May 18, 2016
April 14, 2020



Jeremy Lim, M. Clin.Psy.


Dr. Johnben Loy, Ph.D., LMFT

The following is a summary from Dr. Johnben Loy’s talk on BFM Radio on Relationship Rejection.

As humans, we are wired to connect with each other. However, this longing can be difficult especially when a relationship dissolves. Especially in a committed romantic relationship, a breakup can affect our self-esteem, mood, and even health. This is because coming out of a romantic relationship may make us question ourselves.

Lauren Howe and Carol Dweck (Stanford University) studied how different people deal with rejection in a romantic relationship, looking at how personality is related to the impact of romantic rejection.
The researchers found that:

  • If we view personality as fixed and unchangeable (fixed mindset), romantic rejection will have a greater negative impact on us.
  • If we believe that personality is changeable and can be improved (growth mindset), we have a healthier sense of self and am able to handle relationship rejection better.

Now, if we want to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, there are a few things we can begin with. We could..

1. Embrace the fact that change (even of a fundamental personality characteristic) is possible.

2. Try to understand why the other person rejected us.

3. Consider how our attitudes and behaviours contributed to the rejection.

4. Talk to other trusted people for different perspectives on the rejection.

5. Give ourselves the time and space to grieve healthily by having good social support, not self-harming and coming to a place where we are able to acknowledge both the good and bad in the relationship.

Metamorphosis of the European Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), showing 3 instars: caterpillar, chrysalis and adult.

To listen to the interview, please click here (link).

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