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MindBlind 03-13-18 06:41 PM

Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
So rejection sensitivity is a very common issue for ADDerís. Iíve always known this, but in recent times itís become very clear that this is possibly one of the core issues I face. Specifically, a fear of being rejected for being incompetent or unreliable or less capable. Iím afraid that if I canít maintain a job that I will not be able to survive on my own. This is a pathological fear Iíve had my whole life and Iím realising how damaging it has been for me.

Iím trying to tell myself that a job is a job and not to build my self worth around that, but itís difficult to change that mindset when itís been like that your entire life. Itís hard to find intrinsic value in yourself when youíve repeatedly been told, explicitly or implicitly, that you need to be fixed or that you need to catch up with everyone else. And I probably could ďcatch upĒ but Iíve told myself this story that Iím **** for so long that Iíve set myself up for failure, again and again and again. I get paranoid at the first whiff of any disapproval, which makes my performance worse, which makes people critique me more, which fires up my paranoia again, and so on. Iíve been drinking a lot to cope with my emotions as well as binge eating, even though I know that it will have a knock on effect for the future. I ruminate over stuff, which keeps me up and makes me feel crappy. Iím getting in my own way of living a ******* life!

Anyway TL:DR, my self loathing and fear of rejection is bad and ruining my life.

Who else has a similar issue? How do you deal with it?

DeClutter 03-13-18 07:03 PM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
There is a certain irony about Rejection Sensitivity.

On one hand ADD may make us more sensitive to rejection, or less able to regulate feelings of rejection, it may even make us misinterpret a benign act as rejection. Finally ADD can actually be the reason we get rejected too.

But the sacrifices we make to avoid rejection can often be much much worse then the possible rejection itself. It can span the whole self-sabotaging spectrum ranging between perfectionism and total avoidance. And when that spins out of control the fear of rejection can become the main motivator that drives our lives. Then we can reject ourselves upfront already before anyone has had the chance not to reject and proove our fears wrong.

sarahsweets 03-14-18 06:19 AM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Do you feel that this is similar to fear of failure? I do not have it very much anymore but for years (especially the non sober ones) I would be so afraid I would fail at something that I would either not try and tear whatever it was down or self sabatoge because if I was going to fail anyway damn it it was going to be ME who decided how and why! This kept me from doing a lot of things and at one point years ago due to something traumatic that happened to me outside my home, gave me agoraphobia and I couldnt leave my house for around 4 months and then slowly through exposure therapy I was able to leave, walk somewhere and eventually drive. So I think the two are similar.

DeClutter 03-14-18 07:23 AM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Good question, sarah.

I think the fear of failure is ultimately driven by an fear of rejection.

Possible action > Fear of Failure > if i fail i will be unworthy and get rejected.

Or to put it in other words, if you absolutely knew you would not be rejected because of it, would you still be afraid to fail?

MindBlind 03-14-18 02:42 PM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DeClutter (Post 1988504)
Good question, sarah.

I think the fear of failure is ultimately driven by an fear of rejection.

Possible action > Fear of Failure > if i fail i will be unworthy and get rejected.

Or to put it in other words, if you absolutely knew you would not be rejected because of it, would you still be afraid to fail?

Yeah, for me itís like a primal survival thing. Ultimately, Iím afraid that I wonít be able to survive and being rejected by ďthe groupĒ, whether that is a job, friends, family, society, etc, that is a fast track to extinction.

sarahsweets 03-15-18 04:26 AM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DeClutter (Post 1988504)
Good question, sarah.

I think the fear of failure is ultimately driven by an fear of rejection.

Possible action > Fear of Failure > if i fail i will be unworthy and get rejected.

Or to put it in other words, if you absolutely knew you would not be rejected because of it, would you still be afraid to fail?

Wow, THAT is a good question as well. Im really not sure. I think if I knew I wouldnt be rejected over time, for multiple things that I would get to a point that I would no longer fear failure- but Id have to go through fearing failure for awhile until I got used to it. So, in a nutshell, I think I would still fear rejection.

DeClutter 03-15-18 04:17 PM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sarahsweets (Post 1988568)
Wow, THAT is a good question as well. Im really not sure. I think if I knew I wouldnt be rejected over time, for multiple things that I would get to a point that I would no longer fear failure- but Id have to go through fearing failure for awhile until I got used to it. So, in a nutshell, I think I would still fear rejection.

Issue is - and this took me a while to figure out - that rejection is actually a 2 component system.

Ofcourse we always perceive rejection to have an external cause. Somebody may not like your sense of humor, someone may disagree with something you did, or you may even be rejected by a love interest.

So far, some people will take these things in (very) deep as rejection, others may just not be touched by it that much or not at all. So if the external events are similar, there is a different inner component to rejection to explore.

We may have learned to "link" external situations that have some possible form of rejection or disapproval, with old internal recording that plays things back to us like "I have a poor sense of humor", "Why do i always screw up?" or "I am defect and therefor not loveable".

And that tape starts playing whenever a situation triggers the rejection alert. It not only confirms the rejection, but also puts the cause totally on ourselves, stripping away whatever self worth we may have left in us.

with this tape we actually reject ourselves... over and over again... and it plays even in situation where there is no rejection... or ahead of time for possible events that did not even happen yet.

