Rejection — it’s inevitable. Sooner or later, every one of us will experience it. Some of us, more than once. And every time it happens, we can’t help but ask ourselves some questions. Usually the first question is Why? Then come the thoughts we rehearse over and over, replaying that moment of rejection … wishing we’d asked more questions or said less in response. Sometimes we wonder for weeks, What did I do wrong? Often we think, What can I do to fix this? How can I get him or her to accept me again?
Rejection typically leads to one of three responses. We will …
- Reject the person who rejected us.
- Reject others we think are like the person who rejected us.
- Reject ourselves.
- Reject God.
Rejection engages our emotions to respond in hurt and carry offense.
Our thoughts determine our beliefs, and our beliefs impact our responses and actions. It all starts in the mind. When we rehearse what the other person did to reject us, then we have begun the process of solidifying a belief into an offense. Offense leads to resentment, resentment to anger and anger to hatred. Obsessive thinking builds a case and often becomes justification to punish others for their actions. Many of the tragic stories we hear about involving abuse, violence, murder — stem from rejection and are fueled by obsessive thinking.
It’s vital that we gain control over our thoughts — which puts us in control of our actions. When rejection is from a family member or someone we are in a serious relationship with, it’s hard to move on right away. The level of pain is often tied to the level of commitment. If we have been deeply invested, it is hard to move forward without looking back. In fact, it’s such an intense experience that the brain feels emotional pain the same as physical pain. (Psychology Today)