There are behavioral patterns that are set in motion when one has had to suffer rejection of any kind. You might not even be aware of it but they stick to you and stick out their heads in your daily activities.
But it is possible to live a normal life without carrying that cloak around. Victims of rejection could manifest some or all of these behavioral patterns.
- They suffer from low self-esteem. They think there is something lacking in their lives; that they are not worthy and that is why they were rejected in the first place.
- There is an internal emptiness and pain as they yearn to be considered “normal” but all they get is prejudice. Every human being, no matter how bad yearns to belong and be loved.
- People who have suffered rejection could easily become men-pleasers in an attempt to be accepted by them. They could become too good or too bad depending on the demands of the group they want to belong to.
- It can lead to anti-social behavior. They could join groups or gangs that engage in anti-social behavior as a way of lashing out at the society that has rejected them.
- Some of the victims tend to search for love and acceptance in the wrong places; they could end up in promiscuous behavior and even prostitution. This then leads to abusive relationships and the vicious circle of rejection starts all over.
- Even when they become Christians they want to earn God’s love and acceptance. They may engage in some form of penitence and activism thinking it will make God love them more. They feel unworthy before God and are constantly afraid of being rejected by Him even for the minutest mistakes they make.
- They are afraid to ask God for big things thinking they are asking for too much from a God who might just be coping with them.
What is the way out of such a trap? I do not have a magic formula but I will share some of the things that helped me get over the rejection syndrome in my life.
- Make a conscious decision to throw off that cloak of rejection just as Bartimaus threw off his beggar’s cloak. Let it be clear to you that no matter how bad people say you are there is an unexploited treasure deep within you. You have gifts, talents and qualities that no one has ever discovered. It is possible that the rejection you suffered is just one of the satanic strategies meant to keep you from ever reaching your full potential in life. Do not believe his lies; you are not useless because God created no useless person.
- Stop listening to people’s opinion about you and start learning about who God says you are. This has had the greatest and most influential impact on my life. When I was growing up I heard a lot of abusive words that made me feel rejected and estranged. They created a very negative self-image in me. It took the word of God to delete them from my mind and to reprogram my mind according to who God says I am. That is when the suicidal thoughts vanished because I had found my worth in Christ.
- Avoid the trap of banding yourself with people with similar problems as a way of finding comfort and consolation. A man can only give what he has. They will speak and act just what is in them and you do not want to get dragged deeper into it. Read inspirational books, attend some motivational conferences and hang out with motivated people. If you must join a group, it should be one that helps people get out of such issues.
- Discover and develop your gifts and talents. The day I started discovering my gifts and talents everything changed. I no longer felt like a useless consumer of the resources on planet earth. I felt like a contributor. I had something some one needed and this completely changed the way I saw myself. Everyone is gifted and the fact that you are not yet using your gift to bless others does not mean it is not there. You might not be like that great preacher or singer but you might have that ability to make people laugh. Start making people laugh and before you know it you will be in demand, and then the perfume of rejection will vanish from your life.