Rejected : (RE)Learning Emotions


verb (used with object)

1. to refuse to have, take, recognize, etc.: to reject the offer of a better job.
2. to refuse to grant (a request, demand, etc.).
3. to refuse to accept (someone or something); rebuff: The other children rejected him. The publisher rejectedthe author’s latest novel. discard as useless or unsatisfactory: The mind rejects painful memories. cast out or eject; vomit.
Feeling rejected is probably one of the most common emotions felt by those in recovery. Rejected by our friends, our families, our co-workers, our peers, even ourselves. We all have those memories of waiting to someone to come around, and they simply do not.
So let us break rejection down:
Who: friends, peers, co-workers, family, ourselves
How:  a) intentionally- although we like to believe that others would treat us fairly and not internally reject us, it does happen. Sometimes it is circumstances we are prepared for such as a rejection of a job position and other times it is just bullying or somewhere in between the two.
        b) unintentionally- sometimes (and most often) our rejection or feelings of rejection were not intentional. For instance, you waited for hours for you friend to call you back, you felt rejected when he/she did not call you, and yet in reality, your friend had a family crisis and simply could not get in touch with you. **This does not make you feeling of rejection any less real or valid**
We all feel rejected from time to time- the question is: how do we handle this emotion? how do we react? or respond? what self-talk do we use?
Feel free to comment on your own rejection stories, how you responded/reacted, and what helped you get through it.

Ideal Self

As many of you know, I am huge fan of Brene Brown’s research into shame and vulnerability. One of things she talks about frequently is identifying “shame triggers.”

For those of you not familiar with her work, a “shame trigger” is any verbal, or non-verbal, event that may lead to feelings of shame. For example: telling a pregnant mom that she is going to be a horrible parent based on her choice of day-care vs. staying at home would be a shame trigger for the pregnant mom. 

One of the first steps in learning how to manage shame in your life, is to begin to identify areas in your life that may lead to shame. IE: what are my shame triggers? 

This is a pretty broad, difficult, and overwhelming question for most people. But yet when it can be answered promotes extraordinary growth.

I can almost imagine you all screaming at me, HOW DO I KNOW WHAT THOSE TRIGGERS ARE? 

Here is how I have gone about identifying some of those areas in my life: I ask myself, when I first meet someone, I want them to walk away thinking XYZ about me. So for instance I want someone to think that I am funny, kind, intelligent, grounded, secure, helpful, wise, smart, stable, independent, reliable.. this list could go on and on. Lets just pick one and run with it.

I want people to instantly think that I am intelligent. Yet after my first coffee date with my new co-worker I over hear him saying that I mispronounced that name of the drink I wanted to order (completely overlooking the fact that I was tired and stumbled over my words all day, not just at that moment). I then instantly turn that into shame telling myself I am so stupid, I know how to say X, I am just not good enough for this person… and what you have is an area of SHAME TRIGGER in your life. 


Feel free to comment with shame triggers that you or someone you know has dealt with. We all have them and there are pretty common themes among most people. 

Living in the “Shoulds” and “have toos'”

Recently I heard a girl in recovery say to another girl that

“If you are telling yourself you have do something, you shouldn’t be doing it”

These are hard words to swallow. Be it in recovery or in day to day living: you shouldn’t do something if you think that you have too.

IE: you shouldn’t exercise because you think you have too, you should exercise because it promotes the healthy lifestyle you want to live.

What areas are you pushing yourself to do things you “have” to do? and how can you modify them to make them more healthy?