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How You Can Overcome Your Fear of Being Rejected

fear of being rejected

One of the scariest things people anticipate is rejection, but getting over the fear of it will bring you one step closer to emotional maturity.

Aristotle once said, “Humans are social animals.” From the moment of our birth until the day we die, we will always long for the company of our fellow men. Our natural bonding behavior predisposes us to seek out and form new relationships, which could be as mundane as helping out a stranger we barely even know or something deeper like falling in love.

Considering that we love the company of other people, we would naturally want to belong and hate to be rejected. Rejection is being spurned or cut off from the association of others, or simply put, being “unwanted.” This is often one of a person’s greatest fears, and one would go to great lengths to avoid being rejected. This fear of rejection is one of the main driving forces that influence our social behavior, how we see ourselves, and how we form new relationships.

A life experience concerning rejection could make or break our perception of the issue. For instance, a person who got severely rejected could be traumatized and develop a sense of fear and insecurity towards rejection. Everybody fears rejection to some degree, but overly fearing rejection makes us adopt unhealthy behaviors in order to avoid it.

Why do people fear rejection?

To start off, let us explore some of the main reasons people would go to great lengths to avoid being rejected.

#1 People fear rejection because it feels unpleasant. Nobody wants to go through the embarrassment, the disappointment, and the self-questioning that happens after you get rejected. If you get rejected the first time, the first thing you ask is “why?” Is it your physical appearance? The manner of your dress? The way you talk? These are some of the questions that run inside your head when you get rejected.

#2 People fear rejection because it diminishes your self-worth. If you get rejected by someone, you tend to view yourself negatively. Getting rejected makes you think that you’re inadequate or unappealing to be associated with, in contrast to acceptance and approval, which boost our ego and confidence.

#3 Rejection means being alone. Getting rejected gives one the idea of being alone. Nobody wants to be isolated, so a person’s natural reaction to rejection is to avoid it. [Read: 12 quick tips to add more people to your social circle]

How does fear of rejection affect people?

A fear of rejection can be gleaned from some of your overt behaviors, such as the following.

#1 People-pleasing behavior. Inasmuch as we tend to be careful to please the people around us, people who overly fear rejection tend to put up with a persona meant to please everyone, up to the point of putting their own welfare behind other people. This also includes the difficulty to say “no” to other people for fear of being rejected. [Read: 20 signs you’re too much of a people pleaser]

#2 Rigidity. As a result of developing people-pleasing behavior, the person often feels constrained by the persona, where their activities are patterned for the people around them, the inability to voice out a particular idea or stance to avoid dissenting others’ ideas, and extreme susceptibility to peer pressure.

#3 Vulnerability to manipulation. People who fear rejection lose their assertiveness and their ability to stand up for themselves, making them fully dependent on a dominant peer figure. This makes them easily manipulated or used by the people whom they wish not to be rejected by.

Tips for overcoming the fear of rejection

It is important to note that everyone fears rejection to some degree. It is when you develop an excessive fear that it will start to harm your relationships and self-perception. These tips can help you overcome these fears, in order to foster healthier relationships with others.

#1 The “fear” is merely a state of mind. If you think about it, almost all people have experienced rejection at some point in their lives, yet they’re still very much alive and functioning. And surely you personally have rejected people too. It just happens.

If you give this a little thought, it is the fear itself and not the rejection that makes you vulnerable. If you lose the irrational “fear,” you will see rejection as something that’s a normal part of social interaction, thus helping you avoid the effects associated with these fears.

#2 Rejection is a part of daily life. Remember the saying: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” In the same manner, rejection will not kill you. You’ve been and will be rejected in the future, and you will still be here, alive and functioning.

#3 Rejection teaches life lessons. People will normally think that rejection is all bad, with all the grief it causes. Most people fail to realize that rejection can be a personal learning experience. With a little optimism and open-mindedness, you can see that rejection is a way of people saying “no” and a sign for you to learn when to stop. All it takes is for you to learn from the experience, so that when the time comes when you’ll be confronted with a similar situation, you will be ready.

#4 You will never be truly alone. As stated, one of the reasons why people fear rejection is because they believe that they will be isolated and unwanted. That is absolutely untrue. If you get rejected by a person you like, you still have your friends, associates, and family. Keep in mind that the people who will accept you greatly outnumber the people who will reject you. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Everyone has that core group of friends, or a best friend to support you in case things go south. And if you notice, it is that inner circle of friends that will always be there to join you for a drink if you get dumped or rejected by someone you like.

#5 Rediscover and appreciate your individuality. Another reason why people get fazed by rejection is the idea that acceptance equals self-importance. People who fear rejection too much develop a people-pleasing attitude, which makes them agreeable to anything, even if they’re uncomfortable about it.

Remember that you are a unique individual, and that you know yourself better than anyone else. You should know better than to pattern your activities to suit everyone’s tastes. Time to flip the switch, and start doing the things you see fit for you, even if it leads to a few rejections.

#6 If someone rejects you, there are others out there who are worth your attention. Rejection is never more meaningful when it comes to romance, as it is more painful and distressing compared to other forms of rejection. As the common saying goes, there are a whole lot of people out there.

If someone rejected you, it’s not the end of the world. You don’t have to mope and vow you’ll never try dating again. And it doesn’t mean that you’re a despicable person who doesn’t deserve to be loved. Whoever rejected your advances may have had a good reason to do so, and it’s a cue for you to just accept it and move on.

