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From Hurt to Healed: Transforming Rejection into Empowerment

Updated: Apr 20

The wound of rejection and how it conditions our lives

Going through a rejection experience is something very painful for any of us. No one likes to face the pain of being rejected from a job, ending a relationship, or being left out in social situations.

What few are aware of is that the emotional wound caused by rejection experiences can persist and have disastrous effects on our relationships and our well-being.

In this article we'll explore the emotional wound of rejection and how to heal it.

Rejection is one of the most common emotional wounds. When we are rejected, we feel unwanted and unloved, and this can lead to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. We often internalize rejection as a personal failure and assume that we are not worthy of love or acceptance.

In my own experience as a person who has been rejected so many times in the past, especially in romantic relationships, by family members and at work, this can lead to a downward spiral of negative self-talk and feelings of inadequacy.

When the wound of rejection is activated, we start to interpret rejection as proof that we are insufficient, useless and worthless people. Our personal failures are seen as a cruel judgment on our worth as a person.

Each time we experience rejection, we experience greater degrees of suffering, including emotional pain, anger, and sadness. Some may even become aggressive because they feel they need to defend themselves, or they may enter a pattern of social isolation to avoid further suffering.

A person with a rejection wound is easily distressed and angry as soon as he perceives a possible rejection and, therefore, he feels the need to be appreciated by everyone and can enter into a constant effort to try to please, not respecting his personal limits.

The fear of being rejected makes her make an emotional effort to create secure connections and this effort can bring counterproductive results.

Experiences that create the emotional wound of rejection

The emotional wound of rejection can be triggered by a variety of situations and they can have different levels of intensity, that is, there are people who are more sensitive to rejection than others. The intensity of the wound depends on the number of rejection experiences that the person has lived, what is the connection with the people involved in these experiences, the quality of emotional resilience that they had at the moment and the support that the person had to deal with each experience of rejection.

Usually, experiences of rejection during childhood, especially in the first 7 years of life, create deeper wounds. Even when rejection experiences seem to be subtle, the child is not mature enough to understand why he is being rejected and quickly begins to believe that he has something wrong. These experiences normally occur when the parent does not have the ability to nurture the child with what he or she needs to grow up with healthy self-esteem, such as attention, love, affection and security.

We are not talking about apparently traumatic experiences, the problem is that the child's emotional resilience is non-existent in the first years of life and their parents are the first people with whom they need to create a secure bond to become a secure adult. When these bonds were not properly created, this child will have a lot of difficulty being a confident and secure adult and this will be reflected in any relationship.

Impact on the creation of romantic relationships and their duration

We usually project our emotional wounds onto other people, namely our partner, which ends up generating an outcome we don't want.

The emotional wound of rejection causes a dread of being abandoned or rejected, which can lead to irrational jealousy and interpreting behaviors, such as a partner preoccupied with work, as proof that the other person is no longer in love.

Even when there is no rejection present, consciously or unconsciously, the person expects rejection to happen at any moment and begins to look for “evidence” that validates his expectation. Her ability to observe reality is highly compromised by the rejection she feels and she begins to interpret certain behaviors of her partner as suspicious. This can bring disastrous results to love relations