No one can make me feel inferior without my consent. No one can reject me without my consent.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Wise lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. However, her statement is one that many people feel confused about.
What exactly does this mean, “No one can reject me without my consent”?
Let’s imagine that you and a friend get into a conflict and your friend angrily walks away and decides to end the friendship. Isn’t your friend rejecting you without your consent?
Actually, no. What your friend is doing is getting angry and withdrawing. Whether or not you feel rejected by this is about what you tell yourself rather than about what your friend is doing.
Some of the possible things you might tell yourself that make you feel rejected…
• My friend doesn’t like me anymore and it’s my fault. I’m not a good friend.
• I always do or say something wrong and push people away.
• There is something wrong with me. I make people angry.
• What did I do wrong?
All of these statements are coming from your wounded self wanting to believe that you caused your friend to end the friendship—that you are in control of your friend’s choices. The fact that you are telling yourself that it is your fault that your friend got angry and ended the friendship is what is causing you to feel rejected. Your feeling of rejection is letting you know that your wounded self is in charge, telling you a lie.
Some of the possible things you can tell yourself that would lead to you feeling inwardly loved…
• My friend is afraid of conflict, afraid of being wrong, afraid of rejection. My friend is choosing to get angry and leave rather than deal with him/herself.
• My friend has no intent to learn. His/her wounded self is in charge and just wants to protect.
• I am sad that my friend is choosing to close off, but I have run into his/her closed heart before. My friend’s behavior is information telling me that this friendship isn’t going to go anywhere.
• I see that my friend is hurting due to self-abandonment, so I will just send her/him prayers. I know that this is not about me.
• Even if I was out of line in what I said or did, my friend has the choice to open to learning and explore with me and resolve the conflict with me. The fact that he/she is choosing to be angry and leave is not about me. I have nothing to do with whether another person chooses to stay and learn or get angry and leave.
These statements are coming from your loving adult—from truth. While you might feel sad that the friendship is over, or sorrow over your friend’s self-abandonment, or even regret over your own behavior, you will not feel rejected because you are not taking your friend’s behavior personally. You know that they are rejecting their own inner child rather than rejecting you, so there is no reason to feel rejected.
What to do When You Feel Rejected
Anytime you feel rejected, notice that it is your wounded self who is in charge. This is a good time to do an Inner Bonding process to explore the false beliefs that are causing your feelings of rejection. It is a good time to open to learning with your guidance about what the truth is.
Remember, all of your feelings have important information for you. They are letting you know whether you are loving yourself or abandoning yourself. Feelings of rejection are always letting you know that you are abandoning yourself and that your wounded self is telling you lies.