Fear of being rejected by a man or a woman, fear of being left without support – many people have such feelings to one degree or another. However, for some people it becomes almost a phobia; it subjugates their whole life and requires the help of specialists. What is it, where does it come from and what to do about it? Why do people fear rejection?
Where Does Fear of Rejection in Relationships Come from?
According to fear of rejection psychology, it appeared in ancient times when the prospect of being expelled from the community or the tribe meant that a person would have to survive alone, which, in turn, was difficult to do. In fact, this fear equaled the fear of death. But we live in a different time and in different conditions, therefore, it is worth realizing the truth: if we are rejected, we will not die. Maybe we will be sad, lonely, or scared, but we will not die. Fear of rejection phobia just reduces self-confidence.
Many of us are afraid to express our requests aloud, ask clarifying questions, and frankly admit our desires because of this fear. For example, if a man calls his woman, but she doesn’t pick up the phone, he thinks that she just doesn’t want to communicate with him, and even worse, she has stopped loving him or has found a new boyfriend. Such a man is driven by an inexplicable fear of being rejected by a loved one. And this is one of the biggest turn-offs in relationships.
Moreover, such fear of rejection in relationships can activate a stormy imagination, and also block the most important desire – to love and be loved, meet ladies online and find men. So, for example, after breaking up with a loved one, a man can avoid meeting with potential partners. And even if a new woman proves the opposite to him with all her looks and actions, entrenched fear of rejection often prevails over the desire to start a new relationship.
8 Fear of Rejection Symptoms
Fear of rejection symptoms may arise due to various personality disorders, and, therefore, may differ in specific cases. But mostly, people have the following symptoms.
1. They are overly self-confident
People with a narcissistic, selfish character, as a rule, mask their fears with excessive self-esteem, idealization of themselves, lack of empathy, and excessively high demands on others. Such an approach discourages having close relations with such a person. But this is just their external image. They are very afraid of rejection inside.
2. They are in a passive position
People with a fear of rejection will try to avoid situations that may allow them to establish stronger relationships with others. They often refuse of competition and their dreams. If they exclude situations that may end in rejection, then there will be no pain. Victims of fear of rejection talk about how their life might develop, and what kind of force majeure obstacles prevented them from realizing. They often only think about the possibility of changing their lives but are inactive.
3. They don’t want to be responsible
In such people, the fear of rejection can be manifested by a feeling of helplessness, submission to someone, a lack of their own opinions, and a desire to shift responsibility for their actions to others. Such men and women are so subordinate to others that they can’t function independently. Therefore, their fear of loneliness is extremely strong.
4. They may have a borderline personality disorder
The symptom may be going to extremes in social relations (from love to hate) or emotional instability, always standing in the way of a happy relationship. They think that others are constantly discussing each step with each other, envy of their success, or just avoid communication. It suggests that the whole life of these people goes with an eye on others.
5. They hide their real feelings
People will mask their fear of rejection due to suspicion, mistrust, and long-term moral injuries. They analyze all conversations with people and look for words or intonations in them that supposedly insult or humiliate them. Such people share their findings with interlocutors immediately or during the next conversation to accuse them of rejection. As a result, frustration intensifies.
6. They have a fear of being hurt
For most of us, fear of rejection in dating can be a fear of experiencing damage and pain. Aversion to unpleasant experiences pushes us to conduct stupid things. We rather move away from people, than risk approaching them, and refrain from expressing our true feelings. We refuse others before they have the opportunity to do the same with us.
7. They are not sure of their attractiveness
At a cognitive level, they may be afraid that failure will confirm their worst fears – they are considered unattractive, doomed to loneliness, or worth little. When these fear-based thoughts spin in their minds, they may be worried or depressed. Cognitively oriented therapy will help these people identify disastrous thoughts, ask them questions, and replace them with more healthy, realistic ones. For example, if our relationship has failed, this doesn’t mean that we are losers.
