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Friday, 7 April 2017

Rejection (2) - the weapon

In the initial version of Rejection, I mentioned that I had never realised that rejection is a double edged sword that wounds us and that we also use to wound others. Rejection causes hurt (receiving) and also inflicts pain (sending). Our hurt over rejection makes us realise, either consciously or subconsciously, that rejection is also a powerful weapon in our mind.

Rejection is a multi-purpose weapon, possibly because "Rejections can cause four  distinct psychological wounds: (1) rejections elicit emotional pain so sharp it affects our thinking, (2) floods us with anger, (3) erodes our confidence and self-esteem, and (4) destabilizes our fundamental feeling of belonging.” (Salon, 2013)

Rejection is in three main categories: (1) deeds, (2) words, and (3) thoughts. These 3 categories show the negative and positive human forces in Zoroastrianism. Our thoughts have two sub categories: (3.1) intentional vs unintentional, and (3.2) conscious vs subconscious. A common combination in rejection is conscious and intentional.

The conscious and intentional hurting of other people is either by action or a lack of action:
1. Deeds: e.g., wrongdoings or withholding intimacy. Blog: The silent treatment.
2. Words: e.g.arguments or miscommunication. Blog: You can only hurt someone with the truth.
3. Thoughts: e.g.malicious intentions or deliberate misunderstanding. Blog: Evil.

Rejection may also be unintentional and subconscious by minimising conversation (words) or pushing someone away (deeds) - both without intention (thoughts). Subconsciously we do, however, punish him/her because we are angry with him/her. Talking (words) is not an option and neither is an apology (deeds). Rejection may be our last resort, when other options fail.

Latter remark also reminds me of another relevant aspect and blog: the psychological cost of reconciliation. Reaching out to someone whom you have been rejecting isn't easy. Depending on the situation an apology may backfire, and pretending nothing happened may actually work.

I think, feel and believe that rejection becomes a conscious and subconscious weapon when we have been overexposed to it in our past. The emotional pain of rejection always lingers in our memories. Our subconscious may use reverse engineering and thus hurt received becomes pain sent. If it hurt us then it must be able to hurt others too.

The problem with using rejection as a weapon is that battles turn into a war. A war that cannot be won as the weapons used are too blunt and "only" inflict emotional pain. Physical pain could and would end a war but a war using emotional pain will only get worse. This analogy reminds me of The War of the Roses (IMDb), a 1989 tragicomedy about a divorce.

For a long time, I've been pushing and pulling stranded relations. The psychological cost of such reconciliations was high. Now I just reciprocate rejection with rejection which reminds me of the words of Al Capone: “Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me."

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? (1982) by Culture Club