The Reaction and Rejection Stage
Growth in Grief & Change
During the Rejection/Rationalization stage, we do everything to keep from accepting the reality of the situation. We deflect by changing the subject, even if it’s in our own mind with ourselves. Has someone avoided talking about something you specifically asked them about? This is what deflection looks like. They could be scattered in thought and possibly anxious, or they are clearly avoiding the question. This is normal when we are grieving and adjusting to loss and change.
During the Rejection/Rationalization stage, we do everything to keep from accepting the reality of the situation.
Have you ever treated someone or something (think pet) really poorly and there wasn’t a rational reason? Perhaps you were projecting blame onto them without consciously realizing your actions. When people are hurting, they project their own feelings and insecurities onto others taking little to no responsibility. Loss and change hurts. This is a normal stage of grief, however, if it lasts too long there is concern. Our goal is to recognize our grief and move through these stages.
Have you ever minimized the impact of an event as an attempt to not feel the pain? Listen to your responses and reactions to others. Take a step back and ask yourself if there is more to your statements. Are you trying to reduce the effect it has on you as a wishful state of being? The best step we can take is to journal and then verbalize how difficult this is for us. This is not weakness, it takes a lot of strength to accept reality.
This is what the Rejection/Rationalizing stage may look like as well:
- If only…..
- If you had….
- If I had…..
- Why God…..
Keep these writings and visuals handy to remind yourself and those around you of the normalcy of these stages. This is not an excuse to be rude or disrespectful. It just is. So BE with it and work through it.
This is part of an ongoing series on Growth in Grief.