15 Things That Suggest You Have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (RSD)


Do you see constructive criticism as a personal attack? Does the fear of being judged keep you from putting yourself out there? If so, you might be experiencing Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (RSD). RSD is a common condition that can make everyday interactions feel like a minefield. It’s characterized by an intense fear of rejection and a heightened sensitivity to criticism. Here are 15 signs that suggest you have RSD.

Overly Sensitive to Criticism


A simple “maybe you could try phrasing it this way” can feel like a personal attack. You may ruminate on the feedback for days, questioning your abilities and wondering if you’ll ever measure up.

Taking Things Personally

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You misinterpret silence or a lack of immediate response as a sign of disapproval. Casual comments like “I’m busy this weekend” can feel loaded with hidden meanings, leaving you hurt or confused and wondering if you did something wrong.

Fear of Failure


The possibility of rejection can be so paralyzing that you avoid putting yourself out there altogether. This might mean avoiding asking someone out on a date, participating in class discussions, or applying for new jobs you’re qualified for, all because you fear you may not be good enough.

People-Pleasing Behaviour


You bend backward for others to be happy, anticipating their needs and going above and beyond to avoid any chance of disapproval. However, this can lead to burnout and resentment, as your needs are constantly pushed aside.

Meditating on Past Rejections


Past rejections linger in your mind, replaying them repeatedly. You might obsess over what you could have done differently, causing unnecessary emotional distress and making it difficult to move forward.

Assuming the Worst

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You jump to conclusions, assuming rejection is inevitable before a situation unfolds. Such negative anticipation can fuel anxiety and make it harder to relax in social settings, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Getting Easily Hurt or Offended


An unintended joke or offhand comment can hurt or offend you. You may struggle to let things roll off your back, taking comments too personally and magnifying their significance.

Social Isolation


Fearing rejection may lead you to isolate yourself, and you’ll miss out on lovely connections, shared experiences, and opportunities to build meaningful relationships.

Holding Grudges


It’s hard letting go of perceived rejections, so you hold onto anger and resentment long after the situation has passed. Sadly, it can hinder your ability to forgive others and move on, impacting your current relationships.

Black and White Thinking


You see situations in extremes—either someone completely accepts or rejects you. Black-and-white thinking can make it hard to handle social situations, as most relationships exist on a spectrum.

Feeling Overly Self-conscious


Worrying about being judged or rejected by people is constant, making it hard to be yourself and relax in social settings. A negative self-consciousness like this can prevent you from being comfortable and authentic.

Difficulty Making Decisions


The fear of choosing wrongly and facing disapproval can make simple decisions overwhelming. Procrastination and indecisiveness can set in because of this and hinder your ability to take action and move forward in life.

Taking Blames


You take full responsibility for any perceived rejection, even if it’s entirely out of your control. Eventually, feelings of shame, worthlessness, and believing you are inherently flawed may set in.

Feeling Like a Burden


There is a persistent idea that your presence is unwanted or burdens others. This also leads to social anxiety and makes it challenging to initiate plans or participate in activities.

Emotional Outbursts


You might overreact with anger, sadness, or withdrawal when you perceive rejection. It may end up damaging your connections. As it becomes difficult to communicate effectively, you push them away and create a cycle of rejection.


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