Rejection is probably my greatest fear. No matter how close I am to someone, I fear that they will desert me. Perhaps those dearest to me, such as family and friends, cause me even greater anxiety than strangers. If I lose them, who will stand by me and hold me through the tough times?
Now this fear creeps into my mind at many times. Laughing with classmates, smiling at someone who cares about me, emailing my mother, driving away from play practice – thoughts bombard me at any moment causing doubt about the sincerity of others.
These feelings not only make me fearful but also guilty. Instead of thinking about myself, I should focus on others, right? These people have proved their trustworthiness. Who am I to doubt their integrity?
Then the ultimate question comes: what if I deserve it?
Some people when asked about the worst case scenario for taking a chance or trying something new respond that they will fail. Other common answers might include looking stupid, losing friends, even dying.
All of these results are frightening. However, I always imagine myself locked in a cell away from all humans. People have seen who I truly am and want nothing to do with me. Alone forever, I beg for death to the unanswering walls. This is where my mind goes whenever I think about the worst possible end result.
Why is it that fear of rejection is so strong? Many other people that I have met expressed anxiety about this same issue to varying degrees. No one wants to be deserted or left alone.
My mother once told me that she shut me in my room at the age of 2. Tired of me crawling out of my crib and into their bed, my parents shut my door. Too tiny to reach the knob, I cried for several hours. Finally, they found me sleeping on the floor in front of the door.
I cannot remember this event. However, that little child’s fear remains in my heart. As I grew older, anxieties about my mother moving away or my teachers calling me stupid became normal worries. As much as I loved others, they could not be trusted.
However, if we trust no one, we end up truly alone. Fear of rejection brings about the thing that we dread the most. But how do we combat this gripping anxiety and overcome it?
I am not sure. Right now, life has brought amazing friendships like I have never experienced. However, I could ruin everything by running away. Instead, the brave thing to do would be stand strong and be open to hurt that might come with trust.
So, will you try to open up to trust others instead of fearing rejection? It is a daily process but something that might bring strong relationships in the end.
- Rejection and disappointment by Single Survivor
- Rejection by True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes
- Fear you must overcome to be happy and successful by fleurs de Camellie