And what you describe Sarah is actually that: this tape would echo on for a while even in a world without any rejection.

And the fear of failure is actually a fear of having to listen to that self-talk tape we end up playing to ourselves

DeClutter 03-15-18 04:34 PM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MindBlind (Post 1988541)
Yeah, for me it’s like a primal survival thing. Ultimately, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to survive and being rejected by “the group”, whether that is a job, friends, family, society, etc, that is a fast track to extinction.

Yeah, i get that, that it is an underlying fear to be left all alone and not cared for. Extinction even yes. But perhaps our reaction to that fear actually produces the outcome we fear.

To calm these fears we may either not show our true selves as we try to fit in, or we isolate ourselves to avoid the rejection we expect so nothing can touch us.

Both approaches end up with us feeling lonely, disconnected and unworthy. And this keep that "Extinction" fear alive. How can we break that cycle?

Little Missy 03-15-18 04:52 PM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Oh God, criticism.

Urobouros 03-25-18 04:28 PM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
My utter inability to take criticism has been getting worse and worse over the years. I always feel attacked and get really defensive. Even knowing thatís my tendency, I canít stop getting angry.

sarahsweets 03-26-18 07:34 PM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Urobouros (Post 1989715)
My utter inability to take criticism has been getting worse and worse over the years. I always feel attacked and get really defensive. Even knowing thatís my tendency, I canít stop getting angry.

The anger needs to be worked on imo. I dont mind criticism when I feel its warrented-but thats also subjective. IMO its not healthy to get angry over criticism- that causes resentments and resentments are poison to your soul.

Gypsy Willow 03-28-18 03:48 PM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DeClutter (Post 1988644)
And that tape starts playing whenever a situation triggers the rejection alert. It not only confirms the rejection, but also puts the cause totally on ourselves, stripping away whatever self worth we may have left in us.

with this tape we actually reject ourselves... over and over again... and it plays even in situation where there is no rejection... or ahead of time for possible events that did not even happen yet.

And what you describe Sarah is actually that: this tape would echo on for a while even in a world without any rejection.

And the fear of failure is actually a fear of having to listen to that self-talk tape we end up playing to ourselves

So how do we erase the tape? I do this in romantic relationships. I fear they will leave so I get mad first.

Urobouros 03-29-18 12:54 AM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sarahsweets (Post 1989847)
The anger needs to be worked on imo. I dont mind criticism when I feel its warrented-but thats also subjective. IMO its not healthy to get angry over criticism- that causes resentments and resentments are poison to your soul.


I agree completely. Iíve started to step away the minute I feel myself getting mad. It doesnít work every time but weíve finally started to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

As to erasing the tape, I havenít figured that out yet. Iíll be happy to just turn down the volume...

DeClutter 03-29-18 05:09 AM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gypsy Willow (Post 1990027)
So how do we erase the tape? I do this in romantic relationships. I fear they will leave so I get mad first.

Well. step one is to KNOW that this is just a tape, an echo that triggers emotions and behaviours.

Step two would be aware WHEN that tape is playing, and this is tricky cause our emotions to the messages on that tape will make it feel "real",

Step three would be to not resist the tape. Let it just voice its 'opinion', but then as a good moderator in a discussion panel thank it for its 'opinion' and then switch to other voices within you that want to offer a different opinion. Take a deep breath and listen to your intuition or your rational mind.

And this is not easy. The tape feels so familiar as the tape has been playing our whole lifes, and new messages kept being recorded on it after every "failure" we took personally. It may even feel as if the tape is there to protect us from harm.

But that is just cause the tape taps in to our deepest fears, it KNOWS our deepest fears, its a bit like a demon, a mental parasite that stays alive because it thrives on our fears and loss of control. And in order to survive it needs to play that tape, so it keeps us anxious and full of doubts. It certainly does not wants us to grow in any way.

Thats why trying to fight these thoughts rationally is so hard... what you resist persists... and it is exactly what that tape demon wants... Attention of the mind, to keep you conflicted and in struggle, so you keep listening, react to or agree to those messages, use its input to create projections about negative future events and reactions and as a consequence keep the self-defeating behaviours that it causes alive too. (eg. getting mad because you fear abandonment, and possibly create cause for abandonment yourself that way)

So regarding your question... we do not erase it, we let it play on just like you would with any irritating piece of muzak that you hear as you walk down the shopping mall. You are not going there for that music is it?

DeClutter 03-29-18 05:26 AM

Re: Rejection sensitivity and self worth
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Urobouros (Post 1990067)
I agree completely. Iíve started to step away the minute I feel myself getting mad. It doesnít work every time but weíve finally started to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

As to erasing the tape, I havenít figured that out yet. Iíll be happy to just turn down the volume...

Ofcourse the question is why we get mad (or when we look under the anger are hurt) by criticism? I have been wondering about this for the past week...

And the answer i so far found is that for a breef moment this is all we are... we become zoomed in on this little negative comment, just a few words, a failure or shortcoming that we ourselves - or sometimes other people in their own anger - blow out of proportion.


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