Social Rejection and Romantic Rejection

Social rejection is a situation which arises many times in life and various people react to it in different ways. Social and romantic rejection occurs when a person or a group of people deliberately exclude another person or group.

There are people who avoid rejection at all costs and thus never take any risks or put themselves in a situation where they could be rejected. On the other hand, there are people who don’t let rejection stop them from trying again. I try to put myself in the latter group and I think that I am better than most people at bouncing back and trying things again. My friends generally consider me one of the most persistent people that they know. For example, if I don’t get a job, I bounce back and apply for 5 more.

Rejection is a difficult topic to talk about for most people, including myself. No one wants to acknowledge that they did not measure up in some way, true or false, to another’s expectations. Sometimes people get rejected for good reasons and sometimes they get rejected for bad reasons, but either way, rejection hurts. Every human being gets rejected at some point or another, and most people get rejected many times, whether it be from a romantic interest, a job, an apartment application or a friend. I think that just realizing the fact that everyone gets rejected sometimes makes it easier to deal with- if you have a friend who rejects you, it helps to understand that most people who have friends has experienced one rejecting them. You are not alone in this.

One of the most interesting things about rejection is the fact that it is SO difficult to acknowledge, even to yourself. When a girlfriend dumps you, you don’t even want to think of it that way, much less admit to anyone else. Think about it: the last time you were rejected by someone you cared about did you really admit it and the reasons why even to yourself? Rejection is much easier to admit when you have an easy reason to assign to it that doesn’t make you do any soul searching. If you didn’t get that job, you may say “they needed someone with more experience”. Rarely will you even think “I did not have the ability to do that job”, even if that is the case. This has both positive and negative effects: positive because it makes it easier to maintain your confidence, negative because it does not allow for reflection on your faults and how they might be fixed.

Psychologists have shown that rejection, especially of the romantic variety, triggers a response in the brain affecting dopamine & cortisol activity. In other words, rejection can actually be PHYSICALLY painful. People react to rejection with a variety of negative emotions from despair and resignation to frustration and intense anger. Each year in America, over a million people are stalked, almost always by ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands or ex-live in partners. Something that really amazed me was that 80% of these people are actually attacked physically by their stalker. Frightening. Why do people stalk? People who stalk are those who are not mature enough to deal with the negative emotions of rejection, usually because they refuse to acknowledge that rejection and the physical pain that comes with it even to themselves. Denial is a powerful and very dangerous mental tool.

One of the best signs of a mature person is how they react to rejection. Rejection is an emotionally, mentally and physically painful experience. I think most people who have been rejected by someone they have had a long term romantic relationship with would prefer the pain of a broken bone to the pain of a broken heart. I know I would. But that is not an option. It is very important when dealing with rejection to first acknowledge it to yourself and then to people close to you. Don’t tell the world (as certain people I know have done in a very awkward fashion), but it is good to talk about it with those you trust. Pick yourself up and move on with your life. Don’t give up or quit, get back in the game (whatever that game is- job hunting/romantic/etc) and try again.

Rejection sensitivity is the subjective measure psychologists use when assessing how someone perceives rejection. Some people are extraordinarily sensitive to rejection and even minor things, like forgetting a phone call can send them into a state of extreme anger and frenzied frustration. Psychologists have found a correlation between rejection sensitivity and neuroticism- people who are unable to recognize different types of rejection are at risk for bad behavior. Also, because of this association, psychologists theorize that certain people are more susceptible to rejection sensitivity than others due to their genetics.

Some people undergo seemingly very minor forms of rejection and react with levels of hostility and aggression that go far beyond any reason. Consider the attacks at Columbine High School- a kid undergoes the same teasing and bullying that millions of other high schoolers have undergone, but reacted far beyond comprehension and went on a killing spree. Fortunately, most people do not handle rejection that way. Most people are able to move on whether by ignoring it or acknowledging it or releasing their emotions in other ways (some healthy, some not).

I have personally undergone many forms of rejection and while I may not be an expert, I at least have a lot of experience lol. When I first went to junior high, I had not had the experience of making new friends since preschool since I stayed in the same place all through grade school. Unfortunately for me, my grade school friends all came with me, so I made no effort to make new friends. After the first semester, all of my old friends left my junior high and I was left alone while everyone else had made their new friends and developed cliques… which made it tougher for me to make friends and I was already inexperienced. That lead to some unpleasant rejection experiences. Another type of rejection I experienced was the kind psychologists usually think of as most dangerous- parental rejection. I was kicked out of my house when I was 14 due to my mother’s drug abuse and my non-biological father’s lack of testes. The rejection here caused some issues for me for a few years, but I think I have mostly matured past them and stabilized my life. And, of course, I have undergone romantic rejection a few times. The toughest one to deal with was the first one- Becky- but after I discovered how to deal with it, romantic rejection has been far easier to handle. No doubt, I have handled some rejections poorly, but as a whole I think that I have done quite well for myself. I bounce back pretty quickly, learn my lessons and move on with my life…

… except i’m slightly insane! 😉

Just kidding.

Realistically, life is full of various rejections and how you deal with it defines who you are. Can you pick yourself up and move on? Are you willing to try again? Can you keep up a good attitude even in the face of rejection?

One final tip: Laughter is a great cure for rejection. When faced with Becky’s rejection, I didn’t know how to handle it, so I sent her a box full of little gifts and a note to try to get her back. She didn’t want to see me, so I made a mutual friend of ours, Fletcher, deliver the box even though he didn’t want to. Ever since then “the box” has become a running inside joke between us whenever we are talking about our relationships with women or even employers. The ability to laugh at yourself and your situation is a key to making that situation much, much easier to deal with.

