves. We automatically begin to blame ourselves, assuming there must be something wrong with us and criticising the behaviour that led to our rejection.

Of the many forms of rejection, being denied by a love interest is most agonising

We are grieved by a deep sense of bitterness and spite, both against the other person and against ourselves. Ironically, though, we feel an inexplicable sense of longing – a stronger desire towards the rejector than ever before.

As a psychologist, I’ve seen many become stuck in a cycle of voluntary, unrequited love. The more they were rejected, the more they ‘wanted’ the person rejecting them. They refused to give up. Whether this strange phenomenon stems from a prehistoric gene, or it’s that we’re slightly masochistic, is difficult to say. What’s certain, however, is that rejection can cause cycles of unhealthy emotions and behaviour.

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The strange chemistry of the universe works like this – the less you care about a person, the more they care about you. And the more you care about a person, the less they seemingly care about you. It is nothing short of ironic, and sadly, almost anyone who’s ever been in love knows this.

Understanding the chemistry of rejection begins with acknowledging our undeniable value as human beings. To change our perceived impression of rejection, we must first solidify our self-worth.

Bear in mind these truths the next time you feel overwhelmed by rejection…

Don’t take it so personally

The only reason we suffer the sting of rejection is because we feel emotionally attached to a person. Had we no emotions towards them, their rejection would mean nothing to us. Rejection becomes a burden we carry entirely on our own shoulders – we blame nobody but ourselves. We truly believe there must be something intrinsically wrong within us to cause a person to dismiss us. Yet often it has nothing to do with us. A person may be too busy, overburdened, or mired in complications to want to involve us in their lives.

Remember that you never really know what goes on within someone’s mind to draw conclusions for him or her

It really isn’t you

When somebody rejects you, they are acting on their own insecurities and fears. Take comfort in knowing that the person who rejects you is dealing with their own personal issues and that you most likely did nothing to cause their decision. Rejection – especially harsh or cruel rejection – is a manifestation of self-insufficiency and a lack of self-tolerance.

It happened for a greater reason

When we feel rejected, we trap ourselves in a moment of doubt and distress. But we must learn to see past the fleeting period of pain and acknowledge that there is a higher purpose to not getting what (or whom) we want. That higher purpose is usually revealed in time.

I’ve had many clients tell me that they felt awful when a love interest turned them away, only to find the perfect partner later, when they least expected it. When that happened they were grateful that they had been rejected, or they would never have met a new and ‘better’ person. In retrospect, they laugh at the fits of emotion which rejection invoked. We all discover the greater purpose of our pain in due course.

This is not a new pain

Rejection can be a lifelong ordeal stemming from childhood. For some children who were abandoned by a parent, rejection becomes a recurring challenge to conquer throughout life. They may overreact when they are turned down and may not recognise that this is caused by a subconscious memory.

Understanding the primary source of rejection and the impact it had on you can help you deal with this unpleasant emotion. Accept that this is not the first or last time you’ll feel the ache of rejection, but that you’ve defeated this emotion before and will emerge stronger after each instance.

A person who rejects you cannot comprehend your inner and outer beauty. So why be with someone who doesn’t see the full spectrum of your wonderful being?

They’re really missing out

A person who rejects you cannot comprehend your inner and outer beauty. So why be with someone who doesn’t see the full spectrum of your wonderful being? The next time you feel rejected, remind yourself of your amazing traits, your positive characteristics and your invaluable qualities which undoubtedly exist but have been overlooked by your rejector.

A chance to evolve

Rejection offers us an opportunity to evolve through and learn from our experiences. It allows us to look within and say, “Okay, maybe I can change this,” or “Maybe I can fix that side of myself.” After all, there is room for betterment in each of us, and sometimes it takes emotional anguish to be able to demolish the ego and come face-to-face with our truest self. If there is any constructive way to view rejection, it is through the lens of an earnest effort at self-improvement.

Rejection, as an ego-reducing emotion, is nothing short of painful. But viewing rejection as necessary and even positive will help you overcome it that much more easily. Recognise the hidden elements of this emotion as catalysts for productive change towards a better, stronger, more powerful you.

To connect with Dr. Carmen Harra on Facebook, click here. For more by Dr. Carmen Harra, click here. For more on emotional wellness, click here.