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Understanding feelings of rejection. 

Community Member

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like loss and grief. You can’t have the good bits without sometimes experiencing the bad, it’s just the way it is! So we all need to develop ways of managing the difficult emotions that rejection throws up.

Lets think about what those thoughts or emotions might be. Here’s some examples.

1. “I’m not good enough” 
This is a common one. It’s so easy for us to see what we think are faults and think that others can see them too and convince ourselves that these faults make us unlovable. These thoughts are often on replay from a nasty part of our brain, that low self-esteem part that makes us believe that unless we are “perfect”, we cannot possibly be loved or accepted. The honest truth is that we are all just imperfect passengers on the"bus of life”, doing the best we can with whatever we can in the moment! So welcome on board. Brene Brown has some wonderful YouTube videos about this, I'm going to share one below however also recommend you check out her channel as there are many more!

2. "Nobody will ever love me”. 
This is a very common thought and it comes from the anxious part of our brains that also seems to have a crystal ball! The anxiety centre seems to think it has very good predictive powers but it is a trap and don’t listen to it! It’s a complete and utter lie that anxiety often tells us. 

3. “I’ve ruined the ‘perfect relationship’, now what?”
Sometimes this is a stage of grief. Often, when we are grieving a loss, we go through a phase of idealising. Things like “it was perfect” are common because it conveniently erases all the things that weren’t that you don’t want to deal with. For example: I see this sometimes with patients who had terrible relationships with their family members and complain bitterly for years, and then once they pass away, the grief allows them to only seem to recall the wonderful times. In some ways, it a blessing, but it can mean in some situations that the hindsight is not always accurate. I also think that in viewing the relationship in an idealised way prevents any real opportunity to learn and grow from it. We can all gain from understanding how we went wrong in experiences so that we don’t repeat the same unintended mistakes. 

In summary, rejection is a common and necessary part of being in the game of life. To not be in the game because of fear would be a huge shame . Life is too short not to experience the many wonderful emotions that come from being ourselves. In Brene Brown's language:

 it’s important not to spend your time walking around the arena of life waiting to feel perfect so you won’t be rejected. Just kick the door down and step in and don’t let the critics get you down. 

38 Replies 38

Community Member

Hello Dr Kim

Thank you I heard of this speaker through my daughter, she was recently on Netflix too but came across a psychologist named Guy Wrench whilst searching “heart break” and he talked about “loneliness’.

Thank you.

Hi Imogen2

Good on you for posting and thankyou for helping others re your reference to the psychologist Guy Wrench!

Dr Kim hasnt been active on the forums for a while now. If you wish to start up your own thread topic about 'loneliness' or your take on Dr Kim's opinion you are more than welcome 🙂

my kind thoughts



I have experienced a similar situation a few times... it’s tough to confront this pain and the feelings that align with it.. something that really helps me is running and swimming. Taking an hour to push your body physically creates good feelings even though I usually cry while doing it.. and it helps with sleep too.

I try and take my 3 kids with me too.. it’s a great time to be together and realise that you will survive this pain..loss hurts and it’s ok to take your time grieving despite what our society says!!!

And romantic love is only momentary ... reflect on the positive experiences .. your children!!! That love is forever

Take care

Community Member

Thank you for posting this. Yes, it's funny (but not funny in the moment) how our minds play these tricks on us: I am not good enough, nobody will love me, and I've ruined it and there will never be another opportunity to get another chance.

I'm in a situation where my mind is running at 100% with all of these things. The fact is that I am not good enough is the reason my relationship is at an end. I couldn't care about other opportunities or other people loving me. At this stage in my grief, I just feel completely lost and very hurt. I haven't gotten to the point of wanting love again.

I acknowledge that I have things to fix, and my partner is giving me on thing that I need to work on (trust) that results from a traumatic upbringing where I learnt not to trust. He (I'm a gay man), told me that he still loves me, but "love isn't enough". I tried to understand what this could possibly mean, but then he said "trust". It needed trust too. Now he will not give the relationship any further opportunity, he is already looking for a job in another town, and has made it pretty clear that he doesn't want me at all.

I saw my GP, got a referral to a psychologist, but the appointment wait time is so long. In the meantime I've been upset at work, and i have nobody to really talk to about it. Any advice?

God no. He was facing inner demons, his own fear. You are mother and a good person for having the heart to give love in time of depression your children will respect you eternally for being there, for being honest and for cherishing them above the rejection he tried to manipulate and extort you with, people are horrid when they emotionally blackmail their family. Best of luck, enjoy your future.

Community Member

It is so hard for me to understand why my Aunt, Brother and Cousin do not wish to reconnect with me, mum passed in March, dad last September, my brother is unwell, I know we have been apart a long time, but this does not make sense.

They live 15 minutes from me, we could help each other so much, dad spent his entire retirement money to help mum's medical bills, do they think I only want money?

I don't care about money, I too would give everything I have for mum, and for dad, and for my bro, I just want to see my big brother and be with my family.

Years are nothing, why waste what could be the only chance we will ever have? Please tell me why?
This is too much, just a word would mean the world...

Community Member

Hi I'm just here because I feel really alone lately and it's starting to hit more now after my somewhat-boyfriend ended things with me just about 3 days ago, after 5 months together. I wish I could go out with friends or talk to them but it's a bit difficult considering my parents grounded me since 3 months ago and has no intentions of ungrounding me, making it impossible for me to see my friends and distract myself from the breakup. So I'm just stuck dwelling in my own pain and constant thoughts that just won't stop, all alone. He was one of the only people I could talk to, even though that was also a bit hard since I had to be careful contacting him, considering my parents are against me dating anyone.

Yes, I was able to contact a couple friends recently and they've been trying to be there for me as much as possible, but I still feel so alone. And on top of that, my parents doesn't know and they've been making it worse for me, especially my mum. Just her constantly criticising every little thing I do and yelling at me if I respond. Even if I told them about what has happened, they wouldn't understand because they'd just dismiss it, reasoning being they still see me as a young child (I'm 17) and it's nothing serious.

I honestly don't know what do anymore and I'm just on a rollercoaster ride haha. I know things will get better, everyone always says that but just as of right now, I don't know what to do.

Hi Trevanna,

We’re so glad you reached out for support today and are looking to speak about the situation you are in at the moment. It sounds like you’ve been in a really tough spot since you broke up with your ex, and you haven’t been able to reach out for the support you require. This can be compounded when we have a difficult situation at home where we feel unvalidated and unheard. We want to stress to you that we have heard you and the community is here to help support you through this. We’ve reached out to you privately to see if you need additional support, and to check on your wellbeing. We would encourage you to keep seeking help when you’re feeling like it’s getting to be too much. You are not alone in this. During difficult moments you can always get in touch with our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800). Kids Help Line also offer 24/7 online chat if you feel like you don’t have the space to talk on the phone at home. We hope you keep checking in with the community here at the forum to let us know how you’re going. If you create your own thread, it can be an easy way for the community to gather to support you. If you need any additional information on how to do so, you can find that here.

Community Member
Great article. It really challenged me I spend my life out of the arena playing it safe for fear of rejection.