What Do You Internalize When You Hear This Word?

For many of us, the word “no” is just a fact of life. Not everyone will be on board with our ideas, plans, comments, or want to do what we say. “No” is an expression of a desire, or a boundary. For most, no just means that the person doesn’t want to do it, or a rejection of a suggestion. But that isn’t the case for everyone.


Some people struggle with the word no more than most. To these individuals, “no” is seen as a rejection- not of an idea or perception, but of the individual themselves. When you say no to them, they take it personally. Their happy place tends to be with agreement and harmony. Declining something means that you oppose which may generate internal conflict thereby disrupting homeostasis within their thought process.

Why Does This Occur?

Feelings of rejection can manifest in many ways, and under varying circumstances. People who suffer from rejection may be/have experienced:

  • Abuse in any form. Because abuse involves fear and manipulation, often abusers withhold affection from their victims if they don’t comply resulting in rejection/insecurity issues.
  • They were picked on or bullied. They learned not to trust people, or have low self-worth. Rejection is painted with the same brush whether the person was just saying no, or rejecting them. It’s perceived as the same thing.
  • Low self-esteem
  • Divorce or a series of bad relationships. This, too, can stem from an upbringing in an abusive situation.
  • Bad relationships wherein control and manipulation took place. Abuse doesn’t always have to exist in these situations.
  • Can arise when physical/mental issues exist. Again, it goes back to self-perception and how well the person copes.

The person’s ability to cope and support network play a huge role in whether the person will develop attachment or rejection issues in the future. Some children are bullied by others, and reject what is being said over their lives. They are secure in who they are and accept the way God made them. For them, the bullying has no effect.

For others, it sets them up for a life of destruction. Those that have issues surrounding rejection are often untrusting in relationships, and keep people at a distance. They have challenges showing love (if they do at all because love is a vulnerable state for them) and receiving love.

Why Are They So Sensitive? Just Because I Said “No” Doesn’t Mean That I’m Rejecting Them?

No it doesn’t, but that’s what they hear. They’ve heard the phrase, “not good enough” so often, and experienced rejection so much that it has become internalized. Too many people have bailed on them, or proven themselves to be untrustworthy. And sometimes, the lack of trust stems from abuse issues and one parent not being able to protect them.

This perception that a parent didn’t come to their rescue when they needed it further fuels the rejection feeling. It also instills the thought that if mom/dad couldn’t prevent the abuse from happening, the only one I can depend on is myself. For others in this same situation, they just hear the words, “not good enough” which plays in the background between alternating bouts of verbal and physical abuse.

How Do You Heal? How Do You Move Beyond A Destructive Paradigm?

Helen Murray discusses the very real internal struggle that goes on with those who suffer from feelings of rejection. She also teaches about how those who struggle with feeling loved and accepted by others can feel the love of God.

She instructs you on how God’s love is different from those displayed by others, and how it is the only love that can heal your brokenness in this area- if you let it. She will also discuss how to melt a heart that is used to rejection and has become hardened- especially in marriage.

This feature and many more in our next issue of Faith Filled Family Magazine coming out on April 26th. Don’t miss any of our upcoming issues! Feel free to sign up for our free subscription, push notifications, or follow us via social media.

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