• To refuse to accept, submit to, believe, or make use of (someone)
  • To refuse to give sufficient affection or care to a child, spouse or elder that you have responsibility for.
  • Occurs from a refusal to acknowledge a person’s presence, value, or worth
  • Is achieved by communicating to a person that he/she is useless or inferior and by devaluing that person’s thoughts and feelings
  • The action of rejecting a child, spouse, relative, employee, friend, etc…; often [purposefully or unconsciously]
  • The state of being rejected

Rejection Includes:

  • Displays of rejecting behavior toward someone, often [purposefully or unconsciously] letting them know, in a variety of ways, that he/she is unwanted.
  • Putting down someone’s worth, or belittling their needs.
  • Telling someone to leave, or worse, to get out of your face.
  • Calling someone names or telling them that he/she is worthless.
  • Making someone a scapegoat.
  • Blaming someone for problems.
  • Refusing to talk to someone.
  • Refusing to hold a young child as he/she grows can also be considered abusive behavior.

Rejection can be:

Active – Bullying, teasing, or ridiculing                                                                                           Passive – Ignoring a person, or giving the “silent treatment.”

A person can be rejected on an individual basis or by an entire group. Some level of rejection is an inevitable part of life. However, rejection can become abusive when it is prolonged or consistent. Rejection by an entire group of people can have especially negative effects, particularly when it results in social isolation.

The experience of rejection may lead to a number of adverse psychological consequences such as:

  • Loneliness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Feelings of insecurity
  • A heightened sensitivity to future rejection
  • Emotional pain

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