“Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.” – Harvey Mackay.
In psychological experiments, it was found that the brain treats physical pain similar to how it treats the pain of rejection. Neurologically speaking, the pain of rejection can hurt severely because the same area of our brain becomes activated when we experience physical pain or rejection.
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Studies have shown that if you were to remember a time you experienced physical pain, the pain would not affect you, whereas, if you were to remember a social pain/rejection, the memory can actually bring back the pain and affect your mood, and even IQ. Experiments were conducted which involved IQ levels being tested straight after people were asked to remember rejection experiences. There were also experiments where strangers participated and were subjected to rejection by paid individuals; and even after the participants were told that they were not actually rejected it was just an experiment, the experience was enough to affect them, the truth did not change the feeling and pain they felt from the rejection.
Psychologists believe, as it is human nature to want to belong to something, and we are naturally tribal people, rejection attacks our feeling of acceptance and belonging, we then begin to attack our own self-esteem. Mild rejection has even led to anger and aggression in individuals which led to them lashing out against innocent bystanders including school shootings and church bombings.
Violence in America is seen to be caused by rejection more than, drugs, gang violence, and even poverty. It is said this rejection also is very damaging when it begins to attack the individual internally. Individuals become wounded.
Therefore, to overcome the pain of rejection we need to:-
1) Understand the root of the pain, and the wound or wounds we have been left with. I once heard that some Christians like to think they can pray everything away and cast out all pain and illnesses, but I found out from a Christian perspective, yes you can cast out illnesses and diseases but you can’t cast out a wound, a wound needs to be dealt with. Some illnesses and diseases have also left you with a wound that needs to be dealt with.
2) Deal with the wound of rejection by understanding there is an emotional pain attached to it and understand the psychological wounds.
3) Understand you are in a self-destruct mode, and you have the power to stop destroying yourself and your esteem. Click here to read how to overcome low self-esteem.
4) Understand you have the power to overcome it, there are books about emotional first aid to handle, guilt, failure, loss and rejection, but you don’t want to just put a patch over it, you need to be cured fully and overcome it. When an accident occurs, and you lose the use of some limbs making you wheelchair-bound, many refuse to accept this life and work on their muscles until they are able to walk again. Emotional wounds can be worked on, by making sure we change our habits (click here to learn how to change habits), in order to control anger, and reduce aggression.
5) Don’t be attached to life too much, you do not need to belong or be accepted by anyone but yourself. If you truly master this, you will be able to live a life free from living to impress people or fit in with people. You are great. You are good enough, there is only one you, so be happy with being you. And in order to love you, of course, you need to understand yourself and understand real love.
6) Create a plot twist in your head, be a dreamer. In every good film or book, there is rejection, do you stop watching when your favorite character has been rejected or going through hard times? No… you do not. In fact, you enjoy the ending even more as you understand all they have had to go through and they have come out victorious. You must learn to understand that all things will work out for your good if you believe they will. Believe that any rejection will only make you stronger, and you will never be rejected from what is rightfully yours. You will make it to where you need to make it, and you will get what you are meant to get, and on the way to that place, you are able to control how you feel about yourself, and you have the power to heal your wounds.
7) Let it go, forgive yourself or especially the cause of the wound. I was fortunate to be able to forgive my father a few months before he died suddenly. My father had never raised me and had decided to stay in his country and work as a professor all through my life. I grew up feeling angry and even when i was no longer angry I felt i was too bug to let him in, why did I need to forgive him? I decided without realising it I was rejecting him just because I felt he had rejected me and my mother. It was not until I heard a message from a preacher who mentioned, people can only do what they know. I decided to ask my father who raised him. It turned out that he was sent away from his parents in order to get an education when he was young. I then understood that my father perhaps just did what he thought was normal and he did not mean for me to feel what I was actually feeling.
The preacher also mentioned that God is our father, and we are called to be good sons not necessarily to be good fathers in a sense. I realised there is a duty I have as a son regardless of what I think of someone’s parenting choices, I realised I could be better and choose to just be a good son, as the bible does say honour your parents. Within 10 minutes of hearing that message I acted on the message and texted my father and told him, I am ready to be a son to him regardless of what I think of his parenting. In that moment I had broken the pain of rejection and had set myself free, I chose to let the wound go and make steps to be free from behaving and treating people in a way that showed I had hurt feelings towards them and a wound. Let it go, treat people as if you have no wounds, and before you know it, you will be healed of your wounds, you will walk again, no longer crippled, as you chose to exercise your muscle and not accept the wound. You chose to overcome it.
Have you got any tips to help with rejection? Comment below.