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Rejection - Good or bad?

Part 1 of a Series

Harlan Jacobsen Copyright © 2003

 

               Everyone has a bit of a problem with rejection; some have only a light, momentary, slightly bad feeling about it.  Others’ behavior and actions are greatly affected by fear of rejection and their sense of well being is tied up by who rejects them.

               Many are rejection cripples and are emotionally damaged every time they are rejected.

               In helping get people from an emotional “rejection cripple” stage to “I  like and readily accept rejection” stage, we deal with three different facets of rejection.

               TIME REJECTIONS - RELATIONSHIP ACCEPTANCE ENDS.

               They had accepted and approved you and now they no longer do.  You feel short-changed, mad—your expectations that this was going to be forever were not fulfilled.  They got out before you did and that hurts and worst of all, they didn’t check with you first.

               Now you must go through a stage of addictive withdrawal similar to an addict going through withdrawal period and it hurts; it is painful.

               Someone graduated from the relationship and you weren’t ready.

               We need to realize in dealing with time rejection that people’s values change very much faster now along with needs and priorities changing as they grow over time.  Everything and everyone is changing at an accelerated pace.  Our thinking and expectations are geared to another time when people and things changed not at all or very slowly.

               The three D’s of time rejection are Divorce - 50% of the population will experience it at least once.

               Deceased - 50% of the remaining marrieds will have to deal with rejection by death.  Psychologists say death is the ultimate form of rejection.  Dealing with loss through death is very little different than through divorce.

               One widow was heard to exclaim as they lowered the casket, “How can you leave me now, you dirty S.O.B., just when I needed you so much.”

               Desertion - the poor man’s (and increasingly woman’s) divorce.  About 5% of the population use this method of ending a marriage.  If you are a woman your statistical chances if you are married are about 80% that you will have to deal with one of these three methods of time rejection.  That’s 3 to 1 odds that if you are a married women you are going to have one of the three D’s in your future.  And as a single, you have to handle time rejection regularly.  Time rejection is a fact of life.  We might as well recognize that and learn to handle it more easily.

               Temporary is factual; permanent or “forever after” is a fairy tale.  You are here on earth temporarily; it is upsetting to know, realize and face the fact is it’s not forever.  Life is good even if it is tempor-ary, for however long it lasts.

               All relationships are temporary and they are good for however long they last.  We find it difficult to face the fact that all relationships are temporary. People know that relationships change and move on.  Growing, graduating from a relationship, is a fact of life but we find it difficult, preferring to hold on to our fairy tale belief that if the “love” or relationships are true or any good they go on forever.  They don’t—and we need to accept the facts of life that we are either going to be rejected over time or reject others— or both.

               The second type of rejection we are dealing with now is what we call INITIAL REJECTION.  Initial Rejection is when someone rejects you on first impression and you are the rejectee the person rejected.  About 10% of the people you meet will seem to accept and approve you but promptly discard you, which is in effect also rejection, only with a slight delay.

               Most of us who are rejected initially will rarely make another attempt.  I know it took me almost four years to be where I would ever ask anyone to dance again that had ever turned me down for a dance even once.

               Look at Rover—the mangy mutt comes in wagging his tail and rubbing against you—he wants a pet, but you turn him down.  Doesn’t bother him; he goes on to someone else and finds someone willing to give him some pets.  Now, when he comes in again tomorrow he doesn’t hold a grudge—he offers himself again, and if he is turned down he’ll try again tomorrow.  It is a long time before Rover gives up on you.

               We say rejection today is rejection for now only.  Maybe I have my eye on someone else right now and though you seem interesting and exciting I want to check out this other person first.

               Next up and most difficult for some people is THE ABILITY TO REJECT OTHERS.  It’s the ability to reject is the ability to stop being used, to be able to reject unwanted advances, so you can stop being “thinged” by everyone who finds you attractive.  The ability to realize when to say no, be able to say it pleasantly and without embarrassments.

               We find that many second time arounders have what I call a “bananas”   or extreme rejection policy—one extreme or the other.  They either reject everybody or they reject no one - sort of “I can’t get hurt by being rejected if I reject them first.”  Or “Rejection hurts so bad I just couldn’t hurt them by rejecting them so I pretend I accept them.”  I waste their time and mine and when I get fed up and have resentment enough, then I reject and “hurt” them.  When you don’t really like them but can’t reject them, then you feel used.

               If you are a rejection cripple,

               1.  You feel defective when rejected.

               2.  You are upset, blood pressure goes up. (Stress)

               3.  You feel like you failed or you are a failure.

               4.  You are “afraid” of trying again.

               5.  You won’t let anyone get really close again; you’ll sabotage the relationship if it gets close.

               6.  You hide out at home a good part of the time; no risk of being rejected there; deal me out of the game.

               7.  You reject others in advance so they can’t reject you.  (Let’s go, nothing but a bunch of losers here.)

               8.  You date people way below your capability because you know turkeys won’t reject you.  (No use asking sexy Pat to go to coffee, I’d probably get turned down.  I’ll ask Susy Klutz (or Harry Slob), I know she’ll accept me.)

               9.  Date only people you really don’t like or respect so you won’t get involved and get hurt by time rejection later.

               10. If you are a rejection cripple, rejection causes you great inner turmoil, the greatest source of tears, etc., physical ailments.

               11. You refuse to reject most other people and waste their and your time because you lack the courage to do such an “awful” thing to someone else.    You “resent” their wasting your time but refuse to reject them.

               12. You are so busy spending too much time with people you refuse to reject (or refuse to reject you ) to save “hurt” feelings that you don’t have time to get on to the “special” people you should be meeting.

 

               There are several grades of rejection:

               1.  I can’t stand you; leave me alone.

               2.  I’ll pretend to accept you to be nice, but I really don’t like you.

               3.  I like you, but boy, have I got a lot of plans to straighten you out.

               4.  ACCEPTANCE:  I accept you and like you just as you are. 

(More next issue.)

 

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