Minimizing the Pain of Rejection
We all experinece feeling rejected at some point. It may be a small thing that is easy to overlook. Or it may be something more significant, like feeling ignored by your partner, or something hurtful said during an argument. Rejection can hurt. In fact, brain scans show stimulation in the same part of your brain with rejection as with physical pain.
You can’t completely avoid the pain of rejection, but you can have some control over how much and how long it hurts. In relationships, it is important to explore the your partners emotions that may be driving the words or actions that feel like rejection. Following are some ways to avoid making the pain worse.
Don’t Turn the Criticism on Your Self
Instead of negatively labeling or blaming yourself, it can be helpful to realistically look at what happened. That is constructive thinking and not destructive to your mood and self-image. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend who had suffered rejection.
Revive your Sense of Self-Esteem
When you suffer a rejection, you can raise your sense of self-esteem or self-worth by emotionally supporting yourself. Focusing on your positive qualities, those that make you good person, friend or partner can reduce your pain and help you feel more confident.
Focus on Social Connections
Rejection can threaten your feeling of being accepted by and connected to others. Your initial impulse when you are sensing rejection may be to withdraw from others. But, reaching out and socializing with friends and family can be a more positive response.
In Your Relationship
If you feel a sense of rejection as a result of something your partner has done or said, or by a lack of attention or interaction, it is important to let them know how you are interpreting and feeling about what has happened. Checking in with them and getting some clarity is important. Sometimes what looks like rejection, for instance when your partner doesn't seem to be present with you, might be preoccupation, stress, or your partner feeling disconnected, and not sure how to reach out to you.
Taking the first step of believing that you have some control over how you react to percieved rejection can begin the process of accessing your strength and taking positive action.
Reference: Dawn Kim on TED
Will My Relationship Last Forever?
A lot of time and energy has been spent trying to figure out what happens between that hopeful wedding day and a marriage ending in divorce. 86% of 18 to 20 year-olds in a Clark University study thought their marriages would last a lifetime. Not as many as that do last. Experts estimate today that between 40 percent and 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce.
Some common risk factors for relationships that have been identified:
Some of these factors are beyond your control, but there are things that you can do in increase the changes that your marriage will last.
Every relationship will be exposed to stress, financial issues, and most couples will argue from time to time. But, taking the time to reach out, be curious, supportive and kind, can help you avoid some of the risks and improve your changes for happily ever after.
Call me with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, PhD
John Gottman, PhD
Susan Johnson, PhD
A Wall Between Partners
Willie Nelson captures the pain & lonliness partners feel when there is an emotional barrier keeping them from the close connection they long for.
"I love you so much I can't let you go
And sometimes I belileve you love me
But Somewhere between your heart and mine
There's a door without any key
Somewhere between your heart and mine
There's a window that I can't see through
There's a wall so high it reaches the sky
Somewhere between me and you"
Somewhere Between - Willie Nelson
By Rita Cole MFT
How Can I Help My Relationship Last?
Y N My partner and I spend time together talking about our day.
Y N When I feel unsure or in need of comfort, I feel that I can turn to my partner and he/she will take time to listen to me, and offer me comfort and reassurance.
Y N I am also there for my partner in a similar way.
Y N When my partner or I leave or arrive at home, we kiss and hug, or greet each other in a way that is meaningful, and helps us reconnect.
Y N I know that I am important to my partner, and even when we fight, I know that we will be O.K. together.
Y N I am able to have fun when my partner and we participate in activities together.
Y N I am comfortable discussing this questionnaire with my partner.
This quiz is designed to encourage thinking and conversation about how connected you are feeling in your relationship. It also describes some ways that couples maintain connection. Devoting just a few minutes of undivided attention to discuss your relationship can send a strong message of “I care and I want to work to change things.”
This quiz is not a substitute for therapy. Sometimes it can be helpful to have someone neutral listen to you and your partner, to help you understand the places where you might be feeling stuck, and to start working together to strengthen your relationship. I am here to help you with that.