HealthBoards (
-   Depression (
-   -   Need help with rejection sensitivity (

dannaB 03-18-2007 08:22 PM

Need help with rejection sensitivity
I am terribly sensitive to rejection. But not even just rejection, which no one likes, but I also seem to read ambiguous behavior as rejection.

This goes back to my childhood. Yes, I'm in therapy. But this pattern seems to have a hold on me.

I will get down sometimes when certain friends are out of touch for a while. I think being so sensitive also contributed to my recent breakup (although he definitely didn't make much effort to show me that I am special). Lately I just feel like everyone is rejecting me, and I don't hear from friends for a long time...

I just don't know HOW to change this pattern. I don't even know when I'm misreading things. I just know that when I feel upset, I feel upset, and this is especially bad when I'm not in contact with the person I'm worried about so I'm not getting any signals from them and then my thoughts go all over the place. Any tips, books, etc. for working on this? I'm afraid my life is becoming a big self-fulfilling prophecy.

Trixibel 03-18-2007 11:04 PM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
no, can't offer any tips sorry, can just say that I'm right there with you. unfortunately.

Seraph 03-18-2007 11:13 PM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
Do you keep a journal? If you write down these experiences, and look for the buttons that have been pushed each time, and then compare them over the months, you will begin to see a pattern. You CAN change your old tape recordings and reactions. Once you recognise what gets to you, and when it gets to you, you can make the choice to take it in or hold it up to the light and look at it. (If I am telling Granma how to suck eggs, please forgive, have used these things on myself) I realised after doing this for a while, that I was putting people into a certain role in my landscape and being very upset when they did not conform. Now I tell myself, "This is MY landscape, not theirs, they cannot know their part in my script." Have patience, we all do what you are doing to a certain extent. Much unnecessary pain.

firenice 03-19-2007 12:42 AM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
You might consider doing a net search and reading up on cognitive behavior therapy, rational emotive therapy and what is commonly referred to as nonviolent communication. There is free information available and some books you can purchase. The information can be helpful regarding your sensitivity to rejection and relating to others in a way that can meet your needs.

Sannah 03-19-2007 08:08 AM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
Hi Danna, so you need the validation of others to feel okay about yourself? This is where I would start. The only validation that you need is your own.

Dakota_Skye 03-19-2007 03:22 PM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
hi danna,

you know, many times people say we have to analyze ourselves. well, just as many times, we tend to 'over-anlayze' or analyze waaaaaay too much. this may be the thing that's making you feel bad. analyzing is good--to a certain extent, but when we go overboard, it can get out of control. when we tend to focus too much on some things day after day after day, that focus will become our world. we may focus on ourselves, on others, on what others think and believe, on how they see us, and so much more. after a while we think others are better off than we are..smarter, quicker on their feet, more intelligent, more assertive (considered a good quality), more of everything... when we think of other people this way, we inevitably compare ourselves with them, and many times find ourselves less able / capable then them. but, the truth is, the majority of these things exist only in our heads. reality is most likely very different. firenice's suggestion of researching some stuff on cognitive behavior therapy is really good. you can buy so many of these types of books online or in your local bookstore. and the strategy these books offer is quite simple and you can apply it right where you are. it will also give you some insight as to why you think the way you do.

wishing you a better day today, :angel:

Trixibel 03-19-2007 04:34 PM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
I've decided I will try to offer you some tips after all - the blind leading the blind really as I so badly suffer from what you're suffering from.

First of all I think what Dakota said is very true - about overanalysing. I know I get 'hooked' on a thought about someone rejecting me and I go over it and over it in my mind - it's like it's on a loop - just keeps coming back. We need to find how to stop these thoughts and redirect them.

When you get a rejection related thought, accept that you've had the thought but don't pick it up and interact with it. Let it pass, and think about something else. I don't know about you but my self esteem is low, so if I feel rejected I think it's because I'm no good. And whilst I can trace the reason for those feelings back to my childhood I don't blame my parents because as a parent myself I know that we don't always parent in the best way - my parents were very critical and I was very sensitive and that was a bad combination. Some kids have more fragile self esteem than others and are very quick to self-blame.

When you think that your friends haven't rung you, instead of thinking that it's because they're rejecting you, think, 'well they must be busy' or 'they're on holiday'. Or, ring them yourself!!! I have a friend who never rings me. I rang her after christmas, it took her two months to return my phone call, we arranged a night to catch up and she rang and cancelled because she had a cold. Of course, I dismissed the cold and honed straight in on the 'rejection' aspect. And am very reluctant to ring her again. But I know she's just busy, and a bit socially lazy (I lived with her so I know her well!!) so I know I'm being ridiculous.

I've read all about social anxiety and I don't have it. But I do have 'fear of rejection' anxiety. Big time. It makes ringing friends and organising things very difficult because I'm so scared they'll say 'no, I can't.' I obviously need CBT as well!!!

Trixibel 03-21-2007 03:18 AM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
Anyone else got any thoughts on this one?

Beth8844 02-07-2012 04:16 PM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
Hi, Danna.

I know just how you feel. It's a terrible feeling when someone rejects you (or you perceive they reject you) and you can't get your mind off of it, you would do anything to convince them otherwise.

The article below talks about rejection sensitivity being an inborn trait as well as the product of our childhood (overly critical parents, parents who weren't around, rejection from peers). It also says that the trait is not terrible - it's an indication that you are a kind, caring person, who wants love very much.

It's important to remember we all feel this way, some more than others. Forcing yourself to behave differently is unrealistic. It also leads to more self denigration. One of the best ways to manage rejection sensitivity is to cultivate loving-kindness toward yourself. It's hard, but it helps when those thoughts pops in your head (why did she look at me that way? why didn't they invite me to happy hour?). If you can catch it, you can tell yourself that it's not true. Gradually, things get easier - even if you are outwardly rejected, you feel more calm.

And remember that even though you may feel bad about yourself, you're NOT A BAD PERSON. You're just someone who wants love.

I hope that helps. :)

ulima 02-07-2012 04:53 PM

Re: Need help with rejection sensitivity
I am not reall an expert on this situation when it comes on to giving advice but what i can share with you . is that i often feel the same way. i have been rejected so many times that I even feel that there is no use for friends. Recently my friends started showing signs of rejection and before i alowed them to reject me fully, did it first. Now that i bearly have any friends left, i have realized that i made a big mistake. What seemed to me as rejection was just the stage of my life of realising that my friends have friend that they too have to communicate with. and when they spend less time with me, they are just trying to balance friendship.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:26 PM.