Guy Winch on rejection

At some point in our lives, all of us have to deal with rejection (either romantically or professional or otherwise). Now, I am currently reading a book by psychologist Guy Winch, and in this book he writes some things on rejection that really resonate with me.

Winch writes: “Of all the emotional wounds we suffer in life, rejection is perhaps the most common. [They are] the psychological cuts and scrapes that tear our emotional skin and penetrate our flesh. (…) Rejections elicit emotional pain so sharp it affects our thinking, floods us with anger, erodes our confidence and self-esteem, and destabilizes our fundamental feeling of belonging.”

 “What separates rejection from almost every other negative emotion we encounter in life is the magnitude of the pain it elicits. (…) Other emotional painful experiences, such as intense disappointment, frustration, or fear, while highly unpleasant, pale in comparison to rejection. (…) The very same brain regions get activiated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain.”

“Many of us find it difficult to talk ourselves out of the hurt we feel when we experience rejection. (…) Rejections impact our ability to use sound logic and think clearly in other ways as well. Rejections often trigger anger and aggressive impulses. (…) Experiencing profound or repeated rejection is extremely harmful to our self-esteem.”

“We often compound our rejection experiences by becoming extremely self-critical. (…) We engage in needless self-criticism by assuming we could have prevented the rejection had we done something differently. [But] personal rejections are rarely as personal as we experience them to be, and even when they are, they rarely involve such a sweeping indictment of our flaws.”

“The most frequent reasons we get turned down as romantic prospects are because of a lack of personal chemistry, because we don’t match the person’s specific needs at that time, or we don’t fit the narrow definition of who they’re looking for – not because of any critical missteps we might have made nor because we have any fatal character flaws. (…) Most often it’s a simple matter of chemistry – either there is a spark or there isn’t.”

“We are wired with a fundamental need to feel accepted by others. (…) Once we have suffered profound and repeated rejection over our lifetimes, finding our place in the world and feeling as though we belong can be the hardest struggle of all.”

Thank you mr. Winch for putting it so well: Finding our place in the world and feeling as though we belong can be the hardest struggle of all…