Psychological insights on relationships: rejections, breakups, making relationships happy, unhealthy dynamics, and general psychology.

How To Stop Obsessing Over Someone After Rejection

It’s actually more likely that a number of different reasons are involved if you’re still fixated on the rejection you’ve experienced. Each of these reasons has a different solution.

Man and woman in toxic relationship

1. Rejection implies that someone doesn’t accept our being, our skills, and the things we bring and offer.

When people reject us, they essentially say they reject everything we are and that our skills are unnecessary. And that triggers another alarm that goes back to our past.

  • I often mention our past because it shapes our nature, aspirations, and fears.

Until not so long ago, everything depended on whether other people accepted us. If accepted, we would survive, but if we weren’t, we would likely suffer. The resources available to us would diminish, as would the help we could receive. Many documentaries depict situations in the animal kingdom where an individual ostracized from the pack is in great danger.

That’s why rejection from someone triggers danger alarms.

Solution:

  1. Understand that rejection by one person says nothing about your worth. People reject us for various reasons, mostly because of their preferences, and rarely because of who we are. Read more about it here.
  2. Work on the things you feel were the reason for the rejection. If you feel you’re not physically attractive enough, there’s no better time to address it because various techniques for improving your physical appearance have been invented, such as sports, cosmetic surgeries, and cosmetic procedures.

2. When someone rejects us, it’s a puzzle.

Couple in love obsessed

Why doesn’t that person want me? And the brain obsessively deals with puzzles because solving them establishes control over the situation. Let’s not forget that everything unknown and scary to us triggers the same reaction to the puzzle of rejection.

That’s why it’s necessary to obsessively think about what happened to solve that puzzle and feel safe.

  • No one said our reasons for being obsessed with someone or something were rational. Humans are not logical beings. Humans follow their instincts unconsciously, needs, nature, etc.

Solution:

Understand that you perceive rejection as a puzzle, but it’s not actually puzzling. Give yourself some answers about why you were rejected, and convince yourself of it. Solve the puzzle for yourself, satisfy your brain, and it might stop being obsessed with that rejection.

3. However, the Ego makes it difficult for us to solve this puzzle.

A man and a woman lie next to each other

How? By maintaining a good image of ourselves and not acknowledging negative suggestions. That’s its role. That’s why, even if we know why we were rejected, the Ego prevents us from admitting it to ourselves and accepting it.

To make this more transparent, let’s give a few examples.

First ego reason: I don’t know why they don’t want me.

  • Let’s say we were rejected because we’re not educated enough (it could be anything else).
  • The Ego must maintain a good image of us.
  • That’s why it seeks other reasons why we were rejected: I don’t know why that person rejected me.
  • That’s why we remain fixated on their rejection; the reasons are still puzzling.

Solution:

  • Give yourself an answer that will satisfy you, and stick to it.
  • Since we’re dealing with the Ego here, give yourself an answer that serves you and much less or not in favor of the other person.
  • For example, I was rejected because I was too much for that person.
  • Read: How To Handle Rejection?
Black couple breaking up but he is obsessed with her

P.S. If you have a problem with this because it’s not realistic, who says the reverse reasons (I was rejected because I’m too little for that person) are realistic? Always play in your favor, never in favor of others. The Ego doesn’t like that.

Second ego reason: What they told me is not true.

Essentially, inventing new reasons or looking for other reasons – serves you in some way. Maybe you don’t move on with your life (because you’re afraid of what lies ahead), maybe you’re aggressive, so you seek reasons to harass the other person, and maybe you can’t admit to yourself that you have a flaw. Your invention of new unknown reasons and exploration serve a purpose in your life.

Obviously, not believing someone and intensely dealing with it are two different things.

Solution:

There’s some more profound reason why you need to engage in this relationship. Address it.

Useful to read: Secondary pain.

That’s when we have something really painful for us, but we choose another, less painful thing and intensively deal with it.

