Why assume it’s about you?

By Renee Miller, LMSW

Rejection Sensitivity: It’s a tendency to “anxiously expect, readily perceive, and over-react to social rejection.” – Amy Pearson (http://www.livebrazen.com/)

Rejection sensitivity is a real thing! That time you texted your BFF and they didn’t respond. That time you held the door and didn’t get a thank you. That time you did something ‘extra’ and it went unnoticed.

What did you tell yourself about those events? Did it sound anything like: Is she mad at me? That person must not think I’m good enough. I never do anything right.

All that wondering and mulling it over and looking for where you did something wrong won’t get you anywhere. Truth is, you have no idea why your BFF is not responding. Maybe she’s in the shower, on the phone to her mother, driving, or having crazy good sex.

You have no idea if that stranger even noticed that you held the door. Maybe he was daydreaming, maybe he was really focused on something else, or maybe his jealous wife was in the car watching. Why assume it had anything to do with you?

Your extra effort may not have been recognized because it was too subtle, or the person is naturally clueless about stuff like that, or they just didn’t realize that, for you, it took extra effort and you were expecting recognition.

The only way to fight rejection sensitivity is to ask yourself for FACTS and draw conclusions from that. Do you KNOW FOR A FACT that your BFF is mad at you and ignoring you? Do you KNOW FOR A FACT that the stranger pointedly ignored you specifically? Do you KNOW FOR A FACT that your extra effort was noticed and deemed unworthy? If you don’t have any facts to back up your rejection sensitivity story, then maybe that’s all it is, a story.

Renee Miller, LMSW is a licensed clinical therapist. She received her undergraduate degree from Oakland University and her master’s degree from Wayne State University. Renee is also a professionally trained life coach. Renee works in our Brighton office. She specializes in relationship issues, parenting, pre-marital counseling, menopause/empty nest issues, as well as individuals who are depressed or anxious.

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