A universal experience that transpires when anger or disappointment is turned within the self is called self-rejection. This takes place when a person is triggered, usually by criticisms or hurtful remarks that sink deep emotionally, thereby crushing their self-worth and self-esteem.
Self-rejection is a feeling of dissociation and loathing for oneself and is driven by two factors. The first is expectation, and the second is perception.
Expectation is what we believe should happen, or how someone (including ourselves) should act in a given circumstance, and the results are different to this belief.
Self-rejection doesn't just happen or appear from nowhere. A person does not hate themselves without reason. In the case of ‘expectation,' this reason stems from our tendency to overly rely on others for belongingness or validation. We look to others for company and friendship. This is an essential need in our lives.
However, when we believe we may have behaved in a way that has earned us the disapproval of others, it can trigger strong feelings of self-rejection. Most of the time, self-rejection stems from the embarrassment of falling short of others' expectations.
What did I do wrong? Why do they hate me so much? These are two common statements that can go through your mind if you have experienced hurt or embarrassment. A bad experience with another can make you feel worthless, more so if it involved any degree of public humiliation.
The defining moment of self-rejection takes place during this stage. Mixed emotions of hurt, confusion, embarrassment, and anger develop in the mind, and unfortunately, self-rejection grows, and the person will begin to speak negatively to themselves. Their own perception is what can make them feel worthless.
The difficulty in processing this emotional turmoil makes it easier for a person to simply mentally detach and trash unwanted aspects of themselves. Once a person develops this abstract thinking, personal hate triggers self-rejection.
Thankfully, tools to revive the damaged parts of a person's psyche are naturally embedded within the collective unconscious.
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Bringing In Balance – Awareness and Self-Love
There is always a way to balance everything in life, and in this case, self-hate can unwound by awareness, and self-rejection is healed by self-love.
Awareness dispels personal hate because when people seek to understand others, rather than to be understood by them, their outlook changes. It is better to make the effort to assess the reasons behind a person's actions, for your own benefit, not theirs.
If you can do this, you are making yourself more aware of the reality of the situation, instead of a possibly misconstrued perception and expectation. Once a person understands the real reason for another person's mean behavior or cruel words, they can develop a sense of sympathy or compassion.
This will lead to ‘aha' moments of realization that others intent and actions are usually more neutral and benign than you assumed.
However, if the other person is filled with hate and spite, and is hurting you continually, this will not be doing your feelings of self-rejection any good at all. This is when you have to be aware of what is best for you. If necessary, remove yourself from toxic situations and people. Protecting yourself from others is an act of self-love.
To be able to heal and recover from self-rejection, you need to develop some self-care and start loving your self. Don't be confused here, you don't need to become a narcissist, as self-love is not narcissism. Narcissism refers to shortsighted glorification of the ego, whereas real love for ‘self' is not.
Self-love heals because it provides attentive care to the damage caused by hatred and misguided direction. Just as reconciliation between a parent and a child can bring back harmony within the family life, so too can self-love bring back harmony in your mind, and kick self-rejection out.
On a final note, the most essential lesson to take away is that if you are ready to treat others the way you would like to be treated, then you will become protected against self-rejection and save yourself from further self-limiting beliefs. Alternatively, if you are not treated in kind, move on, as your mental health is not something you should allow to be destroyed by anyone.