Question about Jessica's Latest Video on Rejection Sensitivity

I have a question about Jessica’s latest video on the YouTube channel.

It’s about rejection sensitivity and related rejection-sensitive dysphoria, and I liked it a lot but I was surprised to hear her talking about this “sensitivity” thing as though it is an ADHD characteristic. I am getting the impression that there’s a complementary suggestion or implication going on, but it’s kind of nonsensical to me. It seems, she’s suggestion not only that ADHDers have a hard time with rejection (OK, true, I can buy that much) but also that, to the contrary, non-ADHDers do NOT have a hard time with rejection.

So, maybe I just don’t get what she’s discussing. I kind of figured that, rejection being a negative experience and all, any human (with ADHD or not) would not like rejection. Any human would find rejection to be worse than acceptance, right? I mean, are there actually people out there (mainstream people; leave the barnyard freaks out of the equation for a while, ok?) who actually DON’T feel sensitive about rejection?

I followed most of the video easily enough. But this implication, this hint, lurking behind it, makes me wonder if I’m not getting a very strange message, either from her in the video, or from the rest of my life experiences. It’s like, a whole world is opening up to me, a realization that out there on the planet for all this time most other people actually … wait for it … LIKE ? … getting rejected? That just … makes no sense to me. What am I missing.

Thanks for any help on the topic … sorry if I’m being thick …

I’m glad you asked! What I think she was indicating was not that neurotypicals don’t experience pain from rejection, but that neurotypicals are hardwired to cope with rejection and bounce back quicker than those with malfunctioning executive functions.


Ok, so i feel there’s a few things to unpack here.

  1. Remember that ADHD has been found to stem from an ongoing deficit of the executive function, an issue in itself that is not exclusive to ADHD, furthermore, nor are the symptoms. This is why so many adults go on undiagnosed.
  2. The two rejection sensitivity issues Jessica refers to at the start, she also mentions aren’t exclusive to ADHD but are more commonly found in those with ADHD.
  3. Jessica then goes on to unpack different strategies and why they work for people with sensitivity surrounding rejection, particularly those with ADHD, who have issues regulating their emotions in general. (Emotional regulation is a part of the executive functions)

Hope this helps explain the video and clear a few things up for you. :slightly_smiling_face:


I think context is important. Many people with ADHD experience ongoing rejection and invalidation in their lives. Either they’re told they’re not trying hard enough, their work isn’t good enough, they failed to meet expectations, they’re lazy or not living up to potential, or other judgmental comments. They lose friends due to inconsistency, and often times friends will stop being friends because they don’t want to deal with the impulsivity or other symptoms of the ADHD person. ADHD people also like immediate feedback, so when someone is slow to respond or doesn’t give immediate approval it can feel like a rejection.

Bottom line, ADHD people experience a lot of rejection in their lives, and thus they are keenly sensitive to it. Like Jessica says, there’s a difference between Rejection Sensitivity which is common across many disorders and people, and Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. They’re similar, but a bit different.

There’s definitely no sinister or judgmental undertone in the message. It’s just something that’s been talked about a lot in the ADHD community and for many it helps explain why they can feel so hurt or unwanted when certain things happen.


Well let’s consider the skinny about this . . . :rofl:

Seriously though, I agree that sometimes we “brains” claim exclusivity to traits that are common with neuro-typicals too! Like we need to gather up all things presumably unique to us. Doing so waters down the criteria for how we think diagnostically. Pretty soon we could “just be like everyone else” and risk convincing ADHD deniers that “yes we are”!

I understand that diagnosing ADHD (and a host of other “mental” conditions) is still an amalgam of art and science. But let’s seek to move the needle closer to science!

(just my opion)


I think I asked the wrong question, but your answers are helpful anyway. !

