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Overcoming Your Fear of Rejection

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 6 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
Fear Of Rejection Personal Rejection

Every one of us experiences rejection at some time in our lives. It may be by a person with whom you want to have a relationship with or it could be when you’re turned down for a job you really want. The truth is that the only people who never experience rejection are those who never have any interaction with other people which in effect, makes for a pretty reclusive and lonely existence.

Common Symptoms of Rejection

The fear of being rejected creates a very damaging pattern of behaviour in our lives. It can cause us to feel that we are not good enough and that we are a failure. Within relationships, it can cause us to become obsessive, clingy and jealous and can also destroy relationships that have barely begun through us becoming too serious too soon which can drive others away. This manifests itself whereby a partner simply having a chat with someone else can make us think that it’s a sign that they’re going to leave us or if we’re separated for a short time from a friend or partner, we can sometimes feel anxious and even angry as we falsely believe that this means that they don’t want to spend time with us.

Rejection is Driven by Emotion

It’s important to remember that it’s not our thoughts that cause us to feel rejected but how our thoughts make us feel.If we feel negative about ourselves, rejection can trigger off a number of other feelings. We can start to feel humiliated, lonely, pathetic, not good enough, useless, inadequate and a loser. The more we dwell on these feelings, the more pain we’re putting ourselves through and the harder it becomes to put ourselves ‘out there’ again for fear that the same thing will happen next time.

Why do Other People Seem to Brush Rejection off 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. They don’t take rejection personally and often view it as a flaw on the other person’s behalf as opposed to feeling bad about themselves. In other words, they think it’s the other person’s loss.

Tips for Overcoming Rejection

Many people fear rejection as they’ve become conditioned 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 which will boost your self confidence to a level by which you’ll understand and respect occasions when people might say no to you too.

Graciously accept any compliments you receive. Some people find it very hard to accept compliments but don’t resist them, accept them gladly and jot the compliment down, look at it and ask yourself what it says about you as a person. This will be another good way to boost your self-esteem.

Play out a few scenarios in your mind of instances where you’d usually be faced with a fear of rejection and envisage a successful ending to the scenario where your wishes are granted and you get the outcome you were hoping for. In practising 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 inevitable failure that you’ve trained yourself to expect.

List your needs for the day and work towards how you’re going to achieve them and don’t let yourself be sidetracked. In other words, learn how to please yourself and to balance your energy levels by feeling comfortable about saying ‘no’ to others if you feel the need to be unavailable to them.

Constantly remind yourself that you have a fundamental right to be happy. Don’t let your own feelings of self-worth be governed by whether or not you’re accepted or rejected by other people. If you are rejected for a job or by another person, simply move on, don’t take it personally and start looking for other opportunities which may end up being more receptive.

Remember…If we continually hold back from interacting with people because of our fear of rejection, we simultaneously miss out on the potential happiness, warmth, fun and excitement that other people can bring to us. A useful way of putting fear of rejection behind us and replacing it with positive thoughts is to tell yourself that 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’.

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[Add a Comment]
Bug - Your Question:
I put off talking to people in business,afraid of being let down. Why am I like this. I know how to overcome this, but what is the underlying reason for this?

Our Response:
This is really common and it's not really down to a personality type, it's more to do with human nature and not wanting to be put out of your comfort zone. There are lots of courses, workshops, training events that might help with this if you search on the internet etc.
LifeCoachExpert - 7-Feb-17 @ 11:41 AM
I put off talking to people in business,afraid of being let down. Why am I like this. I know how to overcome this, but what is the underlying reason for this?
Bug - 6-Feb-17 @ 1:06 AM
D- man: your comment reveals signs of narcissism and a disdain of women. The author didn't mention gender in the article. Why did you assume it was directed at men? You sound like you felt personally accused and blame women, calling them tricksters. Really?You also say women have the only say in whether arelationship will endure, so they should be the initiators. How dumb are you?NO
Stargazer - 29-Aug-16 @ 2:31 PM
Mr. Durham - Great article! I still do not see ANYONE taking women to task for their part of this scenario.If so many, many men have decided that this is not worth their time and effort ( how dare they have some self-respect) because the dating game is full of double standards, maybe women should be getting the lectures on the social graces. Women get this free pass and they do not want to approach men?You have to admit that this trick was not going to last forever.Let women do the approaching since it is their choice in the end.
d-man - 1-Feb-13 @ 2:18 AM
Oh I cannot live my sad existence without your wisdom, my life is so shallow I have to run everyone's life who I come in contact with. Your wisdom is my bible. I'm sad but hey I don't deserve anything else, I am not worthy!
dickhead - 23-Nov-11 @ 5:12 PM
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