The Fear of Rejection
Every one of us experiences rejection at some time in our lives. It may be when we’re turned down for a job we really want or rejected by a person with whom we want to have a relationship.
The truth is that the only people who never experience rejection are those who never have any interaction with other people. This makes for a pretty reclusive and lonely existence. Is that what you want? If not, let’s do something about it!
What is this Fear all about? Fear of rejection can be a by-product of low self-esteem. Do you lash out at others if you fear rejection may be forthcoming? Do you sabotage your relationships so you can be the one to reject the other person before they can reject you? Maybe to avoid being rejected at all, you simply withdraw from being socially interactive with others.
The fear of being rejected creates a damaging pattern of behaviour in our lives. It can cause us to feel that we are not good enough for our desired outcome. Within relationships, it can cause us to become obsessive, clingy and jealous and can also destroy relationships that have barely begun by becoming too serious too soon which may drive others away.
Rejection is Driven by Emotion
It’s important to remember how our thoughts make us feel. If we feel negative about ourselves, rejection can trigger off a number of other feelings. We may feel humiliated, lonely, pathetic, inadequate. The more we dwell on these feelings, the more pain we put ourselves through and the harder it becomes to try again for fear that the same thing will happen next time.
How Do Others Handle Rejection Easily?
A confident person realises that rejection is simply a part of the risk of living and that, in order to grow spiritually, we all have to take the occasional risk and step outside of our comfort zone. A confident person does not take rejection personally and may view it as a flaw on the other person’s behalf instead. In other words, they think it’s the other person’s loss. They don’t think of it as a failure on their part, they look upon it as feedback upon which to learn so they can ensure success next time.
Tips to Overcome Rejection
You may fear rejection if you’ve become accustomed to always trying to please others. Be aware of when you’re feeling this way and learn to say ‘no’ to people when their demands or requests seem unreasonable to you. By saying ‘no’ occasionally, you’re respecting your own needs. This will boost your self-confidence to a level so that you will understand and respect occasions when people might say ‘no’ to you too not because of any lack on your part, but because of their own needs.
Graciously accept any compliments you receive. Too often we brush off a compliment with, ‘Oh, it was nothing.’ Accept compliments gladly, simply say, ‘Thank you!’ and consider what the compliment says about you as a person. This will boost your self-esteem.
Imagine a scene when you’d usually be faced with a fear of rejection and create a successful ending to the scenario where your wishes are granted and you get the outcome you are hoping for.
By using this technique, you’ll start to feel more confident that the outcome you want is going to happen and that will become a replacement for the feelings of fear and failure you have trained yourself to expect.
Constantly remind yourself that you have a fundamental right to be happy. If you are not selected for a role for which you have applied or rejected by another person with whom you had hoped to create a relationship, take it as feedback and learn from it. The loss is theirs, not yours. Look for other opportunities that may generate the desired outcome.
If you hold back from interacting with people because of your fear of rejection, you simultaneously miss out on the potential happiness, warmth, fun and excitement that other people can bring to you. If you never put yourself in a position where someone can say ‘no’, then you’re also denying yourself the opportunity of being in a situation where someone can say ‘yes’.
“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” – Sylvester Stallone
Do you have other coping strategies that have worked for you?
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