Today, I’m starting a series of posts expanding my understanding of rejection issues, how they affected me, and how I’m recovering from them. It is my hope you’ll be encouraged to examine yourself to see if any of these issues affect you. #rejectionissues #rejectionsymptoms #rejectionhope Click to Tweet
Know this: healing is available. Using my Symptoms of Rejection Page on this website as a resource, each week for however long this lasts, I’ll discuss a few of the clinical symptoms, what I felt my symptoms were, how they were similar, and how they affected me.
My symptoms were: anger, easily wounded, and fear. The clinical symptoms are:
- Hypersensitivity to rejection/criticism
- Self-imposed social isolation
- Extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations, though the person feels a strong desire for close relationships
Anger — I’ve always had a temper, uncontrollable and nasty. I’ve tamed a lot now, and I can’t blame all of it on my red hair. I lose my temper a lot when I feel like things will never change. This would be my response to rejection/criticism.
Easily Wounded — this is another one of my responses to rejection/criticism. When I was a child, other children learned quite quickly that I could be hurt easily. When they discovered that, they homed in on that like a mosquito to blood. They were out for it.
Fear — Self-imposed social isolation, and extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations, though the person feels a strong desire for close relationships. I was afraid of making new friendships, because many of those whom I already knew had rejected me for various reasons.
Social Isolation — There are two sorts of people in this world, introverts and extroverts. Already a natural introvert because of rejection issues, I possibly isolated myself even more because of fear of being rejected. When this pattern begins as a child, often we become what society calls “loners.” And I was quite a loner, especially in junior high, because that’s when “cliques” formed. I’ve already mentioned that one of my best friends was fickle towards me, because she wanted to be popular and I was doomed to be one step above an outcast. I would isolate myself to protect me from further hurt.
Shyness — All these work together and are intertwined, and as a Catch-22. I was shy because I was rejected by many children growing up, which caused me to be shy, which could have caused more rejection, certainly not acceptance, and so son. It became part of my internal nature. By nature, introverts gain personal inner strength from being alone. Maybe I became an introvert because of the rejection issues, but I gain strength from being alone.
Anxiety — is fear. Fear that in a social situation, no one will like you, causing more rejection. It is definitely a vicious circle. For a person with rejection issues, this fear causes us to become more introverted, isolated, and shy because we fear more rejection. Each time we’re rejected (perceived or real) it cuts deeply, like a scalpel cut, and takes so long to heal.
How This Played Out With Me
Elementary school is where it started. Neighborhood children started teasing me about my red hair, when all I wanted was to be their friend. “Rusty Tin Can!” was the first nickname I had in the neighborhood. I was probably five years old, and we had just moved there, where within two blocks, there were six of us the same age, and a few older by only a year or two. Only a couple of them weren’t very friendly, and truthfully, it was the older siblings that started the bitter tease. They were people a bit younger than my brother, but were friends with him.
All I ever wanted was for people to like me. That’s all I want. Just like me. That’s all. Click to Tweet Don’t deride me for my last name, or my hair color, or the fact that I’m shy. Accept me, and be my friend. Click to Tweet #rejectionissues #rejectionsymptoms #rejectionhope
This is the cry of those with rejection issues. Next week, I’ll look at three more.
How about you? What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.