But now I’m wondering … have I ever experienced acceptance? Or, more accurately, I’m wondering, what does it feel like to have a sense of ENOUGH approval or acceptance? It’s entirely possible that I have lived so long without help under this ADHD shadow that I now have learned to feel that the NORM is constant rejection. I don’t think I know what acceptance or approval feels like. The video implies that there are a variety of potential responses to rejection viz., the ADHD-style sensitivity response exists, and merits mention, and the mere fact that it exists implies that there must be other possible responses. And that, therefore, my own response (if indeed I have one; I didn’t know that I had one at all until I saw the video, but it certainly stands to reason) is probably not the only response possible.

From this, I am learning, that my response is continual. Have I been under rejection-sensitivity feelings for all my life? What’s it like to NOT feel rejected? Or, to know you’re rejected but then not feel rather sensitive about it? Wow, the mind boggles … you could actually, umm, enjoy stuff? Wow …


Interesting concept you pose here.

Is it rejection exclusively when interacting with people, that you are experiencing?

Do you feel you often ‘need’ the acceptance or approval of others when you make decisions or carry out tasks?

Is there something specific, or a scenario or part of life in particular that you are struggling with that’s weighing you down?

Or is when you’re ever in a group scenario or environment that you feel out of place?

I’m intrigued. :thinking:

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This is interesting because I think, for me anyways, I often have anxiety and over think everything I say. I have always been this way, too critical of myself and thought people generally didn’t like me. Like in the video alot of brains are used to rejection or criticism it’s almost something that will never go away, but when I talk to “normal” people they do not feel the same. Sometimes I get anxiety before I talk to someone and can’t even say what I want to say at times because I’m so nervous it wont be taken right. I think it needs to be researched more because I do think there is something to this, I mean if so many brains have found this connection to RSD or RS, we can’t all be wrong.


I haven’t seen the video yet but I thought rejection sensitivity was being over sensitive to rejection, so, like, jumping to the conclusion that rejection is happening or will happen or has happened.

But actually I hit reply to ask @cliftonprince: what happened to your avatar? I miss the :cowboy_hat_face: picture already :sob:

Edited to add:
I’ve watched it and I did have thetright idea about what it is. So is’s not that anybody likes being rejected, but that some people are too quick to interpret something as rejection. Apparently people without it can keep calmer for longer than people who have it.

That said, I thinik it’s not only a learned behaviour (based on real rejection happening so often that we start to expect it), but also one that we can make go away if we interpret thsngs differently. Which Jessica kind of says too. Whether it completely goes away or not is perhaps hard to say. I know that mine has improved, and had put it down to generally improved optimism and realising that things are often not about me.

Fact checking is really good, but you have to get back to the yellow zone to be able to do it. And if you dot’t have a dog to stroke you can (mentally) hug yourself and/or do the counting your breathing thing. Anything physically calming would work I thiInk.

Mr M’Gee, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry


So, thanks for all y’all’s comments.

I see a few (equally valid, probably!) interpretations going on here. One is, that the video suggests that some people are overly sensitive when they get rejected. Another is, that the video suggests that some people overly often assume that they are rejected, when they might not necessarily be rejected. Another is, that although the rejection may have had only a reasonably negative level of impact on some of us, and although it was a reasonable interpretation to say that it was indeed a rejection, some of us allow the negative feelings to continue on well into the future for an unreasonably long time, we rehash the negative experience unreasonably more than necessary, we live under the shadow of the (probably rather mild) rejection and allow it to dominate our future lives much more than reasonable. I hadn’t thought to consider these various possibilities, will have to think on that subject. They’re obviously related – and based mostly on subjective interpretation strategies, of course, but still worthy of thinking about. And realizing I’m doing it (if I am; which I am figuring is likely the case …).

