Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rejecting Behavior in Relationships

One of the epiphanies discovered on my road to loving myself is how to steer clear of relationships that are harmful and that deplete my self esteem, sense of worth and self respect. As a child I grew up in an invalidating environment; this means that I wasn't accepted for who I am. When you grow up being rejected, you continue seeking out people who will reject you when you're an adult, until and unless you wake up and put a stop to old habits.

While blooming into a whole, complete, healed person, I slowly figured out what rejecting behavior is. I was so accustomed to being discounted, devalued, dismissed by my caretakers as a child, as an adult I didn't even realize I was being rejected when I was. All I knew was that I hurt inside, felt depressed and had low levels of self esteem.

I'm writing this article to encourage you, dear reader, if you're battling to love yourself and to grow into a whole and complete person with self acceptance. Below I list some indications of rejection from others, but first, let me say that YOU DESERVE TO BE ACCEPTED. You do not deserve to be rejected in any way shape or form. You do not have to tolerate rejecting behavior of others. You are an adult today (if you're reading this, I assume) and you can take action to PROTECT yourself from rejection.

Rejection depletes your self esteem, makes you feel ashamed, unworthy and unlovable. Some people have very rejecting attitudes inside themselves about themselves, as well is about others. These are not bad people, per say, but they have toxic styles of relating which need to be remedied. If you love yourself you will require that everyone around you accept you for who you are, or else you will not stick around. You do have a choice. Always choose your dignity over a rejecting relationship.

Subtle Rejection

Rejection can be very subtle and sometimes covert. It's not always going to hit you upside the head. You will notice, however, when in the presence of a rejecting person, that you feel icky after being around them. When you feel uneasy about being around someone, there could be some undercurrent of rejection that you're not consciously aware of.

Mixed Messages

Rarely will you be wholly rejected by another person. Of course, all but those with zero self esteem will walk away from a relationship where you get nothing but rejection. Oftentimes a person who treats you with rejecting behavior will do so with mixed messages. IE: Come close, get away. This is a game that people play when they are insecure and fearful of intimacy, or have some psychological need to make themselves feel superior by putting you out.

If you grew up in a rejecting environment, you may also feel compelled to fix the opinion of someone who rejects you in adulthood as a way of repairing the wound that occurred when you were first rejected. This is what Freud calls the "Repetition Compulsion." This may cause you to seek out rejecting partners who will end up hurting you in the end. In fact, you may feel more comfortable with rejecting people than you do with those who accept you--that is if you are already rejecting yourself.

In fact, you would only tolerate rejecting behavior in others toward you if you already reject yourself in that same way. Rejecting behavior would feel bizarre and awkward to someone who loves and accepts herself or himself. The goal in growth and self love should be to feel it in your gut when someone is rejecting, cold and invalidating toward you. 

  • Keeps records of your mistakes. Keeps them in one-up, superior position and looking down on you. 
  • Refuses to listen to your truth. If someone refuses to listen to you, this is very rejecting behavior. You cannot have a relationship with someone who is not flexible enough to hear things they don't want to hear from you.
  • Runs hot and cold. See mixed messages. Dr. Jeckle & Mr. Hyde Syndrome. One minute they're nice and sweet, the next their raging and insensitive.
  • Does not consider your feelings. Does whatever they want without considering the impact to your feelings. This is rejection of your humanity when it is done continually despite you letting that person know that it hurts you.
  • Blames you for everything. Does not take responsibility for their behavior. This is also rejecting of your humanity. No person is perfect. If they think they're perfect then you can bet they'll be projecting their imperfections they can't accept onto you--steer clear.
  • Makes sarcastic comments about your life. A rejecting person looks down on you. You can tell by the little comments they make when you're expressing things about your life. They may make comments that make you feel like you have to prove yourself.
  • Positions themselves as higher than you. A rejecting person wrongfully ranks others as greater or lesser than themselves. They may have a need to put you down as they use that to increase their self esteem, albeit temporarily. 

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