Rejection sensitivity – its a bigger deal than you imagine

Rejection sensitivity is a term commonly used to describe an exaggerated or heightened emotional response to perceived rejection or criticism. It is often associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit DisorderADD and can significantly impact the emotional well-being and interpersonal relationships of individuals with ADHD. Here are some key characteristics and effects of rejection sensitivity in people with ADHD:

  1. Emotional reactivity: Individuals with ADHD and rejection sensitivity may react strongly and intensely to situations that they perceive as rejection or criticism. They may become highly emotional, experiencing feelings of sadness, anger, hurt, or anxiety.
  2. Sensitivity to social cues: People with rejection sensitivity in ADHD may be hypersensitive to social cues, such as tone of voice, body language, or subtle signs of disapproval. They may interpret these cues as rejection even when it may not be the intention of others.
  3. Fear of rejection: Due to their heightened sensitivity, individuals with ADHD and rejection sensitivity may develop a fear of rejection. They may anticipate or expect rejection in various situations, leading to anxiety and avoidance behaviors.
  4. Impact on relationships: Rejection sensitivity can strain relationships as individuals may react strongly to perceived rejection from loved ones, friends, or colleagues. This can create misunderstandings, conflict, and difficulties in maintaining healthy relationships.
  5. Self-esteem and self-worth: Rejection sensitivity can negatively impact self-esteem and self-worth in individuals with ADHD. They may internalize perceived rejections, leading to self-doubt, self-criticism, and a heightened need for external validation.

Addressing rejection sensitivity in ADHD often involves a combination of strategies. Developing effective communication skills, building resilience, and improving self-confidence can also be beneficial. It is important for individuals with ADHD/ADD to understand this better. It is one of the less talked about issues but can cause significant problems in, for example your professional and relationships. A better understanding of how this affects you and your own personal experience of this is a good start to reducing its effects.