For example:

  • Very painful: I think no one wants me, and I’m inadequate. It’s hard for me to deal with this.
  • Less painful: This person rejected me. I must deal with this.
A beautiful woman thinking obsessively about rejection

That way, we start to deal intensely with that person because it’s hard for us to face solving the original problem that requires facing our ego, investing time and energy, changing our personality, overcoming fears, etc.

Let’s say that one could say that we deal with situations rather than actual changes because situations are less painful.

Third ego reason: That person has seen my flaws! Oh no!

The basic premise is the same: the ego maintains a good image of ourselves.

  1. We are rejected because we are ________ (lazy, poorly educated…) or we are not ________ (educated, affluent…)
  2. We don’t want to admit our flaws to ourselves, and it’s particularly difficult for us because someone has recognized them.
  3. We contemplate that person because they have seen our flaws. The ego wants us to be well-regarded at all costs.

The solution is obviously in admitting to ourselves that we have some flaws and dealing with them to resolve them rather than deceiving ourselves.

Dealing with the problem that the person “saw” us only diverts time and energy from the real thing.

Fourth ego reason: They indeed won’t accept me because they didn’t get to know me well.

Black man rejected

Again, it guarantees staying in that (nonexistent) relationship. This means you will dedicate even more time and energy to convincing the person that you are better than they thought. However, this is never a good path because when people label us in a certain way, they rarely change their minds. Whatever we do, we’ll only seem more desperate and intrusive. The only way for people to change their opinion of us is for us to change.

So the solution is to change ourselves independently of that person through some actions. If the person is even remotely interested, they will notice our changes and change their opinion of us.

4. Inability to lose.

Many of my clients are not good losers, which is a shame because losing is one of the most common things that happen to us in life, so coping with loss is one of the most important things in our lives.
However, people who don’t know how to lose become obsessed with the situations in which they have lost.

  • Some contemplate why it happened to them.
  • Others can’t handle negative emotions.
  • Thirds lack the courage to move on.
  • Fourth, seek solutions to still win in that situation.

As can be seen, everyone except the fourth is stuck in their loss and obsessed with it.

Solution: Become a better loser. After losing, recover faster and get back into the game.

Read: How to deal with rejection and successfully overcome it

Man thinking about his toxic relationship

5. Perhaps you come from a family where you experienced a few unpleasant experiences.

You’re shocked that you’ve experienced these. People who have lived with fewer frustrations often don’t know how to deal with frustrations. It’s a new experience that has hurt them a lot.

Like if you were a perfect surface and someone gently ran their finger over you, a very noticeable trace would remain—superficial but a trace that ruins the overall picture.
However, any damage on a rough surface will be less noticeable. It might be completely irrelevant, considering many deeper and nastier damages.

A beautiful woman walking

It’s the same with people who come from perfect families. Rejections leave scars on their beautiful surfaces. And that one scar is something a person has to deal with intensely because it’s conspicuous and a rare imperfection.

Solution:

Accept the new reality. Accept that life will never be as cozy and gentle towards you as when you were in a family environment, but that even this life in which we experience injuries and rejections is not so scary. You are adults. Comfort was needed when you were a child and helpless. You don’t need it anymore. You are brave and strong, resourceful and adaptable. Adults survive ego injuries and rejections.

6. Negative thinking patterns.

Obviously, some people are more negative thinkers than others. This can be innate but also learned in the family.
So when such a person experiences a negative experience, they may contemplate it:

  1. To find some solution,
  2. To feed that need for negative thinking.
Rejected man

The need for negative thinking, as I said, can be innate (we are all born with it. Negative thinking makes us more cautious)

However, it can also be learned in the family (if your parents were neurotic or you copied the model from a family member).
In both cases, if you are prone to negative thinking, it needs fuel, so if someone has left you, it can be great fuel for an extended period.

Solution:

Understand that you have this pattern and that it makes your life difficult. Decide that you want to get rid of it. There are techniques for starting to think more positively. One of them is CBT. Also, I decided that I didn’t want to be like my mom, who always did that.

I hope you find this text useful. Dee.

Some more good reads:

How To Behave After Rejection

What Is The Best Reaction to Romantic Rejection

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