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For Trump, rejection is promotion

Jan 19, 2017 By Betty Starks Case

He's more fascinating psychologically than politically

Will I get tweeted? Twaddled? Twiddled? (Hey, they're all in the dictionary).

What will be the response to my daring to write a column about our presidential inauguration just one day before it takes place? Or, for that matter, about the inaugurant himself?

Why should a big man with a combative temperament need to respond with a "chirping sound like a small bird?" (Webster's definition of "tweet.")

I've always wondered why psychologists in the political realm haven't analyzed this matter and offered us suggestions as to what happened in the honorable leader's childhood to make him feel so put-upon each time someone out there disagrees with him. Or fails to see him as a golden prince who will possibly drown us all one minute and seine us from the swamp the next.

Wouldn't those students of human behavior suspect that his transfer from home and family to military school at age 13, with a history of school troubles, might bring answers? Online bios suggest his parents hoped the military discipline "might help channel his energies in a more positive manner."

But kids don't understand rejection any better than the rest of us, and being sent away to live with militant strangers at that age could create lasting repercussions. It's long been considered sheer cruelty that American Indian children were once sent away from home for their educations.

Trump also taught himself to see rejection as promotion. It sounds ludicrous, but ludicrous does get attention.

And yet, he also sounds like a person determined to make positives out of negatives. I think I understand that - sort of.

As a child, when my language and art leanings drew attention, I suspect I used them to compete with the accolades of natural beauty my younger sister received.

In my teens, when my boyfriend deserted me at a dance for a city girl, I was deeply humiliated. I decided to show him he wasn't needed. I enrolled in advanced education in another state.

Both decisions proved to be "promotions" in my life's journey.

Response to rejection takes many forms, however. I once knew a woman who came down with physical ailments every time someone said something she felt as criticism. Finally, her husband tired of being called from his important office job to rush her off to the emergency room.

"Peggy," he told her, "You are going to lead a miserable life if you allow yourself to be made ill by everything others say or do that might seem aimed at you."

One day she asked me, "Do you think my husband is right?"

"Could be," I said, trying to be gentle but honest with an idea she might reject. "Others may not be thinking of you at all."

That might be a shock to our president-elect. No doubt it was to Peggy. But it could be a good lesson to learn.

It could even free up some very useful talents hiding behind the insecurities.

Then, perhaps, we could help our new president put into action all the ways his talents could "make America great again."

(Hope he doesn't read this and demand, "Lock her up!")

So why haven't we heard televised or newspaper analysis from someone with other than a political view of Mr. Trump's combative response to criticism?

For years, we've been told that rejection-sensitive people often perceive hostile intent from others, and that it is usually born of early childhood situations.

From that angle, perhaps the highly respected civil rights leader John Lewis was wrong. Shouldn't he have known when he publicly criticized Trump that he'd stir up a hornet's nest? What was achieved? Won't Trump still be president tomorrow?

Finally, if combative response to perceived rejection was practiced by us all, wouldn't we be wasting a lot of our time and energies on the negatives when we could be accomplishing good stuff? Most of our citizens have learned to know their own strengths and just let the irritants slide off like a slippery egg white when the shell is cracked.

Enter Ivanka.

Ivanka Trump Kushner: Savvy business woman, smart and well-balanced from any angle, yet feminine to the core, our new president's trusted First Daughter.

Let's give Ivanka a comfortable chair in the oval office.

Right beside her dad.

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2017-10-15