The fear of rejection & the three little pigs

Just to say it from the start, this article is not meant to be a psychological guide pampering the needs and fears that you may have. It is not a pep talk. It’s just my story of how I tried to run from the big bad wolf and hide with the three little pigs, which’ve taught me a thing or two.

The big bad wolf — Others’ expectations

In the year of the pig, I was born in a normal, middle class, loving family. Growing up, I was always taught to follow the rules: don’t cross the street alone, don’t talk to strangers, be home by 10 pm, get good grades, don’t spend your money on useless things etc. So I grew up thinking that if I would do what my parents expect of me or, later on, my friends and acquaintances, I would have earned their respect and trust.

So, when I was eleven I went to my buddies, the three little pigs’ house to ask them for advice.

Little pig no. 1 — Loyalty & personal values

This little pig taught me that if I tried to make everyone around me happy and content, they would do the same in return. Therefore, growing up in my teens I made everyone laugh, listened to my friends broken-hearted and being the best wing-man that Barney Stinson has ever met. Loyalty was at the base of every relationship I had (at least from my side).

Little pig no. 2 — Toxic people

This little pig taught me that loyalty or honesty may be one sided. Everyone has desires and some people are more egoistic or egocentric than others. So, for me, trying to achieve everyone’s expectations became really exhausting.

For example, I had a good friend that always asked me for money as he had a gambling addiction and I felt like shit for refusing him after a while; another one that wanted to spend most of my time with him and listen how he bragged of getting women to sleep with him and I felt like shit because I could not refuse to listen to a friend; and other people that just wanted to share every single one of their problems with me, not giving a f*ck about how I felt.

Basically, I was in an existential dilemma, knowing that something is wrong with the relationship I had with those “friends”, but not letting go because of the values I uphold. It was a paradox, similar to Schrodinger’s cat experiment.

Little pig no.3 — F*ck Schrodinger’s cat

Now, this little pig was a genius and just like in G. Orwell’s novel, it explained that “some animals are more equal than others!”. What does this mean? That many people want to have all their desires satisfied and afterwards they forget about your needs. Basically, egoistic.

It taught me that I should be loyal to myself first, think about my feelings. If I don’t like the behavior of my friends I should be honest and tell them. If they are truly my friends they will understand and meet me halfway in a mature approach — not asking me for money, not trying to brag all the time about themselves and, also, listening to me and how I feel.

Yes, I’ve cut some ties along the way and it was hard, and I’ve narrowed the circle of people I trust, but I always know that I can be myself around my friends and they accept me as I am. As Pythagoras said, “friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life”.

P.S. The big bad wolf can go and f*ck Schrodinger’s cat!

Image credit: Venngage

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