Your entrance barred, the heavy golden doors melt into one another, sealing the way forever..
Rejection in any form can be hard to deal with, thinking that you are somehow unworthy is a response many automatically jump to. This is however not the only way to look at the situation, and certainly not the healthiest.
With so many situations in life requiring us to be included on accepted on a fundamental level, it is perhaps not surprising that so much stock is placed in the opinions of others and their value systems. This almost instinctive need to please has been fostered by media and internet culture, creating an entire generation who believe their worth is determined by the amount of acknowledgment and praise they receive from individuals they have mostly never met.
But what about when this praise is withheld, when images are not met with adoration, when the responses are not positive?
That golden door of acceptance seems a threshold we are always under but never through, and striving for approval can seem overwhelming when the alternatives appear to be exclusion and derision.
While these elements are not missing from the work I do, I approach them in a different way, and allow the players to view these situations not as dead ends but as opportunities to explore alternate paths.
This is not to say that some situations have no redeemable outcome, but in these rare instances the players are surrounded by peers who are likely experiencing similar emotions, and the sharing of ideas and points of view, can help those struggling with a particular element of this type of rejection.
The final point would be that even though these situations seem to stop us in our tracks, they provide an opportunity that, depending on how we deal with them, allows us each to prioritise our sense of worth over the opinions, behaviours, and beliefs of others.