Self-Criticism is the killer of self-compassion, and you know what kills self-compassion the most: rejection. But I have stressed before, and in public, that without rejection we wouldn’t have the great pieces of art in the world. Sometimes, rejection is a blessing in disguise, and what makes spiritual people say “There’s a reason for everything.” You see, when we are rejected, and not necessarily by a loved one, it can be a family member, a friend, a career, when we’re rejected we tap into a very primal instinct of ours. One of emotional survival, something that is so strong we feel it in our gut. We fear rejection so much that some have taken to not form any strong connections at all, fearing that one day they will be broken. It’s the same fear we have of avoiding climbing tall buildings. But the fear of rejection will never stop rejection.
As males, there’s another barrier we face, the one we face in many different ways, the dreaded gender box. The gender box we’re in tells us that males are not supposed to be weak, that we can handle all, and not cry about it. The only time we should feel vulnerable is when our team loses, or we lose a loved one. Therefore rejection is something we should not worry about if we’re “actual” men.
Depending on how we handle rejection though is what makes us human, even with regards to other social animals. After all, rejection is very much a social problem. Animals can reject another animal completely from their tribe and they would be doomed to death, humans have the ability and privilege to seek out new tribes. Hence connection is the key to surviving rejection. Self-compassion can be the key to withstanding rejection, but vulnerability is the key to self-compassion. Understanding your worth as a person and not just as a man. Self-compassion means understanding your thoughts and not fight your feelings.
The thing is with rejection is that two forms will arise, a person that will reach for a hand or reach for a bottle (or another form of abuse). Great or terrible things can happen after rejection, depending on your scale of self-compassion or self-criticism. Be nice to yourself, you never know, you could make our next great art.