I want you to think of something. . .
Are you ready?
I want you to imagine a sunny day in the City of New York. Let’s take a busy section, like say Midtown, and think of people walking or going wherever they go.
Think of the businessman (or woman) and think of the family man (or family woman) and the tourists near Times Square, which is a perfect place to consider because it is estimated that 330,000 people visit Times Square on a daily basis.
Imagine this. Imagine the random faces of people. Picture the hot dog carts and the uniformed officers. Think about the interactions and the stores, the delicatessens, the clothing shops. Consider the crowded walk during rush hour, everyone moving, everyone walking with the intention of heading someplace in a hurry.
I see this on a daily basis. I people watch on my way to and from my job site, located on the Eastside on Lexington Avenue.
Sometimes, when time allows, I take to the roof of my building. I look out at the rooftops and admire the tall structures and skyscrapers that have been there long before I was born.
I look at the new buildings under construction and pay my respect to the downtown skyline, which has been forever altered, but yet honored by the new Freedom Tower, which I look upon with love and memory for the lives lost on the tragic Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001.
It amazes me the population of this place. I am amazed by the different backgrounds and different cultures. It’s enough for me to stand high upon the roof of a building on Lexington and peer out across the East River, passed the U.N. Building and stare comfortably at Queens and think to myself of the places I have lived and the lives I have lived before this one.
Now, before you question what I mean about the lives I have lived, be clear, we all lived different lives up until now. We have all seen new chapters and gone through different phases. I know i have.
But I am here now.
Everything that has led me up to this point has been purposeful to lead me up to where I am; to be here and now, with you, and going forward, everything that happens will be purposeful to lead me up to wherever it is I am supposed to be.
I know this.
After my morning commute when the bus pulls into its gate at New York’s Port authority, I make way down the escalator or down a series of steps (depending upon availability) to get to a lower level and then down another escalator, down to the ground level, out through the double-doors, and then I head through another set of double-doors to arrive on 8th Avenue near 42nd Street.
This place has certainly changed over the years. . .
42nd Street has certainly changed too. But still, I walk through a sea of people and weave through the pedestrian traffic and keep away mindlessness of others that pay little attention to others that share the pavement with them. I try to dodge them so not to walk into anybody.
If time allows, I walk my way from the Westside to the East. But when time is not on my side, I take to the subway, the underground shuttle, which goes back and forth from Times Square to Grand Central Station.
I see everybody during this walk. I see every different facet of life. I see the wealthy. I see the poor and the homeless. I see the drunk and the sober, the dope-fiend, and the mentally ill. I see male, female, the crossdresser, the transgender, straight, gay, bi, and anything else you can consider. I see them all. I see people of all colors and races. And like me, all of them have someplace to be. All of them have an agenda. They all have wants and needs.
When I move onto the shuttle to head over to grand central Station, I look around at the facial expressions of people holding on as the train begins to move.
I think about them and wonder about their internal narrative. I wonder what is on their mind or if their thoughts are as intense as my own.
I wonder if I am truly alone or would I be pleasantly surprised to know that I am far from alone and that I am not the only one who thinks this way. I am not the only one that has worries or fears. I am not the only one that struggles in one way or another.
But yet, when the struggles come and when the anxiety picks up; when the rejection machine begins to tick and soon, the time-bomb is one tick closer to an explosion and it feels like my frustration is about to overload; I can say the world seems like an awfully lonely place at times.
And rejection is a bitch . . .
But is rejection real? Or, is rejection more accurately an interpretation based upon our perception?
What is rejection?
What does it mean to be rejected?
To be rejected means to be refused.
This means to be told the word “No.”
Rejection however, is also translated by our perception, which means to be discarded or refused. This translates to be unwanted, not by one, but by all. Of course, this comes in different levels; however, in such an interpersonal world, rejection sensitivity can be debilitating and difficult to live with.
There is something called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. This is a perception based dilemma. Dysphoria means a state of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and restlessness. According to attitudemag.com, dysphoria translates from the Greeks as “Difficult to bear.” And that’s right. Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria is difficult to bear.
But what does this mean?
- Bouts of rage or overacting when our feelings are hurt
- Criticism leads to depression
- Struggles with people pleasing
- Tough on one’s self as in our own worst critic
- Social anxiety
- Feeling overly sensitive
- Serious questions of sanity
- Overworking to create perfectionism because a mistake is literally detrimental to us, our health, and our very existence.
- Shame of emotions
- Imposterism (afraid others will find out the “real” you)
- Assuming the worst in all cases
These are said to be symptoms of Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria. (Thanks to attitudemag.com)
I say I agree.
I also say everyone struggles with this is one way or another. I am not a firm believer in titles; however, I do appreciate when a title comes along that at least gives a name to though process that so many people struggle with.
Rejection is like a weed that suffocates u from within.
Sometimes, my thinking gets in the way. I quit before I start. I lose faith. All roads lead back to rejection which questions my value and threatens my identity.
Sometimes my thinking gets the best of me. This is not me at my best; however, this is me when I allow myself to lose maintenance and forget my methods of self-care. And self-care is important.
One of the most valuable tools we could have is the ability to navigate away from irrational thought. This allows us not to personalize or internalize rejection or see this as a threat that questions our identity.
Rather than see things from an emotional perspective, we take to strategy. We use intellect instead of emotion and remove the weight (and importance) of outside opinion.
In the world I live in and the streets I walk through, I am nothing more than another face in the crowd of 1.6 million people.
Same as they have their own world and their own thinking, so do I, which means I am not as important as my fears might suggest . . .
What I mean is, when it comes to rejection, this weighs heavy upon the mind. When it comes to humiliation or shame, this weighs upon the mind of the thinker and less upon the mind of others. Seldom is the case when we are thought of by others as much as our insecurities recommend.
Rejection is the fear that someone might see though and find our weakness. This is fear if vulnerability but the truth is; we are all vulnerable.
Some just know how to hide this better.
Rejection causes us to question ourselves. Rejection hurts because we take this so deeply and personally. But in the end, none of this is real. In the end, this is just a thought process, which can be changed and improved.
I do not say that rejection does not hurt or that rejection does not mean anything. I’m only suggesting that rejection is often amplified in the mind, meaning the problem is perception based and can become bigger than what is implied by circumstance. I’m not saying this doesn’t mean anything . . . I’m only saying that rejection does not have to mean everything.
I walk the streets on a daily basis and weave through crowds and see different faces. And although I am basically moving anonymously, I know I am not alone.
I know I am not the only one that feels this way. I can improve. I have improved. And I will improve, every day, on a daily basis, from this day on, until my days come to a close.