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The Fear Of Rejection

A lonely rose...
Creative Commons License photo credit: HAMED MASOUMI

Getting rejected hurts.

And even after the initial sting, we wonder what it is about us that made this person reject us.

In a word:  Nothing.  Even though it doesn’t feel that way, being rejected is more about the other person than it is about you.

Just changing your perspective on rejection can help you overcome your fear of it, and help you see that getting rejected is just another part of living.

The 3 Thoughts Behind the Fear of Rejection

  • I am not good enough.
  • I am not lovable.
  • There is something wrong with me.

These three thoughts are behind all of the distress we feel when we get rejected.  They start as one small thought and then snowball into a hundred thoughts all supporting your belief that these things are true.

Your task in overcoming your fear of rejection is to get rid of your belief in one or more of these three thoughts.  They are poison to your mind.  Don’t drink them.

Overcome the Fear of Rejection

“It’s Not Me, It’s You”: If there are things you want in life, you are going to have to risk rejection.  Don’t take it so personally – it simply means that the relationship is not a match.  The next time this happens think to yourself, “It’s not me, it’s you.”  The person doing the rejecting probably has a good reason, and it usually has nothing to do with your self worth.

There is Always “Another”: Another job, another dating partner, another friend.  If you get rejected, remember that there is always another relationship.  This wasn’t your last chance.

Remember the Times When You Rejected Someone: You are not always the rejected, sometimes you are the rejector.  Think about what it was like to reject someone else.  Did you think the person you were rejecting was a horrible person?  Probably not.  You had your own reasons that didn’t have much to do with the other person.

Consider What You Are Attracting: If you are doing a lot of rejecting, or getting rejected a lot, reconsider the things you are attracted to.  While rejection is a part of living that will happen occasionally, it shouldn’t happen constantly.  Maybe you are attracted to (or are attracting) things that aren’t right for you.  Re-evaluate what it is you really want.

Be Careful About Changing Yourself: Sometimes when we are scared of being rejected we try to be something or act a certain way so that there is less of a chance of rejection.  I don’t recommend this.  Doing things to please others can leave you feeling empty, because you are not acting from yourself.  Be who you are, and if you get rejected, just know that there is a better match for you somewhere else.

How have you overcome the fear of rejection?  Something to share?  Leave it in the comments!

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  1. Hi Amanda – Perceptive and right on the money, as always. Very important to think about what it means if we tend to feel rejected a lot. If that’s the story we’re living, then it’s possible that we unconsciously choose people who will reject us. Or we unconsciously push people away, and thus invite rejection. This is something I’ve had to look at in my own life.
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog ..Dark Magic and the $97 Book =-.

  2. This is really beautiful, and incredibly accurate. Having spent the last few months getting over being rejected, I could have used this advice long ago. However, I really think that it just takes time. Time to heal, time to recover, and time to get a grip on life and get back into the living of it.
    .-= Jay Schryer´s last blog ..Memories Best Left Forgotten =-.

  3. Amanda. This used to be a big fear of mine – wanting to please everyone all the time. I moved past it by finding and enjoying connection to myself. Once I have that, connection with another person becomes a bonus and I’m not dependent on it all the time.

    It also helped to not take it personally. After all I don’t like everyone or want to spend time with everyone – so why should everyone like me and want to be with me.
    .-= Ian | Quantum Learning´s last blog ..How To Fully Enjoy Life =-.

  4. Great post, Amanda. I really like the tips about overcoming the fear of rejection. So many suffer from this fear and I think you’ve really identified the best ways to avoid being fearful.
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..working hard, playing hard =-.

  5. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Patty – Yes, I think constant rejection (in either direction) is something to be examined. I like how you point out that it becomes a part of our story.

    Hi Jay – Yeah, time helps a lot. 🙂 And, I think taking that time for yourself is important.

    Hi Ian – I think not taking rejection so personally is really important, but difficult to put into practice. If you can keep this in mind, though, it really helps.

    Hi Dani – This is a very common fear. I know that I have often been in the grips of it myself. You can gain so much when you practice overcoming it.

  6. Kim Kim

    I think this is such an important topic for me right now, as I’ve been dealing with what rejection means for me over the last little while. What I’ve found is that if you get involved in a relationship with someone when one or both of you don’t know what you want, one of you can end up feeling rejected. This is such a difficult minefield because unless we know ourselves well, this can happen often because we continue to put ourselves out there as we look for love. My advice is always to really feel grounded in yourself first, then offer to give yourself to others only when you feel really good about yourself. This is the ideal, and unfortunately there aren’t that many people walking around out there that know who they are, know what they want and are willing to risk what it takes to really love someone deeply.

  7. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Kim – Thanks for sharing this. That ideal you mention is certainly something to work towards. Knowing what you want and who you are is so important for your relationship with yourself and others. 🙂

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