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Fear of Rejection - Explained and Solved

Aug 17, 2007
How does one define fear of rejection? The fear of rejection is the type of fear that one irrationally feels when one is afraid that other people may not accept you when you are just being yourself.

How does one react when one possesses fear of rejection? There are several ways:

1) One might be motivated to be more cautious than is normally expected when one is dealing with other people.

2) When you fear rejection, you might be pressured to say or do things just to be accepted, even when what you say or do go against your own beliefs or stand.

3) People who fear rejection are overly-concerned about what other people say, do or how they react to the individual in question, to the point that they may be paralyzed in speech or action.

4) You may feel your creativity, productivity and freedom of thought to be constrained when you experience fear of rejection.

5) You may opt to adopt the norms of the group exerting peer pressure on you and causing you to feel fear of rejection. This is particularly common among young people who crave a great degree of acceptance from their peers.

How do you know when you are experiencing fear of rejection? People who have this fear generally exhibit some recognizable behavior patterns.

1) Such people may display zero to little assertiveness among their peers.

2) They fear expressing an opinion especially if it differs from that of their superiors or people they admire.

3) They find themselves unable to prevent or bar others from pursuing self-destructive actions and behavior. This is common among groups of alcoholics or drug addicts.

4) They are easily persuaded to pursue behavior that fits the group norm, even when such behavior does not match their personal value system.

5) People who have fear of rejection may resort to passive-aggressive behavior, such as becoming sly or dishonest. These people do not resort to open communication to get what they want.

6) Such people generally express dissatisfaction or unhappiness with the conditions they live under - however, when encouraged to take a more confrontational approach to people who they fear, they refuse.

7) People who have this fear often resort to masking their true identity, because they are afraid their true identity will cause them to be rejected by the people around them.

8) They keep trying to adhere to prescribed styles and modes of behavior to the point that they cannot switch to other alternative forms of behavior.

9) People who fear rejection are transformed into habitual liars because they not only lie to themselves, they lie to other people as well, in order to maintain adherence to behavioral norms.

If you find that you may be acting out of a fear of rejection, there are different things you can do to eliminate this fear:

1) Identify what causes your fear of rejection.

2) Determine what are the behavior patterns that result from this fear of rejection.

3) Identify any alternative forms of behavior that you could adopt instead.

4) Find out what existing obstacles could hinder you from trying out these alternative forms of behavior.

5) Determine if these obstacles are irrational beliefs or rational beliefs. If they are irrational, you might have to seek professional help from a counselor or psychologist.

6) Rational beliefs are founded on existing factors - for example, if your fear of rejection from your peer group is founded on the fact that they will do something violent to you, that is a rational belief based on your experience. Rational beliefs should not be ignored because the cause of the fear is real. You may want to seek help from a person in authority when this is the case, such as assistance of a police officer or lawyer.

Nobody should live under a cloud of fear. If you have fear of rejection, maybe it is time to do something tangible about it.
About the Author
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: conversation starters
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