I joined a social networking site recently and did the normal thing; adding information to my profile, a photo of myself etc, links and other things, including sending out invites to contacts.
One of these contacts facilitated another contact that I was hardly aware was possible; I was asked a favour—to meet actually—to which I couldn’t help with and being new to site one click of a button later and I’d suddenly “declined” the invitation without the courtesy of explaining why. This left me feeling a little uncomfortable. I had cause to reflect over this; rejection and its effects on me and others.
I wonder if this happens to you. People come and people go in our lives. Some we love, but others we don’t really care that much for. Sure, we might say we do, but by virtue of our dealings with certain people they know they’re not special. The fact is, at times, we simply just don’t think.
For instance, when a polite gesture is refused—the rebutted Facebook friend request or the attempt to meet which is batted back or even the unrequited offer of friendly banter. Or perhaps it’s a politely curt face-to-face response that leaves us with no doubt as to what the other person’s thinking regarding us i.e. zip.
The truth is rejection is all around us. Not only that, we also tend to become quite hurt when we’re rejected, excepting a veritable few. We reject people easily and without much thought, yet when we’re rejected we feel rejection’s sting very keenly; even for a moment or a day or two.
If only this could be reversed and we felt that sting of our own rejection in our rejection of others—when we reject them, we felt their sense of being rejected by us. That way we could know straight up when we’d hurt someone and then deal with it in the moment.
Yet, life doesn’t work that way. All we can do in all our relationships is nurture the concept of universal acceptance—interacting in ways that are all-accepting, being watchful for the less diligent, flippant dealing of others’ at their expense and not ours.
Accepting people is probably the highest affirmation of friendly love for our neighbour in the whole of life. We should never underestimate its power for both good and effective relationships and harmony as a whole, slashing the ‘rejection-begets-rejection’ phenomenon at its knees.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.