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"Why Do I Seem to Attract Rejection?"

By Dr. Margaret Paul
August 12, 2013

Are you perplexed regarding why you so often feel rejected by others?

Alana asked me the following question:

"My whole life I have felt that I don't fit in with others - in my family, school, work - and while I have a pleasant, friendly demeanor, I also have an underlying self-consciousness, and end up attracting rejection. Aside from my children and pets, I'm quite alone...and lonely! How do I tackle this dynamic? Many thanks!"

Alana, there are a number of issues here that need attention.

"My whole life I have felt that I don't fit in with others…" You might want to read "The Highly Sensitive Child," by Elaine Aron, and "Quiet," by Susan Cain. Often, when people feel they don't fit in, it is because they are highly sensitive introverts. By reading these books, you can come to appreciate this as a gift rather than as a liability.

About 15% of the population are highly sensitive introverts, which means that we have a nervous system that is different than the rest of the population. This is what leads to us feeling that we don't fit in, and to concluding that there must be something wrong with us.

This conclusion is inaccurate, which you will see when you read these two wonderful books. These books were huge eye-openers for me, since I had always wondered why I felt so different than most other people.

What's important is to stop rejecting yourself and start learning to love yourself. Others tend to treat us the way we treat ourselves, and the fact you say you "have an underlying self-consciousness" indicates that you may be judging and rejecting yourself for the qualities that lead you to feel that you don't fit in with others. Self-consciousness comes from self-judgment, and self-judgment is a powerful way of rejecting yourself.

Even though you have "a pleasant, friendly demeanor," what others likely pick up is the energy of your self-rejection and then you "end up attracting rejection."

To tackle this dynamic, you need to learn to fully value and accept yourself. This means accepting that even though you ARE different from others, you need to learn to value these differences instead of judging them.

I would not be able to do the deep level of healing work I do with people, nor would I be able to lead my Intensives, if I were not a highly sensitive person. I would not have the depth of understanding that I do, of human behavior, if I were not a very observant introvert. I deeply value these qualities within me and I encourage you to learn to value them within you.

Most of us have many overt and subtle ways we reject ourselves, and part of learning to love ourselves is paying attention to how we reject ourselves so that we can stop doing it. One way of becoming aware of when you are rejecting yourself is to learn to stay present in your body with your feelings (Step One of Inner Bonding). When you are rejecting yourself, you will feel badly inside – anxious, depressed, shamed, alone, empty, numb, angry, sad, and likely self-conscious. These feelings are your inner child's way of letting you know that you are abandoning her. When you become aware of these feelings, notice what you are telling yourself and how you are treating yourself that is causing these feelings. What are you judging about yourself? What do you think isn't good enough?

Once you are aware of your self-judgments, open to your higher self for the truth, asking, "Is this true?" Practice this over time, and as you find yourself feeling more and more accepting of yourself, you will find others accepting you as well.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."


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