Updated: Jul 22, 2018
Rejection is one of the greatest fears every human faces in relationships. There will be a time your partner, friend, family member, or co-worker will say something or do something that will disappoint or hurt your feelings. Intimacy demands a vulnerability that you can’t avoid. High level achievement in work requires intimacy as well. To love is to experience heartbreak and pain. To wholeheartedly give yourself to your work requires sacrifice. You can’t experience love without all of the other emotions.
The aim is never to hurt another but your thoughtlessness, lack of planning, sarcasm, wrong word choice, tone of voice, facial expression or silence can act as a dagger to the receiver’s heart. You are human, it’s natural. Without disappointment you wouldn’t know the entire scope of your connection and the depth of your care. Rejection, abandonment and loss are a natural part of life. The logical mind knows this yet we are terrified of how it is going to impact and shape the very moment we experience it. We can project what we may feel, what our faces may look like, how our bodies may react but the truth is we don’t know until we experience it. That is the mystery of life.
How do we become resilient partners at work and home?
1. If you feel uneasy, scared, hurt,upset, angry, confused take ownership of this emotion and express it clearly as soon as you can. I feel sad. I feel angry…Do not blame or hold the other person responsible for comforting you. Do not expect the either person to hold space for your emotion. By expressing how you feel, you may trigger their own resistance to that emotion, so release expectations of empathy or understanding. You are taking a risk at having a real connection.
2. Force yourself to do this in the moments that you feel the most fearful. The worst possible outcome is loneliness and you feel this way already.
3. Imagine vulnerability is a muscle you must exercise daily. Imagine it is food that you must consume even if you don’t like the taste or flavor.
4. Consistently say hello to someone everyday that may look away or not respond.
5. Initiate conversation with someone who may or may not engage with you.
6. Every time you want to leave the room or change the conversation to something pleasing count backwards from 5 to 1 silently and wait to listen to what the person may say next.
7. Express appreciation where you are making demands or feeling resentment. For example, “You should trust me” and “I resent that you don’t trust me” turns into “I appreciate how
much I trust you.” Resentment is the feeling that is responsible for most conflicts.
The risk of expressing your vulnerability pales in comparison to what you receive in return.
Our culture wants you to believe that you must always be positive and think positively, masking how you truly feel. This creates inner conflict and disowning parts of yourself that are important and valuable. You are human. You are not a machine or here on this planet to be productive only. You are here to live. Take a risk by sharing your vulnerability and experience what its like to be fully alive here and now.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.