Do We All Crave Rejection Deep Down?

We all outwardly say and express that we want acceptance. We sometimes even go as far as saying that we crave acceptance. Is that really the case though?

Do We All Crave Rejection Deep Down?
Photo by Danie Franco / Unsplash

Do we all crave rejection deep down? Are we attracted to rejection? Do we outwardly express wanting to be loved and accepted while inwardly craving rejection? Well, before I reject or accept your view on this, let’s get started.

What is Rejection?

Rejection is when someone or some entity chooses not to accept, associate, or cooperate with you. For instance, a company may reject your job application and choose not to have you join the organization. Similarly, a potential lover or partner may reject you and choose not to be with you. Therefore, rejection, in a nutshell, is the refusal by another party to be with, associate with, or cooperate with you.

What is Acceptance?

On the other side of the coin is acceptance. Acceptance is when another party, individual, or entity chooses to incorporate, include and associate with you in their affairs or in pursuit of a mutual goal. For instance, a company may accept your proposal to head a new department, that focuses on a sector that you specialize in and are proficient in. On the other hand, a potential partner or lover may accept your proposal to take your relationship to the next level and be together.

The Illusion of Craving Acceptance

We all outwardly say and express that we want acceptance. We sometimes even go as far as saying that we crave acceptance. Is that really the case though? Are we really being honest with ourselves and others when we say we want to be accepted and loved just as we are? Isn’t that a fickle lie we tell to ourselves and others?

The Fodder of Anger and Fight

In my opinion, the human craving for acceptance is an illusion. Deep down we all want to be rejected and crave the consequent fodder of anger and fight that comes with it. Think of it this way, if your sibling rejects your new hairstyle, isn’t that the highlight of your day? Doesn’t that just make you want to go fight them and argue with them all day? Isn’t that ‘beef’ what we all live for? That response that brings itself out when we are challenged or offended?

Why is Rejection so Sweet?

I argue that rejection is in fact sweet and that we indeed crave rejection deep down. Like we all get a small high when someone rejects us and inherently challenges our worth or suitability for a certain role. Rejection is, therefore, sweet in the challenge or questioning it puts forward against our personal worth, or suitability in being in, or playing a certain role.

Rejection as an Opportunity to Show Self Worth

In essence, rejection is like a test that allows us to show how good we are in a certain role or when accorded certain responsibilities. For example, if a girl rejects me, I will do all I can to show her that I am the one for her. As such, her rejecting me is an opportunity for me to show her just how good I am and can be; and what she would be missing out on by not being with me.

Rejection Confirms that we are Imperfect

Rejection also shows us that we are humans and can make mistakes. More importantly, it confirms that we are imperfect and that is hugely important for us humans to remember. As humans, we all hold ourselves to such high standards in terms of failure. We expect that we can’t fail and sometimes learning that we are indeed imperfect, and are bound to fail at first, is hugely important. This confirmation of imperfection that results from rejection gives us a chance to appreciate when we have indeed won; but more importantly, that we are imperfect and will probably lose sometimes. No wonder we probably crave rejection deep down.

Rejection Reminds Us of Our Wins

Another beautiful by-product of rejection is self-reflection and the appreciation of all the times we have won. Rejection reminds us of all the times we were accepted and loved for who we are and makes us cherish those instances and moments even more. This inherently and strangely makes rejection sweet because it leaves us saying “at least I was loved and accepted before” and that “it is likely that I will be loved and accepted again”.

The Hope and Appreciation that Comes with Rejection

The hope and appreciation that come with rejection are hugely important as they sprout healthy affirmations that express a love for self, and the appreciation of those that indeed love, appreciate, and accept us.

Rejection Isn’t the End of the World

The world won’t end tomorrow because someone or some company rejected you. It’s their loss. You are a wonderful, hard-working, and passionate individual who would be a blessing to them.

Rejection Shows Us that we Deserve Better

Unfortunately, if they cannot see that, they do not deserve you and you deserve better. That’s just the way it is and the truth is that we can’t be acceptable to all; either for their blindness to our worth or out of our desire and appreciation that we deserve better. Either way, rejection isn’t the end of the world; life goes on and what is meant to be ours eventually comes our way.

What is Yours Eventually Comes Your Way

It can be so easy to wallow in the pain of rejection and be all sad about being rejected. Even so, this self-pity is unwarranted and we should all recognize that we are probably losing this person or job for a better (or more suitable) person or job in the future. For instance, maybe my not getting that promotion was what I needed to steer me toward becoming an entrepreneur and founding my own company. Maybe a kick in the butt is what we need sometimes to stop being comfortable and remain hungry for success. As such, if you recognize this, you may also be willing to accept that we humans likely crave rejection deep down.

We Can’t Be Acceptable to All

Imagine how boring life would be if we were all accepted and appreciated by all. There wouldn’t be any challenges or any tests that would be triggers for us to portray our worth and ability. Maybe Nelson Mandela would not become a freedom fighter if the apartheid government didn’t imprison him and challenge his ideas. Do you see my point? As nice and sweet as acceptance is, sometimes rejection is much better as it helps us pull greatness out of ourselves. As such, the next time someone rejects you, see it as a plus and not a minus. And in all honesty, maybe craving rejection deep down isn’t so bad.