When certain manifestations are not understood, they tend to be trivialized. However, it is crucial to be vigilant about the recurrence of specific behaviors observed in individuals who have experienced rejection. I want to emphasize that a misinterpretation of these behaviors could lead us to erroneously interpret sporadic aggressive attitudes, for example, and prematurely categorize someone as a victim of rejection, as is common.

Psychologists and experts in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)—a branch of psychotherapy aimed at replacing maladaptive behaviors with more suitable ones according to the patient’s profile—have identified certain personality traits in individuals who have experienced rejection.

Personally, I recognized some of these traits during my own therapy. As I recounted childhood memories and various life experiences, connections began to form. Gradually, the puzzle came together, until the veil of lies and denial was completely lifted. Everything became clearer and more liberating. Let’s begin! You can guess there are many such traits; I’ve listed a few, grouped by common characteristics.

  1. Feeling of Non-Belonging: This feeling, when it intensifies, leads to functioning as a lone wolf.
  2. Extreme Quest for Recognition: This behavior is characterized by all possible means to gain others’ approval, sometimes to one’s detriment, like a child seeking to be the center of attention.
  3. Avoidant Behaviors: This is a hallmark trait stemming from the wound of rejection. One avoids all confrontation, fleeing conflict situations.
  4. Social Mask: This behavior, as its name suggests, involves hiding behind a facade to mask one’s wounds, sometimes clumsily.
  5. Chronic Anxiety: This behavior is often accompanied by feelings of fear. Minor reactions quickly escalate to melodrama, causing anxiety and panic attacks.
  6. Isolation: Based on my own experience of rejection in a relationship, I gradually isolated myself, first from myself and then from others, seeking solitude and cutting all ties.
  7. Depressive States: These cycles are often triggered when a rejection situation revives past experiences, leading to rumination, crying, and revisiting scenes of rejection.
  8. Tendency Toward Conflict: Individuals who grew up in conflict-ridden environments may tend to become conflictual themselves. A peaceful environment or benevolent people seem suspicious to them, and they often express distrust, thinking it’s too good to be true.
  9. Explosive Anger: Mental ruminations on events recalling past rejections can trigger excessive anger.
  10. Emotional Immaturity: Reactions from someone who has experienced rejection are often childish, bordering on ridiculous and absurd.
  11. Emotional Dependency and Fear of Rejection: Some therapists consider these twin traits. Fear of rejection stems from emotional dependency and vice versa. These personalities are very fragile and prone to blackmail and suicide threats when they feel abandoned. In extreme cases, they need psychiatric care.
  12. Victimization Tendency: This character trait is common to all wounds and represents an emotional abyss. In the case of rejection, this victimization oscillates into something insidious and toxic for both the person and their surroundings. Do you identify with one, several, or all of these behaviors? What do they evoke for you?

I have taken the time to detail these behaviors for you, carefully distinguishing them to help you better understand and recognize them. The wound of rejection is destructive, and without proper therapy, one risks remaining trapped in a difficult cycle to escape. For both men and women, rejection is terrible and leads to a perpetual cycle of self-sabotage. Feeling rejected makes one vulnerable and bitter.

Rejection causes deep insecurity and often leads to self-neglect. In some couples, certain women constantly need reassurance from their partner, and minor actions or gestures can quickly turn into melodrama. If they start a relationship, it often ends unhappily or even chaotically, resulting in painful breakups or sudden communication breakdowns.

You might often wonder what causes so many divorces, separations, and painful breakups. Often, rejection is the root cause. People who have experienced rejection in childhood desperately seek belonging, validation, and acceptance in their relationships, sometimes in unhealthy ways.

The trauma caused by rejection drives us into frequently destructive defense mechanisms. I want to emphasize that there is a difference between being unjustly rejected and rejection situations that do not involve us personally. The intensity of the rejection wound depends on the circumstance and the person causing it.

This text is an excerpt from the book “UNSHAKEABLE! Breaking and Healing from the Destructive Patterns of the Rejection Wound” by Jennifer SYLAIRE.

We invite you to read the following article, “FORGIVING YOURSELF.

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