Another interesting side note: When university researchers have studied rejection in the laboratory, they have discovered that even short-term rejection from strangers has a significant temporary effect on people. People who are rejected become very aggressive, willing to cheat, less willing to help others and generally engage in antisocial, self-defeating behavior. Don’t let this happen to you. When you start feeling angry about rejection, take a deep breath and find a way to overcome it without negative reactions.

Researchers have also discovered that there are gender differences when peole are faced with rejection. Men are interested in face-saving (pretending like you don’t care for instance), while women try to regain entrance to the group… Probably why more Goths are men than women lol.
Anyways, have any of you experience rejection that you would like to discuss? Any thoughts on how different people react to rejection or good ways of dealing with it?

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Policeman Vs. Fireman

Highly entertaining police versus firefighters video. The funny video shows how the life of a fireman and a policeman differ.

Policeman Perry “I’m not going to lie. I get shot at.”

Fireman Jake: “I got laid three times.”

Policeman Perry: “UGH!”

Fireman Jake- “It’s those chicks… where?… bathroom? Be there in a second. Later dude.”

Fireman Jake- “I pulled a train with three waitresses. Don’t do drugs”.

Would you rather be a policeman or a fireman?


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Seattle Critical Mass Bicyclists Assaults Motorist

What is Critical Mass?

“Critical Mass” is a movement of bicyclists trying to assert their rights to the road. Bicyclists do have a right to the road, but they need to be just as careful and considerate as motorists do. I commuted every day on bicycle to and from work in Seattle until I moved in close enough to just walk, so I understand the concerns of these bicyclists intimately. However, instead of behaving like responsible citizens and showing the benefits of bicycling vs. driving, members of the Seattle Critical Mass have become increasingly violent and confrontational on their monthly rides.

Critical Mass bicycle rides take place on the last Friday of every month and are intended to be a massive act of civil disobedience aimed at forcing motorists to recognizing bicylists equal rights to the road. The Critical Mass bicyclists mostly just enrage everyone else in the city to the point where drivers become more aggressive towards all bicyclists. People in Seattle are usually pretty laid back, but the Critical Mass bicyclists have done a lot to stir up rage and bitterness towards all bicyclists from normal citizens. The rage is starting to come to a head now (I’ll talk about this in a moment- one driver was physically assaulted).

The members of Critical Mass in Seattle block traffic on a randomly selected road on the last Friday of each month. Think about it- not only are they blocking already bad traffic that angers most regular people, but they are doing it on a FRIDAY when everyone just wants to get home to their family and enjoy their weekend. The technique Critical Mass bicyclists use to block traffic is called “corking”. Corking is a tactic that has a few riders block traffic from side roads so that the mass of bicyclists can move through red lights freely. Corking directly violates Critical Mass’s stated goal of being ordinary traffic, since they are violating all of the fundamental traffic laws and harming ordinary citizens.

Critical Mass Assaults Motorist in Seattle

At 7 pm on Friday, July 25th 2008, Critical Mass was moving through Capitol Hill and performing their corking maneuver to block traffic when a guy and his girlfriend in a Subaru tried to pull out of a parking spot. The Critical Mass bicyclists immediately moved to prevent him from getting out and a bunch of the cyclists jumped on his car and were banging on it. The man, becoming fearful that he was about to be further assaulted by the cyclists, tried to back up but bumped into a cyclist who was parked behind him. A bunch of the Critical Mass participants became very enraged according to witnesses and they started to bash on the Subaru, shattering the poor mans front & rear windows. The driver was now scared absolutely poo-less and tried to drive away, but the bicyclists followed him down about a block before the Critical Mass riders cornered his car and started spitting on him and hitting him and his girlfriend through their open windows. The bicyclists than slashed his tires and when the driver got out, he was hit in the back of the head and suffered a large head wound. The police arrived shortly after that and witnesses identified two of the assailants who were then arrested. The driver was taken to a hospital and his injuries were not life threatening.

I am seriously concerned that something like what happened to this poor driver and his girlfriend might happen to me at the next Critical Mass. Critical Mass is making Seattle unsafe for ordinary citizens. I have put a can of pepper spray and a golf club in the back seat of my car for self-defense against these criminals. Seattle police and mayor Greg Nickels need to ENFORCE THE LAW and put an end to Critical Mass bike rides.

How Can We Stop Critical Mass Bicyclists?

The Seattle police and Mayor Greg Nickels need to enforce the law. Bicyclists should be allowed to ride, as long as they follow the rules of the road like everyone else. That means no corking, no assaults, no running red lights, no stopping in the middle of the road and laying down.

Unfortunately, since Mayor Greg Nickels and the Seattle Police Department are either unwilling or unable to enforce basic laws in our city, citizens need to protect themselves. Seattle Police are too busy hunting easy targets on I-90 to fill their ticket quotas to take on the real criminals. I strongly recommend that Seattle citizens get concealed weapons permits and carry their own protection until such a time that Mayor Greg Nickels and the Seattle Police Department makes our city safe again for ordinary, law-abiding citizens.

What Happens If Critical Mass Continues?

I am afraid we will begin to see a lot more signs like these on the right. I love riding my bicycle in Seattle, but I am becoming afraid that motorists and other people will become so hostile towards cyclists because of what Critical Mass is doing that people will no longer be as careful as they should be when driving around us. Bicyclists are very vulnerable to cars and people are ordinarily pretty careful, but if they are angry they are likely to not give a cyclist quite as much room and that will create many deaths.


Garbage Traffic Ticket

I got a $175 traffic fine for going 76 on I-90 when I was driving to Suncadia Resort Hotel this weekend…. while I was getting passed by a bunch of other cars. The police in Seattle need to get their act together and stop pulling over people going at the speed of traffic and start enforcing the law. The cops are just trying to fill their quotas, while they allow dangerous criminals in Critical Mass to operate unimpeded.