Sunday, October 31, 2010

No More Rejection!

Just about everyone has experienced rejection. They say it is our biggest fear. I suppose much of that comes from our instincts in childhood since a child experiences rejection as life threatening. Nature programs us to avoid rejection, so that as kids we don't die of starvation!

However, we may tend to carry this instinct (avoid rejection at all costs) over into our adult life in a way that does not help us create healthy relationships.

Lets have a looks at what 'rejection' means to an adult. Imagine I have tried to contact someone who did not respond in the way I hoped - or, who did not respond at all. When that happens I may feel 'rejected'. But, what is that all about?

After all I don't know what is going on with the other person. How they are behaving may have nothing it all to do with me. (It might, but I'll come back to that later - see What if it is My Fault?).

I could tell myself various things about this 'rejection' depending on how I feel at that particular moment - especially if it is the third time it has happened this week. I might start to feel really bad about myself. However, there is another way I can handle it. There is a way in which even an apparent rejection can help build my self-esteem rather than damage it. It is all down to what I tell myself about the event.

The part in quotes is my initial response and the part that follows is how I explain it to myself.

'They don't like me.' - but they don't even know me. Best just to move on.

'They don't like what I said/wrote/did.' - fair enough. Not everyone is going to like my style. I will learn what I can, but I will also move on.

'They have lost faith in relationships at that moment' - maybe, if so not much I can do about that. Best just to move on.

'They are too busy' - not much I can do about that either. Best just to move on.

'They are a stuck-up %^&!' - but I don't even know them. I don't know what they might be going through. Best not to be down on them, just to move on.

'I did not really like them anyway' - maybe, maybe not. I don't know them. Best just to move on.

'I am a terrible person. Nobody like me' - nah! Not everyone likes me, but some folks do. Best just to move on.

'I don't know' - I don't know what is going on with that person. I probably never will. Best just to move on.

'Nothing' - that's right. It may have nothing at all to do with me. Best just to move on.

You'll notice in the above there is a discussion going on. One part (in quotes) expresses my gut reaction; the other part interprets the event and helps bring it to some kind of resolution.

Seeming rejection from other people is really only a problem if I have rejected myself. If I feel pained by a situation it is best that I listen to the part of me that feels the hurt and hear what is has to say. I can then think about what happened and explain it to myself. If I reject the hurt, then I am really rejecting myself, and that causes a lot more pain than anything.

What hurts is not what other people say or do, but what we tell ourselves about it.

How Many of Me are there?

It may seem strange idea at first that one part of use needs to explain things to another part of us. Yet, it works. It works really powerfully too. Sometimes I need to do it a number of times, but often I find this approach of getting into a discussion with myself creates a shift in mood, or attitude, really fast.

It this still seems strange to you, consider the alternatives. We can ignore how we feel and pretend it didn't happen. We can go into hiding till we feel ready to contact other people again. Those are not useful alternatives, are they?

Also, we can lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that we did not really want anything to do with that person anyway. We can medicate our feelings through; drugs, alcohol, watching TV, being busy, obsessive behavior, and so on. Of course, lots of people do that. But, it does not really work. We want to do what works. Don't we?

If we don't deal with an issue and handle the pain, like grown ups, we end up having to hide or run away. That just causes us a lot more pain in the long run.

Having a good internal conversation is far better, far healthier and a lot more fun, than the alternatives. There is nothing to be gained by repressing our feelings and moods, or by letting them spill out in harmful ways. It's best just to have a 'conversation' with them.

I have had some hilarious (and very enlightening) conversations with myself while alone driving along in my car. I have found out things myself that I never even knew and in the process cleared up some long standing personal issues - and even some health problems!

In fact a good sign that you have got a handle on dialoging with yourself is when you find yourself being surprised by what comes up. There is a wonderful, beautiful authentic person in there. Why not get to know you? Not just the bit that society made, but the bit that God made. Most of us have only traveled a short way into tapping into our real potential.

What if it is My Fault?

The whole point of all this is: we can only have a healthy relationship with other people if we have a healthy relationship with ourselves. We can't abandon ourselves and expect everyone else to welcome us.

If I have such a low opinion of myself that I don't pay constructive and healthy attention to myself when I am hurt by something why should anyone else? If I don't give serious attention to what I really enjoy in life, then who will?

If I keep looking to someone else to fill the gap (and only expect life to get better that way) then I have rejected and abandoned part of myself. If I abandoned part of myself then what I get is a gnawing feeling of abandonment and isolation.

There is a difference between feeling lonely and just being on my own. When I feel lonely it feels like nobody is there. When I am on my own (but not lonely) at least I am present - and paying positive attention.

How does it feel to have someone avoid you all the time? It feels horrible. And, that is how I feel when I avoid myself. That is how any person, who avoids themselves, ends up feeling. Self-avoidance is what causes much of the 'social medication' we see around us (drugs, alcohol, obsessions, addictions, etc). If you want to get over an addiction try being genuinely kind to yourself for a while. Love is always the greatest healer.

The most attractive type of person is a person who has a life. Doing the things we love to do is part of what makes us interesting to others. It is also the best way to meet people.

There is no point postponing leading the most enjoyable life we can till the 'right' person comes along. When it gets down to it, we are the person who can do the most to make us happy. Besides, isn't being on the road to happiness a good place to meet the right person?

About The Author
William Martin offers a very different slant on dating and relating. He offers a unique and wholistic approach to finding - and keeping - a life partner. William is the webmaster of a totally free dating site.



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