Rejections are the most common emotional wound we sustain in daily life. Our risk of rejection used to be limited by the size of our immediate social circle or dating pools. Today, thanks to electronic communications, social media platforms and dating apps, each of us is connected to thousands of people, any of whom might ignore our posts, chats, texts, or dating profiles, and leave us feeling rejected as a result.
In addition to these kinds of minor rejections, we are still vulnerable to serious and more devastating rejections as well. When our spouse leaves us, when we get fired from our jobs, snubbed by our friends, or ostracized by our families and communities for our lifestyle choices, the pain we feel can be absolutely paralyzing.
Whether the rejection we experience is large or small, one thing remains constant — it always hurts, and it usually hurts more than we expect it to.
The question is, why? Why does it ruin our mood? Why would something so seemingly insignificant make us feel angry at our friend, moody, and bad about "How not to feel rejected" The greatest damage rejection causes is usually self-inflicted.
Just when our self-esteem is hurting most, we go and damage it even further. The answer is — our brains How not to feel rejected wired to respond that way. When scientists placed people in functional MRI machines and asked them to recall a recent rejectionthey discovered something amazing.
The same areas of our brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. Evolutionary psychologists believe it all started when we were hunter gatherers who lived in tribes.
Since we could not survive alone, being ostracized from our tribe was basically a death sentence. People who experienced rejection as more painful were more likely to change their behavior, remain in the tribe, and pass along their genes. Of course, emotional pain is only one of the ways rejections impact our well-being. Unfortunately, the greatest damage rejection causes is usually self-inflicted.
Indeed, our natural response to being dumped by a dating partner or getting picked last for a team is not just to lick our wounds but to become intensely self-critical. We call ourselves names, lament our shortcomings, and feel disgusted with ourselves.
In other words, just when our self-esteem is hurting most, we go and damage
How not to feel rejected even further.
Doing so is How not to feel rejected unhealthy and psychologically self-destructive yet every single one of us has done it at one time or another. The good news is there are better and healthier ways to respond to rejection, things we can do to curb the unhealthy responses, soothe our emotional pain and rebuild our self-esteem.
Here are just some of them:. By all means review what happened and consider what you should do differently in the future, but there is absolutely no good reason to be punitive and self-critical while doing so. The best way to boost feelings of self-worth after a rejection is to affirm aspects of yourself you know are valuable.
Make a list of five qualities you have that How not to feel rejected important or meaningful — things that make you a good relationship prospect e. Applying emotional first aid in this way will boost your self-esteem, reduce your emotional pain and build your confidence going forward. As social animals, need to feel wanted and valued by the various social groups with which we are affiliated.
Rejection destabilizes our need to belongleaving us feeling unsettled and socially untethered. If your kid gets rejected by a friend, make a plan for them to meet a different friend instead and as soon as possible. Rejection is never easy but knowing how to limit the psychological damage it inflicts, and how to rebuild your self-esteem when it happens, will help you recover sooner and move on with confidence when it is time for your next date or social event.
Guy Winch is a licensed psychologist, author and keynote speaker whose books have been translated into 23 languages. He also writes the popular Squeaky Wheel blog for PsychologyToday.
About the author Guy Winch is a licensed psychologist, author and keynote speaker whose books have been translated into 23 languages.
TED Talk of the Day. Michael Green The global goals we've made progress on -- and the ones we haven't. Start by judging other people -- really Business Say no to meetings! Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Any kind of rejection, no matter if it's in love, your career, friends, a book proposal or anything else, is not Rejection doesn't feel great and sometimes it feels. Rejection hurts, but it doesn't have to hold you back.
They expect to be rejected sometimes, and they're not afraid to go for it, even when they. Since we could not survive alone, being ostracized from our tribe was basically Rejection destabilizes our need to belong, leaving us feeling.