Unkown Blogger Pursues a Deranged Quest for Normalcy

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Rejection

Posted by ubpdqn on February 4, 2012

My escape from reality is coming rapidly to a close.  A sense of apprehension rises within me. I am thankful for the manifold distractions and experiences during this time (as well as the removal from the maelstrom which I feared would deliver me to the bottom of the ocean in its unrelenting downdraft).

I have been contemplating rejections. I am certain that we all experience rejections. Rejections in social context, rejection in education, work and applications to powerful bureaucracies.  Some rejections are personal, deep and painful. Some are almost expected and we hardly skip a beat as we move onto the next challenge or opportunity.

Some of us experience  more rejection than others. I have been, in general, quite ‘fortunate’ in this regard. This, at least partly, reflects an aversion to conflict and rejection and an extreme conservatism.  This ‘fortune’ is in reality a lack of experience, a vulnerability and a weakness.

I have, despite my avoidant diathesis, learned a lot from personal rejections. Sometimes the rejection directly reveals a remediable gap in knowledge or skills. Many times (and perhaps predominantly) it has been the catalyst for reflection that has allowed me to work out these issues for myself. I much prefer this internal motivation.

It has been my default attitude to personal rejection that the problem was in me: I did not try hard enough, express clearly enough, do not have the intrinsic qualities.  To the extent that this motivates critical constructive behaviour I think this can be positive. However, these  matters are more complex than solely attributing outcomes to the one who is rejected or the one who rejects (with exception of perhaps extreme cases).

I have experienced some recent events that have prompted my usual deep introspection.  I have, with a certain clarity, learned from these experiences.  I have also realized, to my disappointment, that people’s role and their actions; their stated moral positions and their observed actions; that people charged to help can for reasons known only to themselves not help. In short, like me, my superiors and people who I have appealed to for assistance within their purview, have feet of clay.

Perhaps, the most painful rejection is that of being ignored by someone you hold in high regard and deep respect.  Feedback, however, painful or emotive is food for improvement. Silence is soul destroying. It is fodder for the black dog.  I have thought on this  issue quite some time now. I cannot know the reasons someone chooses this strategy to entreaty for assistance in the same way I cannot know anyone’s internal thoughts and motivations.  I cannot understand it . I believe it diminishes the one who uses it. It reveals something about them and their character that I do not admire.

I am mindful of an anecdote in Professor Kahneman’s Thinking, fast and slow,  where a psychotherapist  cautions his students to never take a patient who declares “…that no-one else has ever been able to help me but you are different…you understand me…”  I understand this as the voice of experience.  It is the counterexample to justify such behaviour. Further, futile repeated  entreaties may require rejection that is done by ignoring someone.

I, therefore, aim to continue examine myself to learn from rejection but to be more sensitive to the global complex context.  I vow (and this is not too strong a word) to not ignore my fellow person when in the position of having to reject them.  I hope, that even if the circumstances are emotional or issues of justice or morality, that I will be constructively forthright.

I have frequently expressed to my superiors: “… stab me in the front, at least I have a chance to move out of the way…”. Sadly, they have frequently not acquiesced to my request.

Peace to all. May the rejections we experience bring us new insights and opportunities. May those we  reject receive from us kindness, understanding and support.

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One Response to “Rejection”

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