Diann Wingert: What To Do When You Feel Rejection from Head to Toe
Updated: Mar 15
“I do not think it serves most humans to have a stigmatizing label,” says Diann Wingert, therapist turned Mindset and Productivity Coach. “I think once the label becomes your identity, it is a trap, and it will be your destination.” In her work as a coach, Diann has found the label of “Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria” particularly harmful, as it implies that extreme reactions to rejection, criticism and exclusion are in some way pathological. Instead of viewing RSD as a pathology, Diann instead helps her coaching clients adopt the mindset changes and resilience skills necessary to overcome rejection and move forward with confidence.
Diann tells listeners that rejection sensitivity played a key role in her own burnout experience. As a licensed therapist, she often found herself shaping the work she did with clients so that they would like her, as opposed to initiating the tough conversations that would propel them towards true growth and change. As a result, she began to resent her clients, along with just about everyone else in her life. It wasn’t until she closed her practice (and sold every last piece of furniture in the office!) that Diann was able to forge a new path for herself and establish the professional and personal boundaries necessary to end her burnout for good.
Tune into this week’s episode of FRIED. The Burnout Podcast for a conversation with Diann Wingert about coping with rejection. Learn about the dangers of pathologizing a normal human experience, why identifying resentments is a crucial step towards overcoming burnout, and how mindset changes can make a world of difference when it comes to silencing your inner shitty committee.
“I was seeing up to ten people a day, five days a week...and after five years of that, I realized that I was becoming impatient with my clients, I was tired of listening to stories that I thought were redundant and repetitive, and I literally wanted to stand up and say, ‘Haven’t we been talking about this long enough? Don’t you want to get on with it?’ And I thought, you can’t do this anymore. You are no good to anybody, including yourself.” (3:50-4:18)
“The emotion that I wasn’t paying attention to and the one that ultimately propelled me out the door was resentment.” (5:05-5:14)
“I didn’t want to be rejected by my clients. I was taking responsibility for their results, so I was shaping the work I did with them according to what I thought they could tolerate...because if I pushed them beyond what they could tolerate, they would be uncomfortable, they wouldn’t like me, and they’d leave, and I couldn’t help them anymore.” (11:20-11:45)
“I do not think it serves most humans to have a stigmatizing label, and what I often find is that many people claim it, cling to it, and embrace it as an identity because it explains things, but it also can provide a place of safety and acceptance with others who also claim that identity. And while I think it’s very important to say, ‘This is my felt experience, this is my reality,’ I think once it becomes your identity, it is a trap and it will be your destination.” (24:30-25:14)
“Most people resent the medication that helps them because of what they make it mean.” (28:44-28:52)
“One of the things I find myself saying to my clients all the time is when they start to go off on a diatribe about how ridiculous they are, how stupid they are...I say, ‘Of course. Of course you did that. Of course you felt that way. How else would you feel?’” (49:50-50:13)
“The sensitive people in the human tribe have always been the ones who are the most creative and have the most unique solutions to common human problems, but if we shame their sensitivity, they will go into hiding, and we will never know what they have to offer the world.” (51:31-51:45)
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