The Rejection Wound
Some people cannot handle rejection. Usually because they were rejected when they were too young to process it. They may have been rejected by one or both of their parents. They may have been rejected by their peers. Whatever went wrong they now have a sensitivity to rejection that overwhelms them.
Sometimes people see rejection when it is not even there. If someone disagrees with them they feel rejected. If someone does not return their email they feel rejected. If someone does not maintain eye contact when they are talking this feels like rejection to them.
When wounded people feel rejected they overreact. Some of them fly into a rage and blame you for what is their internal wound. Then they list every time they felt rejected by you since the friendship began. Some people who feel rejected get violent and hurt you. Then you are dealing with domestic violence.
Other wounded people pull back and internalize what they are feeling. They take the perceived slight and blame themselves for being inadequate. They think: “There must be something wrong with me because this person has to run some errands instead of spending the day with me.”
When wounded people overreact when they perceive rejection, there is nothing you can do to heal them. I tried this with my son. The more I tried to make him feel loved, to make up for how I neglected him as a child, the more angry he got.
At first I thought he was a narcissist. But narcissists don’t feel remorse and my son always comes to me in tears to say he is sorry.
I finally had to face the fact that only God could heal my son and the only answer to his dilemma is God’s unconditional love for him. He also needs to love himself.
I mention my son, but I am the same way. I overreact when I feel rejected. I used to try harder to get someone I cared about to love me. If that didn't work I got angry and said things I did not mean.
I have learned that when we are full God’s love for us, and our love for ourselves, then nothing else matters. When people reject us we don’t care. We don’t see it where it does not exist. We don’t get angry or blame ourselves. We just go with the flow.
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