The fear of being rejected in people with insecure attachment styles can be really strong. But it’s one thing to worry about the future, and quite another to experience a real breakup with a loved one that didn’t happen on your own initiative.
Rejection is part of our lives. Michelle Maidenberg, an adjunct professor in the psychology department at New York University, admits that she often tells her clients: if you don’t want to be rejected, it’s best not to have a relationship at all.
REJECTION CAUSES PHYSICAL PAIN
Psychologists note that the worst rejection is experienced by people with an anxious or anxious-avoidant style of attachment – who have previously considered themselves insufficiently attractive and worthy for their partner. They react to the breakup very emotionally.
A study that examined people’s neurological reactions to rejection in one form or another showed that certain areas of the brain were activated at the moment of rejection. The impact was as intense as if a person had been physically hurt. Scientists explain it this way, the list of our basic needs includes social ties, and therefore their rupture is perceived by the brain system so painfully.
SO HOW DO YOU SURVIVE REJECTION?
Michelle Maidenberg gives 7 tips.
1. Deal with it
Don’t waste resources on endlessly running through all possible scenarios in your head, don’t analyse why it happened and under what circumstances it could have been avoided – just accept the situation.
It’s hard, but you need to recognise that the breakup has already happened and try to accept your emotions about it.
2. Rationalise the feelings
Next, you should name each emotion and think about why you are experiencing it. It is best to link it to a particular life value that is important to you.
For example, you are sad – because your family is very important to you and you really expected to spend the rest of your life with your partner, but now all your life is over. You are angry – because exclusivity and trust are important to you, but it turned out that you were deceived for a long time and there was a betrayal.
3. Think about what you deserve
Don’t think exclusively about what you didn’t get, rather focus on what you need and deserve.
After being rejected, one feels hurt, inferior, wrong – but you should not think in this paradigm. Think about what you would like from a future relationship, what you want from life, what you dream about.
4. Support yourself
You don’t have to be cruel to yourself, but at the same time you don’t have to feel sorry for yourself. Be forgiving, kind, allow yourself to cry, be sad and angry, don’t judge yourself for “falling apart again” and “everything is falling apart”. Allow yourself to rest more.
5. Remember: rejection does not mean that something is wrong with you
Being rejected is unpleasant, yes. But it does not mean that there is something wrong with you, that you are not worthy of happiness and love.
Relationships are complicated, not everyone is right for you, and you are not right for everyone. Give the other person the right to choose and allow yourself to choose. Also remember that you can not control everything in the world, but another breakup should not affect your self-esteem.
6. Reflect on what you expected from the relationship
At this stage, you can reflect on why the breakup did happen. Maybe the reason was, among other things, your attitudes – who “should” and “must” what and to whom? Maybe you “suffocated” your partner with your expectations of the ideal relationship, which were in your head? Think about it, maybe you should be more flexible next time.
7. Don’t lock yourself in four walls
Cherish the social connections you have. The worst thing you can do after a breakup is to shut down and become depressed, not answering texts and calls. Family and good friends are the ones you can and should lean on in times of need.