Fear of rejection is incredibly common among the population. Moreover, you could have it without even knowing and it may be stopping you from being happy and accomplished.
On a base level, fear is what keeps us going and what has allowed humans to survive and evolve. The fear of rejection stems from craving a strong and fulfilling bond from others around you and close family members and worrying about what the consequences may be if we are rejected.
Forming successful and strong social bonds is an important part of growing up and becoming an adult, being rejected classes us as an outcast and can lead to unfulfilling relationships with others.
Yet, the fear of rejection can make more of an impact in our lives as it should and it can hold us back from incredible opportunities, all because we are too afraid that the answer might be ‘no’.
1. You constantly strive for perfection you may not be able to achieve
If you’re afraid of rejection, this usually means you are also scared of criticism and failure. This leads to spending hours getting ready and making sure you look and act perfectly to try and mask the fear you feel.
Not only is this a time waster, it’s exhausting to constantly feel on edge and nervous about how people will see you or what they will think of you.
2. You say ‘yes’ when you wanted to say ‘no’
The fear of rejection creates a thought processing dynamic which makes us want to please people, as we think it will make it less likely that we will reject us if we do what they want us to. This leaves us in awkward and uncomfortable positions that we did not initially want to be a part of.
3. You don’t take risks
Risk taking is a big thing. It’s important to take risks in order to advance in certain areas of our lives, yet risk-taking can be terrifying for someone who is afraid of rejection.
It means you may not take risks in relationships, in jobs, or in everyday life because you are afraid of failing or being judged. This can really hold you back in your career and in many other aspects of your life.
4. You settle for less
Similarly to not feeling able to take risks, if you are afraid of rejection you may also settle for less than they deserve. Being afraid of speaking out can hold you back from what we deserve and, instead, you can end up settling for a lot less and not feeling satisfied.
Settling may feel like you’re being realistic, but instead, it is simply being afraid to follow our dreams.
5. You freeze in stressful situations
When you get scared, fight or flight kicks in, and when you’re afraid of being rejected then your reaction will almost always be the secret third option of freezing up. It’s incredibly stressful to constantly be weighing up your options and deciding who is the one you need to please the most.
6. You procrastinate
If you’re afraid of rejection then you are almost definitely afraid of failure; you want to do your best but aren’t sure how to do it. This can lead to Olympic-grade procrastination because doing your best and getting a bad reaction is infinitely worse than simply not doing the work at all.
7. You find distractions
The stress and anxiety of constantly feeling like you’re going to be rejected or that you’re not good enough is overwhelming and many people find ways of dealing with it. Sometimes these coping mechanisms are not entirely healthy and can lead to issues such as alcohol or drug problems.
Whether your anxiety hits this extreme or not, the chances are that there is something that you use to numb the feeling of stress.
8. You try to control everything
Being in control of all aspects of your life may seem like the way to deal with the fact that you are feeling stressed and afraid. You may feel out of control in other aspects of your life and so controlling as much as you can is one of the only logical solutions.
Instead of taking control to get what you want is the answer, instead, you take a great time in micromanaging everything except the problem.
9. You bite your tongue when you want to speak up
It is natural that people want to speak up when they feel they have been wronged. Yet if you are afraid of rejection then you know the painful compulsion to keep your mouth shut so as to get people to like you.
Not only does this hold you back from important opportunities, it can also leave you feeling anxious and upset when issues are not properly dealt with.
10. You get ill more often
It’s medically proven that those who are more stressed and anxious tend to get ill much more often. If you find yourself getting ill all the time with seemingly no real cause, it could be that your immune system simply can’t take the stress that you are putting your body under.
We hope that this article has helped you to recognise the problem of the fear of rejection. Letting go and getting past this fear can open your life up to a myriad of new opportunities for success and happiness.
We hope that by helping you assess the problem, you can now take the opportunity to remedy it and really be fulfilled in the future.
By Francesca F.