We are all social beings, of course, and the majority of us urgently need to communicate with a close friend. This is the reason why relationships are created. What are we looking for in a relationship? And why do we subconsciously ruin what we cherish so much? Often, we seek acceptance. We would like our partner to care about us, we need them to see us, love us, understand the differences between us. But the fear of rejection makes a relationship unbearable, it forces us to put constant pressure on the partner.
We are scared that if a partner suddenly sees us as we are, they may not accept us, reject, destroy our self-esteem. This is why people start to pretend. Be "suitable" for others, stay "comfortable," act the way somebody wants you to. Moreover, it is not at all necessary that this happens consciously. Very often people smile when being sad or agree with something they do not quite like just because this is the right thing to do. Why do people fear rejection and how it poisons their relationships? The experts of sweety date are giving an ultimate answer.
“If I ever approach my crush, they will not speak to me,” this is often the first thing to come to someone’s head. At the same time, we all faced these disturbing thoughts at least once. The problem starts when they become your regular behavioral pattern and transform into the way of living.
Fear of rejection in a relationship is a state of dissatisfaction and inner emptiness which appear in case of constant worries about the common future of the couple and doubting the feelings of the partner. Concerns over the prospect of being left alone, humiliated, and rejected are the components of this phobia. In fact, the fear of being rejected is one of the greatest human fears. Nothing scares us more than the uncertainty and the possibility of losing what we own now. This results in the strict framework that a person adheres to avoid this negative feeling. We cease to trust our impulses, we are afraid to relax and be ourselves, and most importantly, we begin to pretend someone we are not.
In ancient times, expulsion from a tribe was a terrible punishment for a person. Because survival outside the tribe was almost impossible and meant only death. This powerful memory, embedded in the deep layers of the subconscious, causes the need for social acceptance and approval. To live on, people suffering from fear of rejection in dating have learnt to defend themselves in advance, choose the position of the victim, and manipulate others since childhood. They are trained to expect the worst and will do everything to hide from it.
Fear of rejection feeds insecurities, and they feed it back because, in case of a real rejection, we immediately think that we were right, we consider ourselves worthless. As a result, self-esteem drops even lower. And this is a vicious circle. According to psychology, the main advice here is to start working on self-esteem, look deep into the soul, and accept yourself as you are. To reveal to yourself all your shortcomings and stop criticizing yourself for them. You need to start positively thinking about yourself. But, of course, it is much easier to advise others than to do it yourself. How to overcome the fear of rejection - this is what we are going to talk about today.
We faced rejection for the first time, of course, in childhood. The next two types of people deal with rejection most often (according to a short survey of Sweetydate).
After all, a child is initially born open to the world. We are weak, naive, and know no evil. In the process of getting older, we learn to defend ourselves to avoid unpleasant contact with others. Fear of rejection psychology tells us that there are two main reasons why people acquire this phobia: rejection can be direct and hidden.
Hidden rejection on the part of parents means they smile to the child, are friendly but do not pay real attention to his/her needs, desires, and statements, transfer the conversation to another topic and ignore. "Do not interfere with adult conversations!" is what they hear. It is done with educational purposes to teach a child to respect elders. But such limitations lead to a sense of humiliation, resentment, loneliness, cause low self-esteem.
And direct rejection is even worse. It can be manifested in both verbal or non-verbal form. There is no need to clear out that children who are physically abused will never grow into normal human beings. But verbal accusations, reproaches, and offends show the child that his/her needs do not matter even more.
When they grow up, children who are systematically rejected become anxious adults. They perceive life situations through the prism of "reject me." Suppose a person is late for a meeting or does not pick up the phone. Those who fear rejection will fantasize that people do not want to communicate with them. In this case, they appeal to the emotions they are used to feel when rejected. So, such people cause them artificially and come up with the worst scenarios in their heads.
Often people do not realize that they initially feel irritation and anger towards a possible rejection. They may be stinging, sarcastic people because irony is typical of people who constantly in fear that they will be rejected. They blow off the steam through sharp remarks. Fear of rejection often blocks many impulses. For example, a guy does not dare to get close to a girl because of the fantasy that she will see hidden motives in this. And as a result, he rejects her first. Although in fact, the girl, perhaps, would be insanely glad of such a rapprochement and would like to continue communicating with the young man. It turns out that people, unconsciously waiting for rejection, drive themselves into their trap.
In fact, a person who shows fear of rejection in relationships signs needs love the most. But they are afraid of expressing this need directly, asking for attention, affection, tenderness in their address. Indeed, they know that if they open to a person, speak up about their needs but get rejected, this will end them. Such people are afraid of this scenario to such an extent that they avoid everything that can even lead to it. Often, out of fear of rejection, people use indirect, manipulative methods of obtaining love, attention, care, and affection from others. Here are some of them.
