The fear of rejection is a very common human emotion.
Like many things in life, this fear has many layers. When you think you have overcome the fear of being rejected, you realize that there are still deeper layers after that. If you embrace the fear each time, you start feeling more comfortable with yourself and others around you.
Then you realize that even though that fear has changed and has become weaker, feeling it less and less in different situations.
There are still subtle subconscious waves that make you doubt of what you say or don’t say, do or don’t do because you fear you will be criticized and judged by others. As you feel you are being criticized by others, you think you are being rejected and unaccepted, making you feel embarrassed in specific situations which trigger the fear.
These are very deep and common wounds humans walk around with, fearing to say or do something that is going to be judged by others (especially by our own parent’s figure — which exist in our minds.
An example of a specific situation where we feel most vulnerable to this fear is when we meet a potential mate. You start doubting yourself more because you have an interest for that person to like you.
“If this person doesn’t like me, then I am rejected,” which is not true. One thing doesn’t have to do with the other. If that person doesn’t like you for who you really are, then is not for you, it is not a match.
Now, what happens when we live our lives with the subconscious belief that if someone doesn’t like us then we are being rejected and we are not good enough?
As you are interested in someone — and this applies to all kinds of relationships in your life — you don’t want to feel rejected by that person, then you start trying to “be nice,” to “be good,” to “be confident,” to “be sexy,” to “be smart,” etc…
In reality you are trying to look and act like all those things, leaving behind the authentic you.
You try “to be somebody” that you think that person would like and accept, so that person likes you and you don’t feel rejected.
Now, this “somebody” or “way of being” comes from ideas you get from society, media and your surroundings that tell you how you are “supposed to be” or how you “should be”, which have nothing to do with who you really are.
This fear of rejection comes from when we were children.
As children we have a need of attention and acceptance from our parents or care givers. A child needs protection and constant care. When these needs were not met, or maybe they were, but as kids we couldn’t understand why sometimes our parents could not be there for us.
For example, when they had to leave us with a nanny, or when we woke up in the middle of the night and our mother wasn’t right there next to us.
The reasons why our needs were not met in certain situations, we may or may not know. The important fact is that now as adults we can understand how sometimes you have to leave your child alone or with someone else while you go to work or do something else. You can now understand that it doesn’t mean you are rejecting the child or that you don’t love the child.
As kids, because our rational mind wasn’t yet developed, everything was about emotions, we simply felt and believed everything we heard. If we were not explained as we grew up of the honest reasons why our parents behaved in certain ways, then every single absence of our parents would have been easily taken as rejection, abandonment or loneliness.
Today as grown up individuals we have the opportunity to heal those past events in order for us to be whole and emotionally mature.
By finding helpful tools whether professionally or with self-help, we can be responsible adults who don’t need to make the same mistakes as past generations.