Why do we agree to something we don’t want? Why don’t we talk about what is important to us, or announce our needs? In many cases, the fear of rejection is behind this behavior. Where does it come from and how to deal with it?
We are all afraid of something, but we rarely think about how fear affects our lives and decisions. Conscious fears, such as fear of flying, heights, or spiders, are easier to deal with. But unconscious, deep-seated fears can be extremely destructive, they control life.
One of the most powerful is the fear of rejection. Adaptation in society, success, self-esteem, independence from the opinions of others depends on it. The need to be accepted is inherent in everyone. And when we are afraid that we will not be accepted, we put this hidden fear in the wording: “I can not admit my feelings, and suddenly I will not return the love. I can’t ask for a raise because I’m afraid I’ll get fired for it.”
The task of the brain is to protect us, to protect us from the bad. And when we say, ” My ex broke my heart, if it happens again, I won’t survive it,” or “No one will ever love me,” the brain registers it. And as soon as a similar situation arises, he shows us a distorted reality, the one that we ourselves have drawn for him.
Where does the fear of rejection come from?
It originated in ancient times, when the prospect of being kicked out of a community, a tribe, meant that a person would have to survive alone, which, in turn, was difficult to do. In fact, this fear was equal to the fear of death.
But we live in a different time and in different conditions, so it is worth realizing the truth: if we are rejected, we will not die. We may be sad, lonely, or scared, but we won’t die. In our time, this fear is formed from childhood. When a child misbehaves, the parents send him to another room. That is, we still use isolation, as in ancient times, to force the child to comply with certain rules, and thereby instill this fear in him.
Can this be avoided? Yes, if you consciously approach what and how we tell children. If you do not follow the example of our own “educators”, who said “Stop whining” and “Well, just think, they called you at school, next time give the offender a slap on the forehead.” Instead, you can say ,” Have you been called stupid? What do you think about yourself?» Most likely, the child does not consider himself stupid. We need to support him in this thought: what matters is what he thinks about himself. Most suffer because of the words spoken by someone, and not only children, but also adults. Words can cause serious harm, they penetrate into the depths of the soul.
How fear affects our lives.
The fear of rejection is fundamental, rooted in the unconscious. Because of this, we are often afraid of everything in the world: to buy the wrong gift (what if the recipient does not like it?), to dress inappropriately (what if they laugh?), to tell us about our needs (what if they refuse us or even get angry for “impudence”?).
Fear reduces self-confidence. We do not dare to say “no” in situations that we do not like, we become complaisant and helpful for fear that otherwise we will be pushed away, “kicked out” of the field of communication. We are afraid of this in the family, in society, at work, at school, at the institute-everywhere.
This leads to frustration in life, procrastination, panic attacks, stress, and depression. Many people wonder what is stopping them from succeeding. And here, too, the fear” comes out”: “if I am successful, people will not like me”, “if I am successful, I will lose all my friends”, “I will be envied”, “the partner will feel inferior next to me”. These thoughts encourage you to avoid success.
People who are afraid of failure also sabotage their own plans: “I want to meet this girl, but what if she rejects me? I’d rather not try.” It is easier for such people not to implement their plans than to fail.
In a stressful situation, the brain sets itself up for problematic thoughts: “I’d rather not do this anymore, then I won’t have to go through this again.” But the problem is not in the fear itself, but in our attitude to it, which is formed by thoughts. And to cope with fear, you must first win over the thoughts that are transformed into this fear.