Psychology Wiki

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Social psychology: Altruism · Attribution · Attitudes · Conformity · Discrimination · Groups · Interpersonal relations · Obedience · Prejudice · Norms · Perception · Index · Outline

Emotional rejection is the feeling a person experiences when disappointed about not achieving something desired. It is commonly related to a quest of emotional relations, usually by a man to a woman, or vice versa. A person may reject for several reasons: lack of reciprocal interest, circumstances like societal codes, desire to make the other person perceive difficulty ("playing hard to get") and fear of placing himself or herself in a situation of vulnerability and heightened interaction.

The act of rejection can make the person experiencing it undergo a sudden drop in emotion, learning that the anticipatory desire is dashed. This is displayed as something ranging from a vague sadness to major depression; and at the same time the rejected person senses helplessness consciously, perceiving that he or she is at the rejecting person's mercy.

People avoid or cope with rejection in various ways. For example, they may wish to correct this situation and to bring the rejecting person within their control. In this case a person may, for example, compile poems and unsent letters, a relatively innocuous way. Destructive responses include stalking or forcibly abducting the rejecting person.


The experience of rejection is often complicated in the presence of spectators. The mere attention of spectators, either during or drawn by an act of rejection, may seem humiliating to the person rejected. It goes without saying that in extreme cases he or she may feel as if put on a pillory. The prospect of this occurrence is often named as a cause for fear of rejection.

See also

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).