Why do we fear ourselves

The fear of rejection and how to overcome it

To be loved, liked, recognized and accepted are perfectly normal human needs. When other people react positively to us, we are happy, it strengthens our self-worth and gives us a feeling of belonging - and thus security. Rejection apparently deprives us of all of these advantages and good feelings or remains denied us - but only seemingly. It is possible to become less dependent on the behavior of others, which also reduces the fear of rejection. But how does it work?

The cause of fear of rejection

People have always lived together in groups. From an evolutionary point of view, the reason for this is the survival of the individual. It was only through group protection, division of labor and the care of others that people had the best chance of survival. Nowadays it is a little different in our society, as people living alone can also take care of themselves and, in case of doubt, receive state-regulated support.

Nonetheless, due to our evolutionary past, we have an ingrained fear of being alone. When others reject us, it triggers exactly this fear: We could be ostracized, left alone and shunned and, from an evolutionary point of view, that would have meant our death.

Rejection has many faces

What do we mean when we talk about rejection? Do we all understand the same thing or do we value and experience the behavior of others very differently?

In fact, the perception of rejection not only differs from person to person, but also depends on phases of life or even the form of the day.

For example, we can interpret it as a rejection when a friend cancels a meeting or when we are criticized by a colleague. We often experience a particularly painful form of rejection when someone ends a love affair with us. But even if strangers prune us in traffic, we can feel rejected.

When does fear of rejection become a problem?

Even when we know and make ourselves aware that our survival is assured in today's world and in our society, even if nobody wants to have anything to do with us, we fear rejection from others.

Being rejected makes us feel uncomfortable. The less we know how to deal with this feeling, the greater our fear of being rejected.

This can lead to trying to please others and ignoring our own needs. The crux of the matter is: This adaptive behavior also brings with it unpleasant feelings and also prevents our relationships from growing by avoiding conflict. Facing fear and dealing with it consciously can be the key to overcoming fear of rejection.

Accept yourself

As already described, what we perceive as rejection is very different. That should make us think: It is much less about what others say or do.

The feeling of rejection arises within ourselves through what we think and feel as a result.

If a friend cancels a meeting, a colleague criticizes us or the partner ends the relationship, this can have completely different reasons than that they reject us as a person in principle. The fear that this reason might be true then diminishes when we accept ourselves. When we realize that we are lovable, even when others don't always respond positively to us or don't want what we want.

The best way to internalize your own priceless worth is to treat yourself as if we could already feel it. The key to this is self-care.

Overcome fear of rejection with self-care

Self-care means taking good care of yourself. It is worth it to you to take the time to take care of your body and your psyche. There are many different ways to do this, and it depends on what you need and experience as pleasant: cooking your favorite dish, doing sports, bathing, meditating, watching a series, going to a manicure, meeting friends, eating in a restaurant and so on.

Ultimately, self-care is about consciously making time for yourself.

Self-care helps against the fear of rejection and also against uncomfortable feelings such as self-hatred. By showing yourself: Hey, this person said this and that to me, but I'm lovable and I take care of myself.

If rejection hurts you, ask yourself: What can I do myself now? This way you will regain your strength and be able to better deal with the fear of future rejection.

Categories Anxiety & PanicTags Coping with fear, self-care, self-worth, self-doubt, rejection