Everyone has been rejected at a certain point in their life, be it from work, school or another person. The only difference is how you deal with it after being snubbed. Do you dust yourself off and try again or allow it to consume you?
Although people are social creatures, it’s impossible to interact with everyone all the time. As a result, you experience rejection probably without even realizing it. This only becomes a problem when you start believing that anything you say or do will cause others to not accept you instantly. When you are overly concerned with other people’s reaction to your actions, you become unproductive, paranoid and miserable.
Fear of rejection leads you to imitate the ways of other people, ultimately stripping you of your own identity. When you have an irrational fear of being unaccepted, you are basically giving up control over your own life. This leads to a behavioral pattern with adverse psychological consequences, such as loneliness, depression, insecurity, heightened sensitivity, worthlessness and even suicidal tendencies.
Getting over your fear of rejection is primarily psychological. Hopefully, the following suggestions will help you cope with this debilitating phobia.
Create Happy Thoughts
This is an integral part of building self-esteem to overcome your fear of rejection. As long as you don’t believe that you can create your own bliss, you will be less confident and more dependent on others to provide you with happiness. Make time for activities you truly enjoy, or learn to appreciate things you presently aren’t interested in. A sunny disposition, optimistic outlook and positive thinking attract more happy thoughts and cheerful people to uplift your spirits everyday. (Learn how to get rid of an inferiority complex)
Being too dependent on what others think is the main cause of this rejection phobia so believe that you have the ability to take care of yourself. Set yourself up for success and address your needs on your own. Having friends is never a bad thing, but relying on them too much may hamper your personal growth and productivity. By being self-sufficient, you won’t feel helpless when you’re separated from your mates.
Take Baby Steps
You shouldn’t rush things when trying to conquer your fear. If you allow them to develop slowly, you increase the likelihood of overcoming the terror permanently (Tips on how to get rid of fear). You may use a systematic approach in this one by following these simple steps.
- Fear List. Identify who you are scared of receiving rejection from.
- Behavior Pattern. Recall how you reacted the moment you were turned down by these people.
- Real Consequences. Find out the effects after experiencing the rejection.
- Alternative Response. Make a list of what your reaction should be in case you are dismissed by someone important to you.
- Other Obstacles. Determine what other phobias or factors can prevent you from adopting the alternative behavior you listed earlier.
- Implementation Stage. Once you have clearly satisfied the first five steps, use the alternate behavior patterns to guide you on how to survive rejection.
Don’t Expect Reciprocation
Focus on your actions, not on how other people might react to them. You lose control of your emotions and begin to feel helpless when you focus on external outcomes that you have no power over anyway. When you focus on how they will approve or give back to your actions, you are surrendering to fear by letting it take over your mind and body.
Concentrate on your side of the interaction and set goals that are within your reach. If the relationship is only bringing you down, you may want to get out of it as soon as possible before developing symptoms of rejection phobia. Be yourself in the relationship, and not just what others want you to be. Remember, the gifts you give aren’t yours anymore and your recipients can do anything they want with them. Give unconditionally so the next time your present is rejected, you won’t feel too bad about it.
Learn From Mistakes
Rejection is a lesson on how to become a stronger person. Don’t cry over spilled milk and use it as motivation so you don’t get hurt the next time you get slammed. Use these negative experiences to become a solid rock. Never give up pursuing what you want to achieve and understand that rejection is part of the journey. You will eventually realize that getting turned down every now and then is simply a part of life and shouldn’t be a knock on what you are as a person.
Immerse Youself in Rejection
Although deliberately putting yourself in a situation that merits plenty of rejection can be painful, it is an effective exercise to get desensitized from the lousy feeling it brings afterwards. This is a surprisingly common suggestion given by therapists and psychologists who deal with people suffering from this anxiety.
By confronting these situations, you get used to the feeling of rejection and develop ways to cope with it. Be careful doing this on your own. It is recommended that you consult a therapist first to learn the right way to approach the problem. If you prove to yourself that those horrors can’t bring you down, they lose their grip over you. Remember that the more often you put yourself in a position of getting rejected, the better your odds of getting accepted as well.
This is perhaps the simplest way to get over your dread of rejection. Self-worth doesn’t depend on the approval and acceptance of others. When you become completely overwhelmed by the negative emotions that follow this type of thinking, your entire thinking process becomes distorted. This leads to a downward spiral that is hard to escape from.
There is no need to punish yourself for something you don’t have control of in the first place. Be optimistic that your next socialization will produce better results. Though you give up the possible discomfort and embarrassment of interacting with others, you also miss out on the potential warmth, fun and excitement it brings.
It is an undeniable fact that rejection hurts. In the end, you control whether to let rejection turn you into a stronger or stranger person. If you enjoyed reading this article, you’ll surely be interested in read how to build self-esteem.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of rejection.