Signs and Symptoms of People Dealing with Rejection Issues (Part Two)

(Contd from Signs and Symptoms of People dealing with Rejection Issues (Part One) )

3. People dealing with rejection issues can be extremely defensive, they don’t like to be corrected, they always have a comeback, always have to have the last word. They are extremely competitive and can be jealous of other people’s achievements, and are never satisfied with where they are in life. Because they want to be bigger and better than everybody else, as then they will receive acceptance, approval and validation. They believe their identity is wrapped up in their performance which explains their extremely driven nature. They are high achievers. Like I said before, they go out of their way to please people and when it’s not reciprocated they withdraw feeling used and abused. Then they meet new friends or reconcile with old ones and the cycle of ‘cleaving and leaving’ continues.

4. Some people with rejection issues do not trust anyone. They keep everyone at arms length, they create a wall of resistance and they don’t let anyone through, or let anyone into their heart for fear of being hurt. They do not have really intimate relationships because of fear of rejection. They relate to people on a superficial level, they withdraw from anything too deep. If it starts to get intense, they will do a runner, that is they leave the relationship. It’s like I’ll leave you before you leave me. They’re always pushing people away, they don’t want to be hurt, they don’t want to be rejected. It’s too painful for them and it reminds them of the past hurts.

5.This person is always angry, angry with people, angry with life. There is a deep rooted resentment and bitterness that comes up when there is some form of conflict with someone. They go from 0 to 100 at the slightest perceived provocation. Or they will engineer conflict so that they can verbally or physically attack someone. It’s almost like they want to hurt someone as much as they are hurting. They also rebel against authority and do not like to conform to societies rules. They are extremely opinionated, and they don’t have patience with others who express views contrary to their own. They misread or misrepresent intentions, that is, someone may say something and they will feel you’re attacking or saying something demeaning about them. I remember a friend of mine who was complaining about a person in her church, who was always offended with whatever topic she was preaching, because she thought the pastor was referring or talking about her. My friend had spent time with this person to help her work through her problems, but it seems like she was still struggling with some issues.

6. These people are quiet and sensitive, they hold things in and don’t speak out. They never speak their mind because they don’t want to be judged or rejected by anybody. If someone does something to them, they will hold it in and not say anything, they will hold the resentment in until someone does something trivial to them and then they let it all out- like an avalanche. Very judgemental and they judge themselves a lot. For example, if they say hello to someone and the person didn’t reply, they begin to think, and think, and think about what they did to that person, they won’t let it go ( I used to be like this!) in their mind, they will think about the last time they talked to that person, ‘maybe I was rude, or wasn’t listening that’s why she didn’t greet me?’ Maybe the person didn’t even hear the greeting at all or was distracted by someone else that’s why she didn’t respond.

All these symptoms have to do with a faulty belief system. What you believe about yourself, you will eventually become. Proverbs 23:7. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. This is what the bible says, what it means is that the way you think about yourself is what you will eventually become. These people have believed a lie and it is affecting their life, their relationships, their career. So how can a person overcome the obstacles and hindrances that rejection brings? I would like to address that in my next blog. Stay tuned!

Signs and Symptoms of People dealing with Rejection Issues (Part One)

We all go through rejection at some point in our lives. Whether it was not being chosen for the school netball/basketball team, or not selected for an interview or being rejected by a boy/girl we like. For some people it’s really not a big deal at all, life goes on, we just shrug our shoulders and say to ourselves,’ oh, well, never mind, better luck next time’ and we move on with our lives. But unfortunately there are some people that rejection affects very very deeply, it impacts on their whole life in a really big way. For some it is so soul destroying and devastating it has lead to broken relationships, addictions and even suicide.

Why? Because at some point in their lives they received rejection or were involved in some form of traumatic experience at a very vulnerable point in their lives; and it imprinted itself in their innermost being and so they have believed the ‘lie’ that they’re not good enough, unwanted and unloveable (I know this is a really deep subject, I just feel I’ve got to talk about it because I know some people close to me and some people who I’ve talked to who are really going through this, or have gone through it).

