Monday, May 14, 2012

The Rejection Cycle

      This week, we are going to learn how rejection issues create more rejection.  First, I'd like to share an embarrassing story.  It was a pivotal moment in my life when I realized that I needed a serious change. 

      Fourteen years ago, my husband, Michael and I were still dating.  Since I was new to the area, he and our good friends wanted me to go to a family style restaurant that they really enjoyed.  We ordered two meats, a few sides, and some wonderful buttermilk biscuits.  The waiter brought out big bowls and platters for us to pass around like we do at our family table.  Michael and the friends took a bite of the mashed potatoes, their eyes rolled back in the heads as they enjoyed the flavor, and went on and on about how awesome the potatoes were.  Michael, with his mouth watering and clearly in love with the potatoes said, "Oh my goodness, these are the BEST potatoes ever!" I thought to myself, "How can he say that?  He hasn't tried mine."  I actually felt angry because of what he said but I tried to hide my feelings so I just looked down at my plate.  Then my friends chimed in,  "I know!  These people make the best mashed potatoes than anybody! Nobody can touch them!"  I felt my heart beat faster and no matter how hard I tried to not say what I was thinking, my mouth opened, I snarled my nose,  and out burst my jealous words, "They're not all THAT great!  Mine are way better."  I was so jealous of those stupid white potatoes. And I have never forgotten the looks I received either.  They looked at me with shock and disbelief.   Oh my goodness, I felt so embarrassed that I could lose control like that but I couldn't shake the feeling of jealousy and anger. 

     Why would I react that way?  Why would I say such a thing to my friends? How could I be jealous over a bowl of potatoes?  Did it just happen out of the blue?  No. That reaction had been building up for some time because of the repeated rejection I had felt through the years. In my first post, Did That Really Happen, I shared with you that as a little girl, age 8, I believed that I was not wanted, loved, and in the way.  I felt like I was just a problem that my parents HAD to deal with. I felt a strong sense of rejection.  The reason I reacted so badly in the restaurant is because my self worth and acceptance was based on how well I could do things which is known as performance based acceptance.    I instantly felt like I was being compared which was not the case.  It was just my mind interpreting things incorrectly because of my low self worth.

   Negative behaviors can create more rejection.  How do we define rejection? What is it to reject someone? According to it is;

    §  To refuse to accept, acknowledge, use, believe, etc
                  §  To throw out as useless or worthless; discard
                  §  Something rejected as imperfect, unsatisfactory, or useless
   Oh goodness!  They just described how I felt for years!  I know that you think of times that you have felt rejected.  We have all felt rejection.  Jesus felt rejected through his ministry and on the cross.  It can be very painful and difficult for us to heal from because it attacks our self worth and esteem. 
    Rejection becomes a nasty little cycle that repeats itself over and over and we are left with feeling more hurt and more pain.  Remember that low self worth comes from repeated rejection.  Let’s look at this cycle.  (This is from June Hunt’s, How To Handle Your Emotions) :

Triggers feelings of worthlessness

Brings feelings of self hate

Self Hate
Despise yourself, produces negative behaviors

Negative Behaviors
Reproduces rejection

    In that restaurant, I was feeling worthless and felt that I was being compared to another person.  It was only my imagination.  In my first post, I shared with you how our minds automatically interpret what we hear, see, smell, etc., then we put meaning to it, then an emotion follows.  That's exactly what I did because of my low self worth. Do you see how the cycle fits here?  My mind interpreted that my friends were comparing me to somebody else and that I didn't measured up, then I felt that I wasn't good enough, worthless.  Then the jealousy and ugly behavior manifested.

     Think of other behaviors that bring about more rejection.  Some people are known as the  show off, the liar, the Mr. know it all, the overly sensitive person that gets offended easily or cries easily, the hothead, the overly competitive person, the person who doesn't respect boundaries, got to have it my way person, the person afraid to trust, the party animal, the blame game person, the bragger, the loner, the recluse, the workaholic,  etc.  There are so many negative behaviors, I can't list them all here.  For now, think hard about how you react to situations and if there are any negative behaviors that you need to work on.  Then ask yourself where it is coming from.  What is it in your past that is holding on to your heart? What are your hot buttons, your sensitive areas, or your triggers? There has to be a change if you want the bad feelings and behaviors to stop. They add stress and pressure or even hurt feelings to those who spend time with you. People will begin to avoid the stress, pressure, and hurt feelings thus causing you more hurt and pain because they are also avoiding you or reacting to you. You will feel rejected and it cycles until you make it stop. Let me tell you, the behavior will manifest itself when you least expect it.  No matter how hard you try to control it, it will present itself and there will be no taking it back.  Once it's out there, it's just there and you aren't the only one who is affected.  It's time to make changes and break the cycle.  Are you ready?

   My next post will give tools to help make the changes you desire.  If you feel that someone you know could benefit from these posts, please share this blog with them.  Until next week, I leave you with these scripture refrences for encouragement.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand, that we should walk in them."  ~Ephesians 2:10~

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."  ~2nd Corinthians 5:17~


  1. Great post Veronica! I could see a lot of the old patterns of thinking and reacting I went through over the years in your description. I am so glad to be walking in some freedom from some of those things. It hasn't been easy, but it's been worth it. I am still growing and learning, but I'm getting there. Thanks for sharing your story and your wisdom!

    1. Praise the Lord, Sherry! Freedom always costs something. So kudos to you for all of your hard work!

    2. Thank you my friend! It certainly does costs something. :)