8. They have passive aggression
When they say that someone is crushed by fear, they mean that he/she is not a threat. But this person is capable of sabotage. In order not to be rejected, the person agrees to fulfill the request, but in fact, the result will be zero or negative. This is their cowardly way of saying no. Those who don’t dare to fight openly will lead a “hidden war.”
A breakup, a tendency to live alone, low emotionality, preventing closer relationships with other people can also be among fear of rejection in relationships signs. This is a protective mechanism against excessive proximity. Low self-esteem and lack of understanding of others often go with the fear of rejection. All this is reflected in other areas of life. The lack of self-confidence and motivation makes it difficult for people to take on ambitious tasks and achieve their goals. With the pronounced nature of the disorder, a fear of rejection may be the beginning of severe neurosis.
Getting Over the Fear of Rejection: Tips and Helpful Advice
What to do to get rid of all negative emotions, feelings, habits instilled in rejection?
1. Turn on wisdom
How to overcome a fear of rejection? Be wise about rejection. Can you change your situation for the better? Of course, you can. Nobody rejects you, but you do it yourself. Feel confident, use your brain! Decide to abandon the feeling of rejection and learn to enjoy life, every day, every moment.
2. Love yourself
To love someone else, you must first love yourself. Accept yourself, and then accept others. Don’t repeat mistakes and don’t always feel guilty! Forgive yourself and find positive qualities in yourself. To accept yourself is to adequately perceive one’s internal and external qualities. Personality change is a long process, provided that you want it.
3. Speak well about yourself
We know how to praise others, but why is it so hard for us to talk about ourselves? What is happening to us? Why do we think that we don’t deserve praise, encouragement, and positive feedback about us? Think about your strengths, your potential, your positive qualities, all the wonderful aspects of your character. Tell it to yourself and others! Create positive thoughts about yourself.
4. Give yourself the best
How to get over a fear of rejection? Eat the best food, dress in the best clothes, take care of your health, be kind and free. By doing so, you will feel more positive and stronger. Buy yourself a nice outfit, a good book, or just something that is at least a small reward for you. Reward yourself, and you will feel better!
5. Communicate with successful people
If you are close to people who have got what they wanted, don’t get depressed getting over a fear of rejection! Use their influence to believe in yourself. Overcoming fear of rejection, you have to believe that you too can achieve your goals. Don’t feel rejected. You can do it if you trust yourself and believe in it seriously.
6. Value yourself constructively
Rejection is also related to the fact that we value ourselves. Normally, we evaluate ourselves, but we need to give a constructive assessment: what have we done wrong? What is the best way to act in a given situation? You just should ask yourself these questions or you may even read fear of rejection quotes.
7. Don’t be afraid of failures
Bad relationships are the beginning of a new phase. Being rejected is actually very scary. And it hurts. But take a look around. Did everyone find their soulmates on the first try? Most people have experienced a betrayal of a loved one or a refusal at least once in their life, they heard from the loved ones, “I don’t love you.” And what would happen if they all despaired?
8. Believe in good future
Here is another reason for fear of rejection. We (many of us) don’t believe in ourselves. We believe that they love us for something, for some actions, facial features, and so on. But in reality, everything is different. Love is not for something specific. This love already makes one admire every movement of loved ones, every little feature of them.
9. Enjoy your personality
The constant search for approval means that we worry that other people may think negatively of us. Get rid of this habit. If you are lucky enough to have something that distinguishes you from the rest, then don’t be ashamed of it and don’t change. Uniqueness is priceless. Find the courage to remain a different person in this crazy world that is trying to make you be like the rest.
10. Use failure as an invaluable growth opportunity
As soon as someone rejects you, you can catch yourself thinking, “Well, this proves once again that I am not worthy.” Failure is sometimes a necessary medicine. It teaches us how to avoid bad relationships and opportunities that don’t work for you, and how to quickly find others that suit you. This doesn’t mean that you are not good enough. This means that someone has not seen what you can offer.
You are the only one who can decide to reject this feeling or not. No one else will do it for you. Don’t expect this to disappear on its own. Be confident in yourself, think about the negative consequences that this condition causes in you. You are smart, and no one should interfere with the realization of your dreams and goals.