What Is the Fear of Rejection and Why Do You Have It?
“There’s no blade in the world as sharp as rejection.”
― Toni Sorenson (Tweet This)
The fear of rejection is a very common human emotion.
Like many things in life, this fear has several layers. When you think you have overcome the fear of rejection, you realize that there are still deeper layers after that. If you embrace the fear, you’ll feel more comfortable with yourself and others around you.
Even if the fear weakens and you feel it less and less in life, it’s most likely not completely gone.
Subtle subconscious waves can make you doubt what you say/do or don’t say/do because you fear the criticism and judgments of others. When you think you’re being criticized, you feel rejected and unaccepted. This leads to embarrassment in specific situations that trigger your fear.
These are very deep and common wounds that burden us. We fear saying/doing something that others (especially our own parents) may judge. This exists in our minds.
One situation where we feel most vulnerable to this fear is when we meet a potential mate. You start doubting yourself more than ever because you want that person to like you.
“If this person doesn’t like me, then I am rejected.” This is not true. One thing doesn’t have to do with the other. If that person doesn’t like you for who you really are, then they’re not for you; he or she is not your match.
Now, what happens when we live our lives with the subconscious belief that if someone doesn’t like us, then we are being rejected and we are not good enough?
When you gain interest in someone — and this applies to all relationships in your life — you don’t want to feel rejected by that person. You’ll start trying to “be nice,” “be good,” “be confident,” “be sexy,” “be smart,” etc…
In reality, you’re trying to look and act like all those things, leaving behind the authentic you.
You try to “be somebody” that you think the other person will like and accept. You want that person to like you so you don’t feel rejected.
Now, this “somebody” or “way of being” comes from ideas you get through society, media, and your surroundings. They suggest how you are “supposed to be” or how you “should be,” which have nothing to do with who you really are.
This fear of rejection comes from our childhood.
As children we have a need for attention and acceptance from our parents or caregivers. A child needs protection and constant care. When these needs were not met, we couldn’t understand why sometimes our parents could not be there for us.
For example: When they had to leave us with a nanny, or when we woke up in the middle of the night and our mother wasn’t right there next to us.
We may or may not know the reasons why our needs were not met in certain situations. The important fact is that now, as adults, we can understand how sometimes you have to leave your child alone or with someone else while you go to work or do something else. You can now understand that it doesn’t mean you are rejecting the child or that you don’t love him or her.
As kids, because our rational mind wasn’t yet developed, everything revolved around emotions. We felt and believed everything we heard. If the honest reasons why our parents behaved in certain ways were never explained to us, then their every absence could be misinterpreted as rejection, abandonment, or loneliness.
Today, as grown-up individuals, we have the opportunity to heal those past events so we can become whole and mature.
By finding helpful tools, we can be responsible adults who don’t need to make the same mistakes as past generations.