Alternatively, rejection from others sadly can lead to self-rejection if you do not have healthy beliefs. The self-rejecter in all likelihood thinks “I have been rejected yet again and this must not happen! Because I have been rejected I am a reject, which is a person who is less worthwhile than others.” Self-rejection leads to all sorts of emotional problems including self-loathing, shame and depression. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy teaches that when rejected the individual has a choice. They can acknowledge the rejection and choose to accept themselves unconditionally despite having been rejected or they can rate themselves as less worthwhile because of the rejection that has occurred.
REBT teaches that it is false, illogical and most unhelpful to reject oneself when one has suffered a rejection. It is false to see oneself as a less worthwhile reject as one instance of rejection or even a series of rejections never equals worthlessness as a person. To define one’s self-acceptance and personal worth as contingent upon acceptance by others is a completely arbitrary definition. It is illogical to conclude that the whole of oneself is less good, worthwhile, or acceptable simply because one has not received the external approval and acceptance which they set out to get. Finally, to reject oneself instead of only acknowledging the rejection which has objectively occurred is very unhelpful because of the emotional pain and withdrawal that inevitably follows. When you reject yourself you stop trying, stop learning, and are likely to conclude that you can have little if any pleasure in life.
REBT encourages you to acknowledge the rejection that has clearly occurred and to feel the appropriate degree of sadness and disappointment. These two healthy emotions will help you learn from the experience and motivate you to profit from it in anyway there is to profit. While acknowledging the negative outcome one can still accept themselves fully, unconditionally, wholeheartedly and feel no upset about themselves as people but only feel appropriate negative emotion about the outcome which is the rejection. With this healthy self-acceptance you will demonstrate emotional health in the face of rejection and strive to prevail in your efforts to achieve your goals in the future. This is a much more adaptive, sensible, and helpful way of making the most out of rejection. Think about it.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Matweychuk to see how Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy can help you overcome your personal problems call 646.666.3108 or send an email to DrM@alumni.upenn.edu