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When we struggle with something that most people don’t seem to struggle with, we start to think there's something wrong with us. And we tend to live in ways that avoid making our struggles obvious: we avoid the situations in which we feel like we don’t fit and that prevents us from ever learning what exactly is happening.
We get to know the world and its challenges through a unique, personal experience, which nobody else can see, so nobody has a direct view of what’s easy or hard in the experience of others. We piece together what’s “normal” by observing how others, on the whole, seem to be doing at the same challenges.
Two people’s experiences of the same challenge differ wildly, beyond any desire, effort, and perseverance. But most of the messages we get about success (at school, at work, in the media) minimize everything else. Nobody can ever tell you how hard or easy something should be for you. They don’t have enough information.
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It's impossible to please everyone. And rejection is a way to figure out who’s compatible with whom: getting axed from a social group gives you space to find folks that are a little ...
When we get rejected, our brains register an emotional chemical response so strong, it can physically hurt.
We go through almost the same stages as if we were grieving (self-blame, trying to win back our rejecter because we hate being disliked, and feeling like a failure). These feelings are healthy and normal, so long as you don’t end up dwelling on them.
Rejection is personal, and it’s easy to start questioning your self-worth when someone makes it clear they don’t like you.
But for the most part, being disliked is a matter of mutual compatibility. Keep in mind that likability has a lot to do with what you bring to someone else’s table, whether or not you realize it.
Jordan Williamson, the highly recruited high school star and once lofty in the college football world as Stanford University's star kicker, missed twice during a football game and cost the team the...
"I decided to stop hiding and acknowledge what had happened... I showed my scars and let it be known to everyone that I was accepting reality. By showing my vulnerability it seemed that society, for the most part, put the negativity to rest. While the pain was still there, it was much more dim. I showed myself and others that I accepted myself as a human being who is not perfect and makes mistakes and sometimes fails miserably. This was the beginning of my healing." - Jordan Williamson