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Rejection Reread

When I was a little girl, I moved from an all Asian school to an all Caucasian school at the age of 6. I went from being the most popular kid to the girl who pretended to play “hide and go seek” at lunch break so no one would notice I had no friends. Being one of the only Chinese girls in my school I felt desperate to fit in and wanted so badly for people to like me and accept me as one of “them”. Growing up, the boys I liked never liked me back and I constantly felt rejection. Perhaps my childhood experience is what brings me to my biggest insecurity today – fear of rejection.

I have created intricate strategies and methods to avoid it at all costs – often at the expense of canceling people out of my life just so that I can beat them to the punch. Call it being a control freak, call it being insecure, but when I don’t get the response expected from someone, I assume the worse and take it personally. I immediately create a story in my head that “they just aren’t that in to me” and purge –  deleted off my phone, social networks and life they go. I jump to the conclusion before they even have a chance to respond. I realize that I have a pattern of letting people “go” instead of letting them “be” and as much as I’ve tried to change this habit, I have to admit, it’s been very, very difficult and I have a long way to go.

Recently, I met someone who expressed interest in me but was going through the stages of a post-breakup of a major relationship. The minute that I didn’t hear from him, despite his distraught emotional headspace, I did my typical “purge” routine.  Easily, out of my headspace, my agenda and life he went. Then a dear friend of mine gave me some words of wisdom.

“Amy, we’ve grown up to feel like we always need instant gratification. We always want the boy to like us back right away just because we like them.

There is one common thread to wounded birds. They are all trying to re-learn how to fly and they become adamant on changing the way they do life and relationships, for the fear of going back to that broken place”. – SS

These words are very true and relevant. Many of us (me included) have an idea/expectation of how courting/relationships should play out. And when it doesn’t happen according to the “plan” in our head, we feel rejected and take it personally, when really, it has nothing to do with you at all. In this fast pace world of instant messenger, SMS, email –  the flash speed of things is actually not a normal pace…we’re just so used to it, that when things do take a normal pace, we get impatient and antsy.

Books such as “He’s Just Not That into You” do have many points that ring true, however, it’s important to remember that  every situation, every person, every potential budding of a relationship is different. I have been relentless trying to be the extreme opposite from that girl in that book who just didn’t get the hint – and to be honest, that way of going about relationships has likely kyboshed more opportunities than thwarted potential rejection.  Women whose hearts are like “7 lane superhighways” may find it frustrating or demotivating when dealing with men who take a slower one lane dirt road, but sometimes things just take time and their own pace. All you can do is “be a friend with no expectations and the both of you will eventually find out if your highway and his road will meet one day”. Everything happens and doesn’t happen for a reason.

I know many women who beat themselves up and get upset when it doesn’t work out the way they expected. All I can say is, it has nothing to do with you. It’s not because you aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, athletic enough – you, are perfect just the way you are. But when you are with a match that isn’t meant to fit with you, it just doesn’t fit. And that’s no one’s fault or shortcoming.

Being a single girl, meeting different people, giving things a chance to realize that it wasn’t a fit – yes, it can be exhausting at times. And while before I would see a negative angle of “it just never works” or “I give up!” – I’ve realized that it’s not “working” because it wasn’t meant to. I’m at a place of contentment now where I just have faith. Faith and patience that it will all happen when it should happen, and when it does, it’s going to be AMAZING. I’m not a religious person, but I’m starting to believe more and more that half of it is fate and half of it is choice. So have faith in fate to bring the right opportunities with the right people –  at the right time, and be open to making and choosing the right decisions when it does.

11 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply September 18, 2009

    Jennifer Stoddart

    Awesome post! It’s all so true. I definitely have had the tendency to cut things off when they don’t go according to the plan in my head too.

    Through the years, I have realized that everything really does (or doesn’t) happen for a reason, like you said. I think my belief in this idea is what has kept me sane (and still fairly optimistic).

    I’m going to send the link to this post to some of my girlfriends who I know will also relate.

    Love your blog! Keep up the great content!

  • Avatar
    Reply September 19, 2009

    koko

    thanks for this 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply November 4, 2009

    Mirian

    It’s so sad what you went through at 6-years old. I think a lot of kids go through feelings of rejection in one form of another, whether they show it or not. The good thing is that you recognize things that are impeding your evolvement. The wonderful thing about having “problems” is that you get more opportunity to resolve them than someone who coasts through life. This makes you more empathetic, caring and emotionally more intelligent and strong. It’s people like this that will have true friends. Just when you think you’ve discovered yourself, you find that it will change and there’s more to learn. This is what makes living so wonderful. If people can treat problems as a postive thing to look fowward to (just as you have) then really, there is no problem.
    Keep up the good writing Yammies.

    Lotsa love.

  • Avatar
    Reply November 4, 2009

    sharen lee

    Really enjoyed your article and can relate

  • Avatar
    Reply November 4, 2009

    Sunny Shum

    I love this post because I think 100% of people can relate to this. No matter how many times it’s relayed, no matter how many times the cycles happen…they happen and repeat.

  • Avatar
    Reply November 5, 2009

    lolawest

    Thanks for writing this – I have a very sensitive rejection nerve, too, and very recently I also “purged” somebody from my life. Every time I am rejected outright (or so it seems) I run, and the purges are my way of running.

  • Avatar
    Reply December 3, 2009

    kate

    this was something i read in 24 and when i read it,it made me think about my own fear of rejection and how i do the samething and end it or crate problems that are not really there at the frist sign of maybe being rejected.thank you for writing this and oepning my eyes to a problem that i have faced manytimes in my life.you have helped my relationship so much.i greatly enjoy reading your posts.

  • Avatar
    Reply January 28, 2010

    Joanna

    Hi Amy,

    I love this post. This is exactly what i am going through at the moment! It’s so nice to read an experience from someone else that has gone through the same situation and has come out of it. I also have these patterns dammit lol and i try to break them but somehow i keep getting stuck in this cycle. Each time i meet someone they all seem different but in the end they are not. Anyways reading your post gives me hope, strength, wisdom, and opens my eyes. Because once you get stuck in this cycle it’s like your mind gets blocked to hearing others opinions. You get hypnotized my these men. I love your blog you are very talented and have such awesome energy! xo

  • Reply October 24, 2010

    Sage advice « Skytalker

    […] And another one. […]

  • Avatar
    Reply December 17, 2010

    Daniel

    great post, thanks for sharing

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