I am not thinking in terms of one particular situation here. I’m just realizing that I don’t have in the memory vault any experience of acceptance. I have always been either neutral (as in, I wasn’t trying to get anything, win anything, succeed, get a date with a pretty girl, etc.) or negative (as in, I didn’t get it). Of course this is entirely subject to my own interpretation or misinterpretation – there are bound to have been plenty of occasions in my life when I did gain something I was actively (or more passively? by assumption or just “intertia,” f.e.) seeking. But I don’t look back on those occasions with much “hoorah” or “success” (acceptance?) feeling. I simply have a sense of “that took place in the past” about them, no more, no less. Whereas, if you were to ask me about my overall general history, and I were to get a long view of it, I would say, no, I’ve always felt rejected. I know of some specifics I can name – never been paid adequately for a real job, to the point that workplaces actually COST me more money than I earn by working there (thus, it is the rational economic choice to quit work, believe it or not); never got to go out with the girls I wanted to date, because when I asked someone, that meant she could say “no,” so, when I did have a date, it was to my chagrin that I was stuck with the person I wasn’t very interested in. Other scenarios exist in my mind, won’t belabor them here. Point is NOT, that woe is me I’ve had such a bad life everyone does reject me. I’m not saying that this is necessarily an accurate view of the past. Point is, rather, that woe is me I’ve oddly always FELT like everyone rejects me. Even if they didn’t. And I had no idea that this was a feeling which was out of the norm, when compared to the majority of the human population. The sense of rejection (if that’s what I really want to call it; not sure) has been so pervasive that it underpins everything to the point that I never really noticed it. Kind of like being left-handed – if I didn’t know that many other people were not left-handed, I never would have noticed that I am left-handed. There’s nothing inherently bad about feeling a preference for the left rather than the right hand; but there is probably something bad about preferring a sense of rejection so much that it becomes the natural state, the assumption.

I certainly don’t feel a need for approval or acceptance from others. I’ve sometimes wondered if maybe I’m excessively independent in that sense. When you’re in grade school or there abouts, if your experience was anything like mine, you might recall that adults were often asserting the lesson that you shouldn’t care what other people think about you. If you know you’re doing the right thing, they would say, then don’t worry if everyone around you is doing something different, go ahead and be yourself and do the right thing! I think it’s a lesson designed to bulwark against the onslaught of peer-pressure and negative peer group manipulation that is inevitably going to start happening soon enough as the student moves on from grade school up to the junior high adolescence level. “Don’t worry what other people think” can be a very good moral underpinning for a young mind. But I think I took that lesson too far to heart. You can’t actually have a girlfriend or a job, if you GENUINELY manage to NEVER worry about what other people think. “Dear boss, here’s my work, I know you will be unlikely to approve of it but I don’t give a hoot what you think about it, so now pay me,” probably won’t work very long will it? “Dear hot young woman whom I wish to turn into my girlfriend, I will now do things that make you disapprove of me, (not in that tricksy bad-boy dangerous way, of things which you say you dislike but which you actually respond positively to, but rather in the direct disapprovable way, like, I’ll wreck your car and insult your mom and cheat on you and not bathe regularly and pull your bra strap like we were in grade school and play Frogger with my friends and smear week-old pizza on my overweight-belly-clad t-shirt), but you have to be my lover and my confidante and my best friend anyway.” Not gonna work. So, no, I don’t think I’m an extreme approval-seeker. I make the mistake of going a bit toward the opposite extreme, I think, but I am guessing that I am within reason, not at an extreme.

OK so, that’s some thoughts. Love the Hulk GIF, maybe I’ll use that as my avatar. Can’t recall which one I had here, it’s gone the way of all my internet images, I’ve taken the Covid lockdown as a chance to really cut back on all my internet presences, including images of myself. What did the old one look like? I had several at different places. I think I prefer knowing that my social (and discussion board) media presence is more considered, less ad-hoc, so the act of cutting out images is just one of many ways that I’m encouraging myself to NOT just type up a quick (and often callous, or at least flippant) response to everything. Since I know I’ll be tempted to delete much of what I make if I am not careful to limit it, I take more care to make only something which is worth making. With the backlog largely erased now (getting it all off of Facebook was a nightmare!) I’m starting with a clean slate.


I had really bad rejection sensitivity and Attachment issues.
Like i would want a female motherly teacher figure to love me and be proud of me and if she wasnt i would feel so rejected and would self harm etc to get her attention.
Any tips on this anyone, is it related to adhd?

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