Find Your Self Rejector (Your Inverted Advocate) - Teal Swan Articles - Teal Swan Jump to content

Find Your Self Rejector (Your Inverted Advocate)


Many of us are engaged in self-sabotage. We do things that hinder our own success, that go against what we want the very most and that cause our own destruction. It is easy to assume that we have parts of ourselves that are against us, almost like living with an enemy inside of our own skins. But what we don’t realize is that these self-sabotaging parts of us, these “enemies within” are not enemies at all. 

The way that consciousness works is that when we encounter difficult experiences, our own consciousness fragments. Even though we call ourselves by one name, we have many different parts of ourselves. They exist like internal Siamese twins because they share one body… the body we call ours, but they have very different perspectives and personalities and values and reasons for being. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Fragmentation, the Worldwide Disease.

A significant portion of our internal fragmented selves are comprised of parts of us that contain traits that are vulnerable. Things that didn’t keep us safe in our specific environment. And parts that are protectors for those vulnerable selves. For example, a person who grew up in a family that only cared about productivity and disapproved of anyone who wasn’t busy, may have a vulnerable part of themselves that is slow and loves to be in the present moment. But may have created an internal protector for that part which is driven and disciplined and is constantly pushing to do more. 

What most people do not understand, but what people must come to understand, is that the parts of someone that are self-sabotaging, are in fact protector parts within them. You could consider these parts of self to be inverted advocates. They are convinced that what they are doing, is helping the person in some way, even if what they are doing has negative consequences. They perceive that the harm they have chosen is less dangerous or painful than the alternative. 

Today, I want to talk to you about one specific un-recognized protector within people that perhaps causes the most damage to a person’s life… The Internal Self Rejector. When we are young, to experience rejection, is soul shattering. It not only causes us to feel like our survival is at risk (because we are relationally dependent as a species), it causes us to form the self-concept that we are bad, wrong, unwanted, unlovable, defective and that we lack value.

Before you become comfortable with the limited image in your head of rejection, being something that only looks like a child who is abandoned or a child who is being scapegoated, keep in mind that when a child in a family finds a way to change themselves so as to become exactly what a parent wants (as is more typical with a golden child), underneath the acceptance and praise they receive, they too feel as if their real self is rejected. So does a child in a family who is largely ignored or who spends a lot of time alone and who we might call more of a lost child. Rejection can take on many different forms.

When we experience rejection, we subconsciously think that we have one hope of actually maintaining alignment with the people we need and love… the very ones that are rejecting us… To triangulate against ourselves. We split our consciousness so that one part of us pushes the rest of us away, so as to gain rapport and alignment with the person rejecting us by virtue of having a common enemy. Only this time, the enemy is US!

As seemingly backwards as it sounds, we create a part that is protecting us, specifically by rejecting us. We create an internal rejector. The goal of this part is not actually to destroy you, even though this is often what ends up happening in the long run. The goal of this part is the following: 1. It is more painful when someone else does something to you than when you do it to yourself. Therefore, taking the power away from those who would reject you by internalizing rejection, beating them to the punch and doing it pre-emptively, is experienced as less painful. 2. It is done to maintain connection with those who originally rejected you and who may currently be rejecting you by agreeing with them about yourself. 3. To cause you to withdraw or isolate so as to avoid the constant pain of disapproval and of not being able to do anything to change the parts of yourself are being rejected. 4. To get you to stop doing what is getting you rejected (when you can).

The internal self rejector is similar to the inner critic in that it is established in response to the exact same experience. Only the self-critic is designed to alter your behavior to conform to what would get you acceptance. To understand more about the inner critic, watch my video titled: Inner Voice, The Inner Critic is your Friend, not your Enemy. The self rejector on the other hand, is designed to get the external rejection to stop no matter the consequence to the self… To control other’s behavior or gain power over their behavior. 

So that you can understand this dynamic better, I’ll give you an example. Martin’s father left when he was 2 years old and his mother hated men. She demanded that Martin become exactly what she needed, so she could lean on him like a surrogate husband. His whole life, he felt as if his father could not have left unless the truth was, he was worthless. And his mother’s constant rants about men and demand for him to be exactly how she wanted him to be, made him feel as if he was not only rejected by his dad, but also his mother. The vulnerable part of himself that experienced all of this abandonment and hate against his maleness and deliberate molding so that he would be something else, tried to get the rejection to stop by creating an internal rejector. Over the course of his life, this part has managed to keep him safer by taking the heat away from people’s conflicts with him and pacify them by agreeing with everything bad they say about him. It has managed to get him to stop doing things that would make it so he is all alone. It managed to get him to be able to stay a part of his family. It managed to get him to live by himself, so that he can be himself and not be living directly with people who would inevitably reject him. 

However, let’s look at the downside to this sabotaging strategy. Martin was a budding tennis star. In his first international tournament, he won. But unlike the other players, when he won, his family was nowhere to be seen and all his friends, being bummed about their loss, did not celebrate his win. He felt more rejected for winning than he felt for losing. And as a result, Martin chose to quit being a tennis player and he decided to deliberately lose matches and then quit to be a coach of other winners instead. Believing that no one will actually value and love the real him, Martin has never put energy into figuring out his truth and genuine desires. He does not know who he really is. He establishes relationships on the basis of codependency. He goes into relationships by figuring out what will get him approval and cause people to want him and conforming to that. But he can’t keep it up long term. So, he ends up going into incompatible relationships and inevitably being rejected any time his real colors come out. When people have issues with him and shame him, he agrees with them about himself, reinforcing the internal rejection. Instead of examining whether he genuinely wants to change something about himself and doing so in a way that is for himself instead of against himself OR instead of really positively owning that thing about himself and putting himself in a compatible situation to it, he feels guilt, feels he “should” change, but puts no actual energy into changing, and tries to overcompensate by doing something else unrelated that would get him approval. He is actively engaged in self suppression 24-7. And he dissociates in his relationships so as to keep himself close to the people he loves but also distance himself from the pain of their rejection at the same time. Martin sabotages his life and his relationships over and over again because this protector of his is willing to do anything else damaging, just to avoid external rejection or to get other people’s rejection to stop. 

When you have an internal self rejector as a protector part, you will be so concerned with getting the external rejection to stop or avoiding it, you will not embark on a process of self-discovery so as to be authentic. You will end up putting yourself in incompatible situations where people will inevitably reject you. It is a set up from the get go. Not only that, it’s your only familiar way of interacting socially and therefore the only social situation you feel comfortable in… it’s the devil you know. On top of this, because of the law of mirroring (often called the law of attraction) when you have an internal self rejector, you will be a match to people who reject you. 

It is essential to see, hear, feel, understand and appreciate your self-rejector part. It is also essential to help it to make a decision about whether the consequences of what it is doing are genuinely worth the rewards and to re-purpose this part of yourself so that it is more of a direct advocate rather than an inverted one. 

All this being said, one of the most powerful things you can do, is to work with and integrate the part of you that is your internal self rejector and the vulnerable part that created it as a strategy of protection. To understand more about how to do this, you can watch my video titled: Parts Work (What is Parts Work and How to Do it). You would also benefit by watching two of my other videos. The first titled: The Truth about Narcissism and Codependency. And the Second being The Secret to Overcoming Your Problems, which is about the process of exaltation.

The internal self-rejector is an attempt to stop suffering and pain from happening. But you will find that often our attempts to avoid one kind of pain, only land us in another kind of pain.







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