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Stopping self from slipping into old patterns

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My therapist is the greatest. I've made more progress in the last year than I have in the last 5 years. But it's terrifying!!!

I have a huge problem with rejection. I'm extremely sensitive to it. My therapist has helped me to learn that:

1. Everyone experiences rejection; my sensitivity to it just means I feel it more deeply.

2. Rejection sometimes says more about the other person than it does about you. In fact, it may have nothing to do with you.

Thing is, even as I learn these things, I still slip back into the old way of thinking and feeling sometimes. For instance, I have a friend who has blown me off recently. This is a guy who wanted to date me but I didn't like him and instead we became friends, but eventually he met someone and then dropped me as a friend. Even though I know objectively that there are many reasons he might have dropped me that have nothing to do with me, it still hurts. Nowadays I'm able to take one "extra step" in my mind, which is that I give pause and don't make assumptions about people's behavior the way I used to, and instead i try to think about other possible explanations for it. I've also become less sensitive. But in the end, it still hurts when something like this happens. Is it possible to get to a point where it won't hurt?

I've become WAY more laidback...accepting of others...and accepting myself. But all it takes is one setback and I sometimes retreat back into my sensitive shell and those old feelings of worthlessness come back. Do you think I can get to the point where I won't regress as much?

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Do you think I can get to the point where I won't regress as much?

Definitely. But that doesn't mean that you won't slip sometimes. And it doesn't mean that it will ever feel completely natural. For me, that kind of sensitivity doesn't go away per se, but it can be understood and managed. Keep working on it. It does get easier. You will get to the point where you are not so easily devastated by (perceived) rejection. You will get to the point where you realize that when you do get that sense of rejection, it's more about them than you.

Most people are very self-involved and rarely take the time to really pay attention and see what is going on with other humans. It's not that they don't care, it's just that they have their own problems and stresses and deadlines and people wanting stuff from them.

Even when you do feel that old feeling of worthlessness coming back, you now have the tools to talk back to it, to figure out why you're feeling that way and question the validity of the feeling and turn around your mood.

Keep it up. Progress is hard, but it's still progress.


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