This article describes a new model that provides a framework for understanding people's reactions to threats to social acceptance and belonging as they occur in the context of diverse phenomena such as rejection, discrimination, ostracism, betrayal, and stigmatization. People's immediate reactions are quite similar across different forms of rejection in terms of negative affect and lowered self-esteem. However, following these immediate responses, people's reactions are influenced by construals of the rejection experience that predict 3 distinct motives for prosocial, antisocial, and socially avoidant behavioral responses. The authors describe the relational, contextual, and dispositional factors that affect which motives determine people's reactions to a rejection experience and the ways in which these 3 motives may work at cross-purposes. The multimotive model accounts for the myriad ways in which responses to rejection unfold over time and offers a basis for the next generation of research on interpersonal rejection.
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