[Read: 9 reasons men get rejected by the woman they want]

[Read: 20 reasons he simply doesn’t like you back]

#7 Rejection could make you a better person. If you get rejected, you either get discouraged and reclusive, or you could take it as a challenge to improve yourself. The key is to always stay positive and keep in mind that rejection is not equal to animosity towards you as a person.

If you get rejected in a job application, a sports try-out, or a talent audition, it tells you to stop, backtrack, and improve whatever craft or skill you have. If you think you’ve improved, then try again, stronger and more confident this time. [Read: 7 powerful ways to combat and break out of loneliness]

Rejection is a normal part of our social life. You will be rejected every now and then. Be if from a clique, a job interview, a credit card application, or from a romantic interest, you will experience rejection.

Though painful and unpleasant at first, the “fear” associated with rejection is merely a state of mind. It should never define who we are or dictate how we would bear ourselves in this cruel, snobbish world.

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Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...
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4 thoughts on “How You Can Overcome Your Fear of Being Rejected”

  1. Peter says:

    There’s nothing beyond it feeling unpleasant that’s enough to make me want to run away from rejection. Yeah, I’ve knowingly put myself in some pretty compromised positions just to not feel the sting of rejection, but it’s sometimes worth it just to have that little high of having people in my life. I’ve lived a pretty solitary life, so having people around is definitely a new experience thanks to my introverted nature. I’ll definitely try applying some of these tips to see if things improve for me. I know I’m being seen as a sucker in some cases and I’d like that to stop. Thanks.

  2. Mickey says:

    Question: Can someone please tell me how many vicious smackdowns from the so-called “fair sex” a guy has to endure in the very unrealistic hope of just getting a freakin’ date???

  3. ADAM says:

    I’ve been rejected for so many times that I don’t really care if I get rejected again. It has gotten so normal for me that I just became a douche bag. I’m not a pretty boy and I don’t let that hold me back. I really just have the time of my life now. Don’t fear rejection because you won’t get anything. Believe it or not, when I started to not fear rejection and just treat it as a normal reaction for people, I got more hook-ups. That’s what makes my life so easy now and I’m more happy. I don’t have to deal with the constant fear of getting rejected by somebody. Let me tell you my experience at a new country I went to recently, Osaka, Japan. I don’t speak the language but I had no choice but to go there because my family invited me to go with them. As usual, I go my own way and act like a lone wolf. I got hooked up with 16 different Japanese women in our 5 day stay. Do the math to that and you could really tell that I’ve never been rejected there. Well, I did,m the first time I asked a Japanese girl. She just wasn’t into me I guess. But, I gotta tell you, they think Caucasian guys are the superior race so that’s why I found it easy to get into their pants and even more than that, if you know what I mean. I had the time of my life there and there, I set my world record for myself. LOL. The last girl I hooked up with was by far the best one I hooked up with. She spoke perfect English so we didn’t have trouble communicating. She moaned like a the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. I don’t want to brag but I made her cum more than 6 times in our 3 hours stay at a motel in Osaka. I even got her skype ID and phone number in japan because that’s how much I like her. She was the only one who truly understood my body language and made me a really, really happy guy. We have been skyping for 3 months now and I guess you can say I never face rejection anymore. We have fun in skype although we only see each other online. I never tried to hook up with anybody anymore and so did she. I just think we’re perfect for one another now and we’re happy together. I’m going to file a petition for her to become a US citizen this year and after she gets here, we have 90 days to marry, so she could stay here permanently and become a US citizen. Isn’t that amazing? The power we Americans have is so strong. We have the power to get a girl from anywhere in the world just because they think we are superior. Don’t get me wrong but the girl I met and fell in love with, she isn’t superficial. We fell in love in the most deep way, nothing is superficial with us. We enjoy each other and that’s really what matter to me. I don’t need her to do anything she doesn’t like, she doesn’t want me doing anything I don’t want to do too. I heard that when an Asian and Caucasian have babies, their babies could become hollywood actors because of their looks. I’m really hoping for us to have a baby. The first thing I’m gonna do when she gets here to the states is make her pregnant. She already knows this and she’s happy that she would be having a baby soon. I just think that she would be so happy in the states even though I have nothing against japan. I think japan is awesome. She’s the most beautiful girl in japan, in my opinion though. She my banging ASIAN girlfriend, yo, and I’m proud of her!

  4. wafer says:

    it’s not more on the fear of being rejected, actually I am anticipating a seriously embarrassing moment for myself. I just find it really uncomfortable to be rejected, I mean, who would want to be rejected anyway? Why do people reject people and why do they have to reject them in a bad way. I’ve had my share of rejections and every one of my rejections have been unpleasant. I really can’t forget my rejection in front of a crowd of people. I was pursuing this beautiful girl that I knew in school. I prepared everything perfectly, we were in the school’s big field and I’ve gathered 100 people to dance to the tune of Bruno Mars ‘ just the way you are. I choreographed everything to the tee and been rehearsing for 2 weeks. I would be in the center of a huge crowd and at the end of the song, there, they would all reveal individual letters spelling down, WILL YOU BE MY GIRL? She looked liked she enjoyed it but when I gave her the mic to give her answer as I was kneeling down to her. She said sorry, cried and said no. She ran away from the crowd. I didn’t know what to do. I never felt anything like this before in my life, the worst feeling ever. The worst case of embarrassment I could get in my whole entire life. How could I even learn to love again after that painful and mostly embarrassing rejection? All the people who helped me took pity on me but some of the bystanders really put their insults in the air and waved them like they just didn’t care.

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