Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria: Dealing With Bullies?


I am a member of a local sports club and there is a small group of other members that somehow do not like me. To be fair, I don’t even know why. I have opinions, but not more than other members.
I have accepted that some people might just simply not like me and I know that I should not care about their attitude, but it is hard.

They are a minority (4 people out of 100+), yet, they are overshadowing the positive and neutral others.
I can not escalate their nudges to the club representatives as they are very sublime. Yet, due to what I’d say is my manifestation of rejection sensitive dysphoria, it impacts me a lot.

How do you personally deal deal with “bullies” (for the lack of a better term)?

Thanks a lot!

1 Like

I had the unfortunate circumstance of a quietly gaslighting boss for about three years. I tried going to his boss, Human Resources, the organization Ombudsperson, all with no improvement and no resolution. I looked for another job, putting in transfer requests, putting in maybe a hundred job applications, doing about a dozen or so interviews, and no doors opened for me until the bad manager’s contract was terminated due to budget cuts.

(He didn’t add value to the organization, he dragged out down and cost us valuable employees. And still, they kept him three years instead of terminating him when it was obvious that he wasn’t a good fit. I wish the other employees had banded with me to report the issues with the manager, but they were all too scared for their own jobs, especially after I was written up for all kinds of unreasonable things, and in addition to the one actual bad thing I did… being a distraction by loudly griping about the boss to my colleagues.)

Does anyone else have trouble with the same group of people at the sports club? Does anyone else witness the trouble they cause for you? They sound like a bunch of jokers that I went to high school with, who I learned to avoid.


Some things to think about: 99% of the people won’t intervene unless things get really bad. Even if they may privately agree and sympathize with you, they won’t step up publicly. So you’re basically on your own. Given there are 4 people, you can’t fight them (perhaps except in a battle of wits but wits are not bullies’ strong point so any smart response will simply get them madder). Given your RSD, they are more likely to rile you up. So I think your best bet is to disengage. Don’t take their bait, ignore their provocations, smile politely, keep your mouth shut and basically ignore them or acknowledge them minimally and try to not think about whether they like you or not. Bullies usually pick target they can torment. If you don’t respond, sooner or later they will get bored and find someone else.

1 Like

Thanks for all your replies.

@khagen Yes, that is what I have been doing for the last two to three years. Despite the covid-induced limitations on how the sports club functions and a reduced contact time. They won’t give up. I totally know that this is also ridiculous on their side and I should find it funny that they are willing to waste that much of their own time. Yet, I can’t just brush it off that easily.

Sorry to hear that. I found one video on adult bullying that may be of some help: Adult bullying: The epidemic no one talks about | Kevin Ward | TEDxSantaBarbara - YouTube — you may also want to read comments on the video + do your own research. Apparently adult bullying is a very common problem.

1 Like

I find RSD is so crippling.
I had a situation work. I was the new employee and people I worked with didn’t welcome me into their click. It was a very odd situation to experience as an adult I thought my high school woes were over.
I kept to myself. Didn’t leave my cube. Wore noise canceling headsets but RSD wouldn’t leave me alone. My thoughts were so pervasive I wanted to quit.
Then I decided to change the narrative.
I brought food to work. Something as simple as bagels and my coworkers starting talking to me. Go figure. This made my day enjoyable just getting along and not being stuck in my thoughts. Being able to laugh and talk about what I did on the weekend made a huge difference. It’s still work to keep RSD in check and hiding is something really hard to do.

Now I get feeding a 100 people is a bit much but something as simple as changing up the narrative might help. When you someone makes you see red treat your enemy with extreme kindness or some quote like that.
Or if you want to avoid them maybe try exercising before the sport activity.
Before I was on medication I would ride my bike to work and back. Just being tired I think naturally put my RSD in check. Maybe try warming up on treadmill before the activity.

I wish there could be a way to turn down RSD. Like wearing glasses that would somehow alter our state of minds to not go down the rabbit hole but not to the point where we are mindless drones. You know keeping the creative innovative side of things but turning down the dial so it’s not at 11 all the time.
I love that I don’t have to be linear in this forum.
Using my Kirk side of thinking rather than channeling Spock.

Good luck and hopefully things improve for you.