This rejection (or spirit of rejection) leads to feelings of worthlessness, uselessness, feelings of not belonging, of not fitting in, feeling like an outsider, feelings of insecurity, feeling unloveable, uncared for, not wanted, unappreciated, despised, feelings of shame. People who have been sexually molested and abused also seem to carry these rejection issues.

As a pastoral counsellor, I have listened and counselled many people, and I’ve found that if you go to the root of most of people’s issues, a lot of the times, it can be traced back to some rejection/abandonment or neglect that happened in the past.

From my experience, (not all symptoms are exhibited in one person, but many of them can be) here are the signs that someone is suffering from rejection issues:

1. They are very possessive and clingy. When they’re in a relationship, they are extremely clingy, they’re always suspicious of their partner seeing someone else. Some times you can be suspicious of your partner if you’ve experienced cheating in the past. But I think this goes way deeper than that. There may not have been any cheating at all, but because they’re so insecure, they believe something that is not there. They want to know where their partner is at all times, who they’re talking to on the phone and why they’re staring at that girl/guy? Suspicious of members of opposite sex around their partner. Very insecure people, scared that their partner will leave them for someone one else.

I know a few people who were like this and all of them, when they were young, their father left their mother or their father was non existent in their lives. So they grew up without a father figure in their life. They thought it was because their father didn’t love them and that’s why he left and they don’t have a father because they’re unloveable. When they were at school other children talked about their father but they could not because they didn’t have a father figure in their life, so that made them feel left out, not belonging ( I guess that was their first sense of not belonging.) So when they were older, ( most especially women) they became very insecure and felt like every male would leave them, just like their father did, because they believe they are unloveable. And because their behaviour is so suffocating, their partner will eventually leave because nobody can tolerate this kind of behaviour which will reenforce their belief that they are unlovable, and not wanted.

2. They go over and above and beyond for people, especially new friends or acquaintances.They do this for approval and affirmation from others. They feel that they have to go the extra mile so that thy can be accepted and not rejected. It’s almost like they feel that they have to work for love (something like that). The thing with that is that it can be quite exhausting for them to keep it up all the time. They are perfectionists and they are very performance-driven. They have this manic drive to excel at everything, there is nothing wrong with that in itself, but the reason – the motive. The real motive for their drive is their need for acceptance and approval from their peers. It’s like they have to prove to everyone they are not useless, because they don’t want to be rejected.

(Part Two continued tomorrow)

Frenemy: Signs of a Toxic Friendship and How to Deal with it

In this faced paced, dog-eat-dog world that we live in, where everybody is looking out for number one; it’s great to have good friends. We all need friends, right? They’re with you in the good times and the bad. They always have your back. They’re there when things are great, there when you want to celebrate. They’re there when things go downhill, there when you need support. Friends are always there through thick or thin.

However there are a certain group of people who masquerade as friends but behave like enemies, I call them frenemies

So what are frenemies? Frenemies are people who we assume or consider are our friends but on many occasions behave like our enemy. They are horrible people to have in your life. You really don’t want to have a frenemy in your life, because it’s confusing (is she against me or for me this time, where do I stand in this relationship??!!). As far as I’m concerned I want to know that I have a friend that I can trust and not a frenemy who I’m not sure of. Identifying and dealing with them is very important for your own peace of mind.

Here are five ways to identify a frenemy:

Envious of your Success

They are never truly happy for your success and are glad when you fail. Whenever anything good happens to you, instead of sincerely rejoicing with you, they always have something derogatory to say or undermine your achievements. They will make backhanded comments that seem ok on the surface but are really quite negative. It always seems like when you tell them something good it always leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, so to speak. A true friend should be happy for you when you do well, and want to celebrate your success, no matter what.

Unsupportive and Uncaring

Frenemies are never there when you need them. They make all sorts of promises that they do not keep, they say they’ll be there for you through thick and thin, support you in everything and every way but when you’re in a crisis or a difficult situation or you just need help they’ll make all sorts of excuses as to why they’re not available. When you’re in trouble, you can’t get hold of them and when the crisis is over, hey presto, they suddenly appear! A real friend will drop everything just to be by your side in times of trouble because they truly love and care for you (A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity, Proverbs 17:17).

