What is a rejection wound?
I have always been afraid of not being good enough and terrified of other people’s judgments. The rejection wound is described, by Lise Bourbeau in her book "The Five Wounds That Keep You from Being Yourself", as a feeling, founded or imagined, of having been rejected and unwanted by someone.
💔 It is therefore our feelings that suffer an emotional shock, although the degree of it can be more or less severe according to different parameters which include; personality, age, context ...
Nevertheless, what characterizes the rejection wound is the suffering in the long term. It is as if we are living in situations of rejection repeatedly on a daily basis. Of course, when we have an argument with someone we love, and we are anxious, we don't say to ourselves "oh, that's my rejection wound that is activated!" Most of the time, it remains repressed and unconscious whilst resurging from our past.
The causes of this feeling
I know that I was a surprise baby, I was not planned by my parents. If I talk about it, it's because it can be one of the causes of the rejection wound. Just like being born a girl when the parents wanted a boy or vice versa... There are a bunch of other reasons, which take place in childhood 👶. Indeed, in childhood we acquire self-confidence, and we will have a determining social environment. However, if the child feels a rejection, conscious or not, of the parents, then an emotional void will be created.
> The wound of rejection often has a link with the phase where children become aware that their mother cannot constantly be with them; this is also known as separation anxiety 👩👦.
Factors that reinforce the pain
Not all childhood wounds are experienced in the same way. Some of us manage to master, them when others repress them. If healing doesn’t take place, other factors need to be taken into account, and these include:
- Hypersensitivity: if one is hypersensitive or has psychological disorders.
- Violence: if you have been abused or neglected, especially during childhood.
- Recurrence: if you have experienced several situations of rejection, such as a sudden break-up in love, or even in friendship.
- The degree of affection: if it is an attachment figure such as a mother or father, or a very close person, the feeling of rejection will be experienced more violently.
- Investment: if we are fully invested in the relationship, if it occupies all our mental space.
How can we tell if we are suffering from a rejection wound?
Two types of behavior can help us understand if we are suffering from a rejection wound.
- Fleeing situations: since we are afraid of abandonment and rejection by others, we tend to flee from social relationships, regardless of their nature (love, family, friends, professional, etc.). This is a defense mechanism many of us use to avoid suffering and for fear of failure in regard to new relationships.
- Lack of self-confidence: we constantly question who we are. We feel that we are not interesting enough, pretty enough, funny enough, etc. In addition to that, we feel more easily attacked by others, by their words or their behavior. One will tend to think that one is never appreciated sincerely because of this lack of esteem.
➜ What are the consequences? We'll engage in self-sabotaging acts in our relationships because of the anticipation of rejection. We will put others first, to the point where we forget about ourselves in certain situations.
How can we get over the feeling of being rejected?
Unfortunately, one cannot really heal from a rejection wound 😞. It would be nice if we could have a "delete" button somewhere inside us, to remove what is hurting us (personally, it would be very helpful to me!). Nonetheless, rest assured, because we can learn to stop overreacting to that emotional hurt, that's what I've learned to do.
Listening to yourself
In order to do this, it is necessary to do some introspection. Indeed, self-analysis allows one to find the origins and the meaning of the wound, while accepting the feelings that are linked to it. You have to be able to turn to your inner world by listening, observing, and analyzing your emotions in relation to a situation.
➜ For example 🧐: A friend cancels lunches with us several times. We must manage to understand what this evokes in us before talking to her about it. We will tend to think: "she’s only canceling because she is tired of me". While communication is the key, the real reason may be that our friend is having financial problems, for example.
Except that coming to terms with your emotions is easier said than done, especially if you've never taken the time to listen to yourself 😳.
Surround yourself and talk about it
Indeed, doing this type of exercise alone is complex. For the longest time, I was unaware of my inner wounds, I didn’t have the open-mindedness to go and look for the answers deep inside myself. That's why you have to seek professional help.
Psychological support is the best way to learn to accept your emotional scars. Listening and avoiding making judgments allow us to express ourselves freely about our past and our feelings. This allows us to begin a phase of reconstruction to calm our emotions. The most appropriate type of follow-up for such suffering is psychoanalysis. It allows us to look into our past, what handicaps us.
➜ From there on, we will be able to understand that we are not responsible for this rejection wound. It is a way to forgive others and forgive ourselves to move forward and live a healthier life 🤗.
Editor's note - Don't let it get to you.
Rejection can create a huge emotional rift, depending on our personality type and experience. If we feel the slightest pain or questioning, we should not hesitate to consult a therapist to get help. Reaching out is the best way to avoid being invaded by these demonic feelings.
🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!
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