In a bribe situation, a person uses a manipulation, "I love you, so you must give up everything for the sake of my love." We often hear the phrases, “I love you so much, but you ...," "Do it for the sake of my love!” Often women manipulate this way. Thus, they achieve attention, but the difference is that another person gives it out of a sense of duty, and not out of love. Naturally, the partner will accumulate irritation, which over time can develop into a conflict.
Appeals to pity
People who have a fear of rejection symptoms will expose their suffering and helplessness to others. The message here is, "You must love me because I am very weak and completely helpless." At the same time, they justify this with constant crying, unstable mental states, not being able to do anything on their own.
We often hear, “I get so tired at work, I am constantly sick, and you don’t even call!” Or, "How can one say this to a sick person!" In this case, the partners who are manipulated are likely to only formally fulfill the requirements and show attention. But deep inside you still feel cheated and angry.
Call for justice
“I raised you, nourished you, and what did you give me?” Often these are phrases of parents who were giving birth to children to get something back from them later. Such people are trying to get love, calling for duty. Often they try to do as much as possible for others - secretly hoping that they will receive whatever they wish. They are very disappointed to learn that those for whom they tried often do not even notice their efforts.
Calls for justice may also be implicit. For example, after one of the partners cheats, another one falls ill. This illness - in most cases - is a means of secret reproach, which, as a rule, causes the ex-partner to feel guilty and forces apologize, beg for forgiveness and come back.
Of course, many people still benefit from manipulation. And often, such behavior is unconscious. But it is unlikely that they can be called happy people because the love and attention that they so ardently desire and seek, come in fact through deception. And until they learn how to get over the fear of rejection, they will never know the real joy or loving someone for who they are and not asking anything in response.
What did the experts say to us on https://sweetydate.com/? Overcoming fear of rejection is complex and requires time. Not many other psychological problems have roots so deep and poison so many spheres of life. For this reason, you may be dedicated to fighting this trauma. Let's practice.
Writing down your anxiety
Take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. In the first, write the situation. For example, "The spouse is late for home." In the second (next) - describe your most vivid fantasy associated with this, for example, "They do not want to come home, they do not love me." In the third column, describe the feeling that you experience while unconsciously living a fantasy. Puts notes about five to ten situations in a row.
Assess and analyze
When the columns are full, re-read everything you wrote. Try to evaluate all situations, fantasies, and feelings on a ten-point scale. Evaluate the strength, intensity, seriousness, significance of this event, experience, fantasy for you. Give each situation, reaction, and thought in every column of your rating. Now you can trace how exactly you react to different situations, what you feel, how seriously you take it, how often you expect rejection, etc. For example, the situation was rated three out of ten, and fantasies and feelings about it were rated ten. Conclusion: you are very worried about generally insignificant events. What trends did you follow? Did you learn something new about yourself? Write the conclusions on paper.
Accept your problem
The next step in getting over the fear of rejection is understanding. Without realizing and recognizing that you suffer from a psychological problem, you cannot directly declare your need for love, care, affection, attention. Further work on yourself is hardly possible in this case. We suggest recalling and recording situations when you resorted to the methods described above. Perhaps they will be a continuation of the situations that you described in the first exercise.
Now imagine the most relevant situation for you in which you expect rejection from someone. Try to realize your first fantasies about the further development of events. What will this person do? For example, you need to call an important but unfamiliar person. What will they answer you in your worst fantasies? The answers to these questions are very important. And most importantly, the most "final" terrible results are important, what fantasy can lead to. Even in the worst case, they are unlikely to tell you, "I hate you, do not call me and never ask me for anything." One of the fear of rejection quotes says, "We are not afraid of being rejected. We get scared by our fantasies about this rejection that, in most cases, will never even happen."
Separate your imagination and reality
Think logically: the probability that a stranger, having heard your voice, hangs up is very low. Learn to tell apart the two types of your worries, “I think so,” and in another - reality, “This is unlikely to happen.” Then you can gradually begin to control the situation.
Seek deeper roots
In some cases, people immediately remember where the first thoughts about rejections come from. For example, an incomprehensible picture appears in the head - the mother leaves the crib with the baby or closes the crying child (you) in the room. Such pictures can be very different. But they are very important. After all, once - in childhood - you experienced that very rejection. Mom left you for a while, but you regarded it as “forever,” as a threat to your life. And then, most likely, it really could threaten the life of a small child. The realization that fear of rejection was formed in childhood and chasing your till now is also an important discovery. Often at this stage, people recognize the difference and begin to finally live in reality.
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