The fear of rejection is a phobia that can hamper a person’s quality of life. This article explains what this phobia is like, where it stems from, and how to overcome it.
Almost all of us face rejection at some point of time in our lives. Sometimes, we are rejected for a job offer while other times we face rejection in relationships. While most of us brush the rejection off and look out for new opportunities, there are some people who cling to the feeling. These people are not able to accept the fact that they could be rejected in life. One rejection gives a way to the fear of rejection in the future, which prevents the person from giving his best, and subsequently results in rejection.
Where Does it Stem From?
Individuals who dread rejection are found to have a troubled childhood. They never felt loved by their parents or other family members. Also, the constant comparison with their siblings or other kids induces a feeling that if they are not perfect, they will not be loved. Thus, these kids try to imitate the behavior of the ones who they admire. This is a frantic attempt to fulfill others’ expectations so that they are accepted within the group and eventually loved. In the process, they shed their true identity and try to become what people want them to be. This has very negative repercussions on the psyche of the kid. These kids then grow up to become adults who turn out to be ‘yes men’. Low self-esteem is the most significant personality trait observed in these people.
Although, there are no unique symptoms for this particular condition, these people do exhibit a peculiar behavioral pattern. Such people are not ready to openly communicate and never express their views on a certain topic; more so if their views happen to be different from the people they are trying to please. They find it hard to say ‘no’ to the people they are trying to please. They even keep their personal feelings hidden. Anxiety of rejection in relationships often stems from previously failed relationships or rejections. These people are wary of initiating a new relationship or simply asking someone out. They fear that they might be turned down. If they are already in a relationship they might take it too seriously too early, which might drive the other person away. These people often associate words like ‘loser’, ‘incapable’, ‘pathetic’ etc. with rejection. This hampers their self-esteem in the long run.
People who have a phobia of rejection are often manipulated and taken undue advantage of by others, especially those who have a strong impact on the person. While the concerned person bends at their will, every now and then the others have a good laugh at the victim’s expense. Unfortunately, no matter how hard a person tries to behave as per the wishes of those who influence him, he is never allowed in their inner circle.
How to Overcome It
Overcoming this fear is a gradual process that extends over days or even months. The person who faces the fear needs extensive help from friends and family to come to terms with his true self. He should be taught about how to take things lightly, and that rejection is not the end of the world. One rejection often paves way to a new opportunity, which might turn out better than imagined. Running away from one’s true self cannot bring happiness in life, instead the act of molding oneself as per others’ wishes can leave a person miserable and in a state of self pity. People can only be truly happy when they love the way they are. Interestingly, people will also love you only if you come across as a genuine person, someone who is true to himself.
At times, this fear may erupt if the person faces successive failures or rejections. Failures in personal as well as professional life are bound to affect even the most optimistic person. During such times, you should remember the following quote by Bo Bennet, the famous businessman and author, “It is not rejection itself that people fear, it is the possible consequences of rejection. Preparing to accept those consequences and viewing rejection as a learning experience that will bring you closer to success, will not only help you to conquer the fear of rejection, but help you to appreciate rejection itself.”