Afraid of rejection? Join every single other person on the planet! Image courtesy of Mister GC at freedigitalphotos.net
If youíre afraid of rejection causing you to shy away from people to avoid dealing with the painful emotions associated with this, or you become upset easily if every single person in your life doesnít seem to accept you: the first thing to realise is that every single person on the earth wants to be accepted. You are not alone in your fears Ė they are perfectly normal.
From an evolutionary perspective, an animal that is not part of its herd is more likely to die with none of the others being around to protect it, and it becoming an obvious target for prey. Perhaps humans have evolved with this same need.
However, sometimes fear of rejection, perhaps due to painful experiences can be so overwhelming and salient that we donít let ourselves become ďtoo closeĒ to others. Our reasoning may be is that if we donít get attached, we donít get hurt.
If you have been at the receiving end of painful rejecting or invalidating behaviour, the first thing to remember is that itís not about you. People who do the rejecting most often havenít even got to know a person before pushing them away. "Pushing away probably is not even the right term. It may be more that they are not in the space to know you, perhaps due to some personal obstacle they are experiencing.
Secondly, not every single person on the earth will accept you. I donít think any human has that much good fortune as to be liked by everyone. Besides if everyone did, it would mean you would have to be some sort of chameleon, an inconsistent person because the fact is, different people are attracted to different things. So, not having everyone like you means youíre well, normal!
Third, you are not the only person to fear rejection. Everybody does Ė itís a matter of degree, and people who appear brave and unconcerned have just mastered hiding their need for social approval a little more. Again, you are perfectly normal!
Fourthly Ė are you the kind of person who takes impersonal gestures to heart, perceiving them to be some sort of indication that the other person is thinking badly of you? Most of the time people think about themselves, and that includes all of us! Itís just human nature. The good news is that itís probably not even about you, so be glad theyíre not centreing their thoughts on you.
Fifthly, and most importantly, by fearing rejection to the extent that you donít get out there and talk to people your fear will increase. All avoidance behaviours centred around fear only serve to escalate the escapism behaviour.
Last but not least, if you fear rejection, you will miss out on knowing some fantastic people, on having your fears proved wrong, or even meeting Mr (or Mrs) Right.
So get at there, and take that risk. Thereís nothing wrong with you and everything right about you. You may not get the response you want the first time but thatís because all kinds of different people are in the world.
Donít fear rejection. Look forward to acceptance. Itís all around you, and look forward to meeting special people who could be friends for life.