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16 Feb 2004

Rejection controls my life
I have been a very loving relationship for 3 years, with a very caring and supporting partner. However, I fear I might be losing him. It seems that I always suffer as the "victim", I also take things personally and our communication is suffering accordingly. Things have been getting worse and worse, and it just don't make sense, seeing that otherwise I have a wonderful relationship. It feels to me that nobody ever listens to me, I fear rejection, and therefor counteract that with very emotional and aggressive outbursts. I lose my temper, and my main purpose then is to really hurt my partner with abbusive words and arguments. I totally lose control but after the outburst I feel so bad - I hate it when people is angry at me - I know I should sound like a total nutcase?

On the other side, it also feels as if he sometimes don't listen to me. He is a very analytical person, and my arguments and conversations are usually not very structured and focused on the problem. That really gets to him, and then he jumps to conclusions, because in his frame of mind that is not the way he would have approached the situation. I've been in a previous relationship that lasted for 4 years, and there it also felt as I am always the victim... I am not a stupid person, I am in an executive position, and really has a very succesful career. Please help, the fear of rejection is ruining my life
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Pisces,
it sounds as if you and he speak two different languages, psychologically, more different than English and Afrikaans. You talk Emotionspeak, focussed on expressing your emotions rather than on specific problems and difficulties which need solving ; he speaks LogicSpeak, and prefers to analyze a problem, understand it, and logically work out a solution. Both can be useful approaches to life, but when carried extremes, it's maladaptive. I expect that the more you emote, the more he jumps to conclusions in a desperate atempt to find some conclusion, as it appears to him that you're rushing round in circles. it's a difference in styles.
The less he pays attention to your emotional statements, he more desperately you try to press them onto him, and the more he retreats into attempts to be logical about it. You cant, of course, be logical about purely emotional issues ; nor does it work to be emotional about problems that have a solution accessable by logic. A combintion of the approaches works best. When you raise the emotional temperature as you describe, it's as if you are shouting at him, and the more one shouts, the less the other person is able to hear of what you're actually trying to say.
I wonder, though you see these problems in terms of a fear of rejection, whether it is less a rejection of you ( he's caring and supportive and has accepted you, tantrums and all, for 3 years --- that's an awfully nice form of rejection !). But maybe he finds it hard to cope with high levels of expressed emotionality, and it may be that aspect of your style that he ( and maybe some other people ) may at times reject, not you yourself.
As kernel points out usefully, when communicating is important, check whether he has understood what you were saying ( and vice versa ) --- people who seem unreasonable may in fact be responding pretty reasonably to the message they received, even if it wasn't the message you thught you were sending.
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