Rejection isn’t about you, but what you are doing.
We all feel rejection at some point in our lives and it is probably one of the worst feelings there is. Having felt rejected by my mother for most of my life because she didn’t love me in a way that I wanted to be loved, I understand this real urge to feel wanted and accepted. I honestly felt my world was over when I discovered my mother didn’t love me; she believed that it was me who had to change and reiterated the words, “These are your issues, not mine’. In my mind this was pure rejection – you feel totally unlovable when your own mother can’t love you.
There was immense truth in what she said but I didn’t see this through the hurt, anger, rejection, pain and totally hopelessness but she was right in so many ways. She loved me in a way I didn’t understand, she told me she couldn’t change and didn’t think she had to or knew a way how to and yes these were my issues, not hers.
For 35 years I tried to change the situation with my mother, which didn’t work no matter how hard I tried. Rejection at it’s best, the feeling where you are no longer wanted or welcomed. It’s then I had to turn inwards and look at myself. As I took a step back from being ‘right inside the situation’ I realised that the actual rejection wasn’t really about me, it was only the way I was seeing it. I took time to learn from what I was experiencing and was slowly able to accept this.
Sometimes though rejection is about the other person and knowing the differences can really help.
- People might be rejecting you for your behaviour and not actually you as a person –
Mum didn’t like my behaviour – My mother wasn’t rejecting me, she was rejecting the way I behaved. So this means it wasn’t about me; it wasn’t personal. I was coming from a very needy place, from a place of lack, desperate to be loved in anyway. This was something my mother didn’t know how to deal with, she shied away from me, and she could not give me what I craved. Why? Now that’s a question that doesn’t really need answering, as the point is it’s about accepting my mother for who she was as didn’t know how to change.
You might be feeling this right now in many areas of your life? So you need to stop looking to change your external world but to look inside and learn more about you.
Perhaps when you look inside yourself you might find that you are needy, constantly seeking approval in others, complain a lot, are argumentative, judgmental and being over critical of others, which all leads to that other person feeling uncomfortable so they ‘reject’ you. So looking inside yourself you might discover behaviours you really don’t like about you that are affecting the people you are with so they continually reject you.
Remind yourself it is your behaviour they don’t like, not you and once you change these behaviours you won’t fear the rejection.
- People might be rejecting you because you are failing to meet their expectations –
This was me again with my mother – I failed to meet her expectations, she wanted me to be a vet, I wanted to do something in sports. Mum enjoyed gardening, sewing, baking and upholstery, I did not. I failed on every front; I loved to be outdoors, running, cycling and competing in every sport; I was not the daughter she hoped for or wanted.
Mum had a totally different view on my life choices, and my opinions; her values, personality and lifestyle were completely different to mine. Mum was rejecting me because of her expectations and the best way to deal with this is acceptance. My mother was rejecting me because I failed to meet her expectations so again it wasn’t about me.
For you, it could be that the person is who is rejecting you is because they do not have the ability to accept you for who and where you are. They are entitled to that choice and you can equally choose to accept that rejection or not. Sometimes people are just incompatible and that too is about recognising and accepting that.
So to take the raw hurt and pain out of rejection consider what you can learn about yourself. Once you develop a sense of self-awareness it will become much clearer to you how you behave towards others and how their behaviour affects you.
I chose to change myself and my behaviour; which in turn has led to a loving relationship with my mother; this is a choice and one that was right for me. Equally, you might choose for that person not to be part of your life. In both circumstances, we always have a choice and remembering rejection is about the behaviour and not the person.
Remember you always have a choice in life; you can change yourself and accept those people for who they are or you can choose that the way they behave is unacceptable to you – rejection isn’t about you, but what you are doing.