What is Rejection Attachment?

People who harbor many feelings of being hurt by others, humiliated or have feelings of social anxiety and low self-worth may have an attachment to rejection. This is a psychological syndrome where they have many limiting beliefs about themselves which causes them to feel rejected by people in their lives. The unconscious rejection attachment that they experience can affect their relationships, their work and their choices in life.

Someone who has an attachment to rejection may deal with a lot of feelings of hurt, betrayal, loneliness, humiliation, shame and disapproval. They may react to things people say or do very defensively because they fear and expect rejection in a lot of situations. They may react by being angry, confused, discouraged or hopeless which can create a cycle in which they experience even more rejection.

When someone fears and anticipates rejection from others they start to see the world in a self-fulfilling lense of being hurt. They may under-perform at work, provoke other people, choose romantic partners that are critical and mean, or generally engage in behaviors that encourage others to view them negatively. The behave in ways or even seek out rejection because of their tendency to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In order to treat rejection attachment the person needs to become more aware of their unconscious behavior and how it is affecting their life. Bringing the unconscious to the conscious level helps them see how their feelings about rejection influence their choices and shape their life. Talking about fears with a therapist and working through the focus on rejection can help them accept the possibility that others may be able to love and approve of them.

When rejection attachment is treated, the individual may learn to develop healthier relationships, perform better at work and feel more self-confident over time.