Betray Confidences

Frenemies will betray your trust at any opportunity. They will gain your confidence and then stab you in the back. They will gossip about you behind your back and side with your enemies and when you confront them they will deny it (Psalm 41:9. Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me).

They also cannot keep a secret, but will reveal something you told them about someone else at the slightest opportunity. They cannot be trusted.

No Respect for Boundaries

They have no regard for boundaries and do not respect your boundaries either. They’ll appear at your house without warning at any time of the day. They’ll impose themselves on you, at the most inconvenient time (when you have guests for dinner etc) for something that is quite trivial and can be handled at any other time. They expect you to be at their beck and call at all times. I know I just said that friends should be there in good and bad times, but these frenemies want you to be there all the time! They don’t realise you have a job, you have a family, (you have a life!)you cannot just drop everything when they call all the time.

Spiritual Vampires

Frenemies take everything they can from you and give nothing positive in return, they suck you dry. Frenemies always bring something negative in your life with their unnecessary drama; when you’re around them, you feel low and down. It is so tiring being with them, their toxic attitude and behaviour wear you out. They’re jealous of the attention you give your other friends and will try to bring division and conflict between you and them.They never seem to have anything positive to report about anything or anybody. They always seem to have ‘beef’ with someone and eager to involve you (Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (AMP))

They are just busy bodies, gossips, in everybody’s business, but never minding their own. Frenemies are always complaining or moaning about one thing or the other, they never let things go, they hold on to grievances and never let you forget about them either. They wear you out and wear you down. You’re compelled in the spirit to pray when they leave to uplift your spirit and clear the atmosphere of their negative presence.

Now if you have such people in your life, here are a few ways you can deal with them. I don’t believe in cutting everyone from your life unless they are so toxic that it’s is damaging you emotionally and psychologically. If that is the case, then you need to cut them out of your life completely. If not, then you can keep them in, what I would call the outer court zone of your life. There are inner and outer court relationships.

Sort out your Inner and Outer Court Relationships

For example in the Old Testament, the temple had an inner court, outer court and the Holy of Holies. Access to either of these places depended on the level of relationship with God. The outer court was reserved for the general public (Israelites) and those who wanted to offer sacrifices to God. The inner court was limited to the Levites who served God in the Temple. Then there was the Holy of Holies, which only the High Priest was allowed to enter once a year. Not everyone, could go into the inner court, not everyone could go into the Holy of Holies. That should also be the same with your friendships.

Are they trustworthy, dependable, reliable, how long have you known them, do they really care about you, your family? These are the questions you should ask yourself before you allow anyone into the inner court of your life. Do they value you, lift you up, support, encourage, counsel, edify you? Do they add to you? Those in the inner court are the people you keep close to you.They are the people that you share your deepest secrets, your confidence, thoughts. They’re the people you can rely on. Anyone else that does not fit the above, you need to keep them in the outer court of your life.

People you keep in the outer court are acquaintances, people you’ve just met, people you don’t know very well and frenemies.

Give them a heart to heart.

Just have some time with them and find out what is going on with them. Maybe they don’t know that they’re behaving in such a toxic manner, maybe if you put it to them, they might change their behaviour. Now this is a big maybe, because from experience, such people rarely ever change their behaviour; however you can give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe you might be the one to help them to change.

Limit personal contact/communication

Separate yourself from them and if they keep calling to find out why, just tell them you are taking some time off from the relationship ( you might have to tell them the truth). If they ask why, you can tell them how you feel about them, give them a chance to respond. If they make excuses, or blame you for their behaviour, then you’ve made the right decision. It’s difficult for people like that to change. By that time, you can gradually ween yourself off them. They’ll probably not bother you any more, they’ll get the picture. Just love them from a distance.

Cut them off completely.

Re-evaluate your relationship with them. Do you really need such people in your life right now? If not, just cut them off and don’t respond to any phone calls. I know it seems harsh, but sometimes you have to be hard. Such harsh measures might help them to realise that they need to change if they are going to have and keep any friends, most especially you.