Hypersensitivity to Rejection

This morning I went to see my psychologist for my weekly Neurofeedback appointment. Last week I had requested her for receipts on my email which she had sent to me. However, today she printed one out. When I asked her for an electronic one, she said she couldn’t as she is working late today. It turned out sending it electronically was too hard for her and she wasn’t good at saying no.

As I understood this, I bid her farewell with the usual pleasantries and she did the same.

However, for hours afterwards, I just could not put this incident out of my mind. I kept replaying and analysing this exchange in my mind. I beat myself up for not seeing the obvious that she did not want to do electronic receipts. I blamed her for not being upfront about her constraints and being a bit snarky and terse.

I texted her to apologise for creating stress for her. She replied that there was no stress, she was able to say what she needed to say and say no.

Even after this, the incident continued to play in my mind. As I turned it around in my head, I remembered my kinesiologist’s comment from a couple of years ago that I did not take to rejection very well and that it hurt me to my deepest core, I had no defences against it.

I did an Internet search about sensitivity to rejection. As I read a few links, I found this post – Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria: A Tell-All Guide. Turns out it is a categorised problem, not that I care about labels but for me it is good to be aware of it, know that it is a thing and strive to work through and overcome it.

Here are some of the words from this page that really resonated with me:

“Rejection-sensitive dysphoria is a form of mental illness, where a person may experience severe emotional sensitivity and emotional pain. Generally, this means that people with ADHD will perceive a situation negatively, when in reality the situation may not aim to cause them emotional pain. Let’s look at an example; if a person with rejection-sensitive dysphoria was to receive a delayed “text message response” from a person they are fond of, then that person with RSD may experience symptoms such as anxiety and low-self esteem.”

“Rejection sensitive individuals may experience general dissatisfaction and unhappiness in their intimate relationships.”


This has been the story of my life and relationships. I have not been able to find a way to get through this yet. It has reduced but it is still such a big challenge for me in close relationships. Moving overseas and being in a different time zones from my loved ones has been quite a training ground. Yet, it is still a challenge for me. Good to see this problem articulated in front of me.

Initially this awareness made me very anxious. I had to eat chips to get past the stress of the morning interaction with my psychologist.
As I anxiously surfed online, I found another post –‘I Can’t Stop Oversharing!’ Recognize when it’s caused by an anxious need to please others.

On reading this post, I felt a bit calmer. As the author says:

“Maybe what you really want is to share, in the purest sense of the word. You want to give something real to the other person, and you want to believe that the person will share with you. You want to believe that you’re worthy of true generosity.”

“Because friends share with each other. People connect by giving to each other. True generosity isn’t about opinions and stories. It’s about giving someone else a little space to be who they are, to want what they want, without feeling ashamed of any of it. It’s about believing that someone might care about you enough that they’re willing to give you that space, too.”

“We sometimes tell ourselves that everyone is out there just trying to get their needs filled. But that’s not true. When you go out into the world, you’re looking for emotional connection. You’re looking for situations where you can calm down enough to look into someone else’s eyes and feel connected enough to say, “I am here for you.”

I realised this is something I’ve learned in the last couple of years. While I have a lot of love in me, how much I love someone is reflected in how willing I am to give others space to be who they are. Where I claim to love someone but instead just want them to behave towards me in a certain way, that is now a clear signal for me to recognise that I have gone into my negativity and disorder or in Buddhist terms, my karma.

Amazing how my last year’s failed relationship shook my inner core that I am still able to reflect on and fight my tendencies.

Now I better go finish my one hour of chanting to prove to myself that I am committed to my happiness.

The process of continuously finding and fighting my misery-causing tendencies continues. Have to remember to be kind to myself, accept myself and keep striving.

PS – It also took so much effort to not just blame it on my childhood or feel despair at how I was treated as a child to have grown up with yet another “disorder”. #LetGo #Gratitude

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