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Attachment to Rejection: A Psychological Syndrome
Note: This page is a work in progress. As our understanding of the Rejection Attachment develops, the information here will be updated. The information below is not intended to diagnose or treat any mental health condition and is to be considered for personal development or entertainment purposes exclusively.
The Attachment to Rejection is a pervasive tendency toward feeling rejected by self or others. It includes the tendency to consciously or unconsciously encourage and at the same time deny feelings of rejection through simple or elaborate self-fulfilling schemes.
Defensive reactions typically encourage more rejection.
Self-fulfilling lenses are the perceptual filters through which the Rejection Attachment is unconsciously perceived, sustained and encouraged.
Lenses are often manifest as conscious or unconscious self-talk.
Examples of lenses that encourage rejection:
If I ask for what I want, they will say no because they hate me. If I go to the party, people will think I’m weird. If I speak my mind, I will look like a fool. People see right through me and don’t like what they see. I am worthless, no good. If I tell the truth or share my feelings, I’ll be outcast and alone. My feelings don’t matter. Nobody cares about me. I’ll never amount to anything, so why try.
Common Set Ups for Rejection
Seeking approval from people who have demonstrated consistent non-approval
Under-performing at tasks that fall within capabilities (encouraging disapproval)
Provoking others (picking fights)
Choosing romantic partners that are critical, disregarding or mean (includes physical attraction)
Lack of boundaries or respect for others’ personal space
Insistence on behaviors that encourage others to view one negatively
Consistent feelings associated with the Rejection Attachment.
Fear or anxiety as a result of anticipating rejection or disapproval.
Craving approval or worrying about what others think.
Chronic comparing of self to others (favorably or unfavorably).
Chronic anger or defensiveness.
A variety of self-defeating behaviors
A tendency to fail due to lack of effort
Tendency to use self-deprecating humor
Inability to say no
Feelings of inadequacy
Tendency to attempt to please others
Lack of other awareness
Forms of Denial
Blaming others for feelings
Believing the Rejection Attachment is “reality”
Not seeing the connection between one’s behaviors and feelings
Inner passivity: feeling as if the rejection is coming from an outside source and therefore outside of one’s control.
One may organize an entire life around the Rejection Attachment. This may include:
Choosing a life partner or friends that are incompatible
Selecting a career in which success is unlikely
Denying one’s own wishes to please others
Passing the Rejection Attachment on to children
The most effective way to overcome the Rejection Attachment is to use the principles outlined in the AHA Solution. Begin by watching this free video.
Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.