How We Reject Ourselves

Written by Judy Klipin

Life Lesson*: what looks like a desire to protect others from hurt is often a fear-based need to protect ourselves from rejection.

I have lost count of the times clients have told me that they can’t speak their truth because to do so would mean hurting someone.  And I know that I used to tell myself that same story – if I am honest then ‘they’ will feel rejected, sad, disappointed, etc.

The desire to protect other people is very strong.  We say yes when we mean no.  Or no when we mean yes.  We do things out of a sense of duty, rather than desire.  We stay longer than we want to.  Or we don’t go out at all…

All the time we are doing things we don’t want to do, or not doing things that we do want to do, we tell ourselves that it is because we don’t want to hurt anyone.

Which is partly true; nobody who is healthy and rational wants to knowingly hurt another person.

I think that what is more true, however, is that not wanting to hurt others is only half of the story.  What we really want to avoid, is being hurt ourselves.  If we hurt someone else – by not giving them what they want or, as is more often the case, what we think they want – we run the risk of being rejected by them.

And would could be more hurtful than rejection?

Rejection is scary and the threat of rejection is even scarier. 

But when we aren’t true to ourselves, when we don’t honour our own desires, all we do is short circuit the process and, instead of starting at the beginning, we go straight to rejection.  We don’t need anyone else to reject us – we are rejecting ourselves. 

We all reject ourselves regularly and often.  Every time you do something that doesn’t feel good to you, you are rejecting yourself.

Think about how you have rejected yourself in the last couple of hours.

It may be not eating something you wanted to, or eating too much.

Maybe you pretended to be interested in something that bores you senseless.

Perhaps you agreed to go somewhere or do something that terrifies you.

The possibilities are endless….

It doesn’t matter how you did it, what matters is that you stop.

What would you like to say yes or no to?

What can you do, right now, to accept yourself?

With the arrival of this new month, comes a new season and (if you are Jewish) a new year.  I invite you to mirror the external environmental change by changing your internal environment, and accepting yourself.

Try it – I think you’ll like it!

*Every week-day I Tweet a Life Lesson and post it to my Facebook page.  They generally reflect the lessons I have learned while coaching my clients or myself, and aim to provide a short, snappy thought that will (hopefully) help people to think about their habits, thoughts and actions differently. Feel free to follow me and get the Life Lessons on your computer or phone every day.





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3 people commented on this

[…] is what happened to me last night. On the upside, I wrote a piece for my other Blog, but it did mean that once I had written the newsletter and set it up to be delivered this morning, […]

This blog struck a chord with me. I also think emotional maturity plays a part in this argument. I have people in my life who appear to be indecisive and wouldrather become un-responsive than directly deal with the issues at hand for fear of rejection. Thanks Judy for putting this behaviour into words so clearly.

Thank you for raising this Karen. Indecisiveness is a very interesting angle on the self-protection theme.
Love Judy

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