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/job application 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 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)