The fear of rejection may have haunted each one of us at one time or another. It may be caused by our fear of being and living alone, too much dependence on other people’s perception of us, lack of confidence and inability to control our own life. Fear of rejection is a state of mind that makes a person feel inadequate, helpless and worthless. It inhibits a person from doing or saying things because of the fear that other people might not accept him or disapprove of his actions and words. A person who is so concerned about what others may think of him could make his own life miserable because he can no longer speak his own mind nor do things that he would normally do on his own. The fear of rejection can paralyze a person and discourage him from being productive. A person’s uniqueness disappears the moment he puts primary emphasis on what others want him to be. A person too caught up with pleasing others will start to emulate other people from the way they dress and the way they behave in society. This usually happens to young people who crave attention and acceptance but do not yet have enough basis for self-acceptance. This is detrimental to a person’s growth because there is no more room for self-expression, only of self-denial and the thought of pleasing others. A person who fears being rejected can be characterized as:
- A person who acts without confidence. A person who is not sure of himself will tend to imitate others and keep himself from trying new things. Such lack of confidence will ultimately make such person unhappy and bitter.
- Keeps opinion to himself. A person who is not vocal about his perception of things may be having trouble with rejection. He may keep from voicing out his opinion for fear of being criticized.
- Usually depressed. A person who does not have the freedom to speak for himself and to express his wants will soon become depressed and will no longer have a love for life. He will tend to act like a remote-control robot that cannot make his own decisions.
- Confused about his true identity. A person who has fears of being rejected will end up confused about who he really is. This will lead to an identity crisis and will make him angry at himself and at other people for no reason at all.
- Lack of self-esteem and self-worth. A person who gives more importance to what others may think of him does not have much faith in himself to start with. This lack of self-esteem may have resulted from feelings of rejection instilled in him by his family or friends.
A person who fears rejection will ultimately be rejected by the people he wants to please and who love him dearly. A person who has the tendency to please other people will soon get sucked into a difficult cycle of rejection. His behavior will keep the people he cares about alienated from him. He sees this as a rejection and then the cycle goes on and on. We must all find ways to deal with rejection to break this vicious cycle. For more on personal growth, check out the links above.