survivingmiddleage

the ups and downs of life

Changing My Ways

Most of us have felt the stinging pain of rejection at some point in life. If you haven’t you are very lucky. I have been very unlucky. I have felt it a lot in life. It is a painful thing. Sometimes the rejection comes from people who you really cared about and some from people you really don’t really give 2 craps about. For the ones you don’t really care about, you are usually having to reach out for a work situation or social situation. The rejection just causes awkwardness and makes life a little more difficult because you have to work hard to accomplish a goal.

Rejection from people whom you care about? Oh boy! That is a different story altogether! It can be a love interest, friends, or even family. I have experienced it all. It really hits your self-esteem. It makes you wonder if you are such a terrible person that these people refuse to care about you. I have gone to therapy about this because I used to think that something was really wrong with me. Surely to God there really must be something wrong if nobody gave a damn about me. Right? The therapist asked me if nobody really gave a damn about me. Honestly? Nobody? Was there nobody on this earth that loved me? I started ticking off the names of a few people who really loved me unconditionally. The therapist then said, “The problem isn’t that nobody loves you. The problem is that your picker is wrong.” I stared at him as if he had suddenly gone mad. What the hell is a picker and how do you get it fixed?! He said, “You are attached to some people biologically. That doesn’t mean they are going to love you. That doesn’t mean you are going to love them. You may have had a past with them but if it is over and done, it just is. Treasure it for what it was. But as for the new people, you are picking some people who are not good for you! They are not emotionally available to you. At first it doesn’t bother you but then it does. Quit picking them!”

I mulled over what the therapist had said. When we talked again I brought up the picker thing. He explained that my picker did pick some good people. I did have some good people in my life. The point he wanted me to see is to just look at these people closer. He knew I guarded my heart already and that could be a double-edged sword. But I needed to quit letting these people’s actions hurt me so much. If they were hurting me in any capacity for a long period, then I needed to get rid of them. Lack of care is a form of hurt, too. I couldn’t let people put me on the back burner until they decided they wanted me to be a part of their life again. That wasn’t fair to me. It honestly made me feel like a marionette. Someone jerking strings and controlling my movements.

It took a long time to realize that I could control who was a part of my life. In a way it wasn’t the way I was raised and in another way, it was exactly the way I was raised. I know that doesn’t make sense. I was always taught to forgive and forget and all that good Southern stuff. And it is good…to an extent. Too much of it, though, can eat away at you. It erodes your insides. It makes you feel as if the relationship is more important than you. That is not good. When you lose your autonomy because of people-pleasing, you feel defeated. That is how I felt for a very long time. Let me emphasize VERY long time. It changed who I was. I am now changing my ways. I am changing back to my real self. I can only please some of the people some of the time, and that includes me.

I am working on fixing my people picker. I wish there was a service department for that. It would make life so much easier. I am learning that while some people may reject me, that it is their loss. It isn’t me that they are necessarily rejecting. It is their inability to deal with someone smart and outspoken. I have found that some people cannot have a rational conversation with anyone who might challenge their thinking. I don’t argue with everyone, but I do think for myself. Some people don’t like that. Some people do. I’ll eventually find more people who do like that.

 

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4 thoughts on “Changing My Ways

  1. I’m relieved that you were able to be liberated from that rejection trap, you must feel a kind of freedom that you have finally found your truth. I wish you well on your journey and much love.

  2. Thank you. It is liberating. I found that some people that just aren’t going to love you even when they said they would or do. I’m still trying to fix the picker. It is a very complicated mechanism it seems. Just when I think it is fixed, it goes and has a malfunction again! 🙂 One day….and if not, Lord knows I’ll die trying! Thank you for reading and the encouragement!

  3. It sounds like we have a lot in common in this regard…I have really been bothered because I have some family members who simply don’t love me like I want to be loved (notice I didn’t say they don’t love me..I think they do, as much as they’re able. I just think they just don’t know how to express their love…that doesn’t have anything to do with me)…we’re learning, girl, we’re learning…

    • I think that you make a key point. We have to accept their love as they can give it and just live with it. I have had to do that. And if it isn’t enough then fine. I need to hear from people from time to time and actually hear the words. It makes me feel cared about. I live a good distance away from my family and often feel forgotten. I love them. I try to call them and keep up but I often feel like I am imposing on their lives. I back off sometimes because I don’t want to feel like an imposition. I still love them. And I do know that some of them still love me. I just wish more did. I wish you didn’t understand it so well, girl! ❤ to ya!

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