- 1a : to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use <rejected the suggestion> <reject a manuscript>
- b : to refuse to hear, receive, or admit : rebuff, repel <parents who reject their children>
- c : to refuse as lover or spouse
- 2obsolete : to cast off
- 3: throw back, repulse
- 4: to spew out
- 5: to subject to immunological rejection
Social rejection occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a interpersonal relationship or social relation. The topic includes both interpersonal rejection (or peer rejection) and romantic rejection. A person can be rejected on an individual basis or by an entire group of people. Furthermore, rejection can be either active, by bullying, teasing, or ridiculing, or passive, by ignoring a person, or giving the "silent treatment." The experience of being rejected is subjective for the recipient, and it can be perceived when it is not actually present.
Although humans are social beings, some level of rejection is an inevitable part of life. Nevertheless, rejection can become a problem when it is prolonged or consistent, when the relationship is important, or when the individual is highly sensitive to rejection. Rejection by an entire group of people can have especially negative effects, particularly when it results in social isolation.
The experience of rejection can lead to a number of adverse psychological consequences such as loneliness, low self-esteem, aggression, and depression. It can also lead to feelings of insecurity and a heightened sensitivity to future rejection.