A fear of rejection is an irrational anxiety to the potential of being rejected. It often stops you from taking a desired action; such as talking to that girl in the park, or asking a girl out.
You really want to go through with it. Maybe you psyched yourself up in preparation, but the anxiety takes over and it never feels like the right time. This leaves you annoyed with yourself and disappointed you were too scared to go after what you wanted.
Where does the fear of rejection come from?
It is a natural emotion. Humans are social creatures and a fear of social rejection is built deep into our psyche. We fear being alone or losing something that we have. These emotions are much stronger and more visceral than the opposing desire to gain something.
Recognizing the fear of rejection
We feel the fear of rejection in many areas of our lives, not just dating. Asking for a raise at work for example. However, it is most common in our dating lives.
You feel anxious. Your heart races, body tenses, and hands become clammy. Your mind races with reasons not to go ahead. You imagine everything that could go wrong and often go completely blank on what you wanted to say.
Every potential word or movement you could make is scrutinized in your mind and it all feels wrong. You cannot find the right words, the right time or the right way to go about it. Here’s how to overcome some of your fears and ask a girl out.
#1 Remember it’s normal to fear rejection. Fearing rejection is very normal. It is a common and natural reaction most people experience. That does not mean it remains your only option. You can overcome your fear of rejection.
#2 You need to recognize two key points. First, you have a fear of rejection. Second, this fear is irrational. We tend to move away from potential pain, preferring to stay firmly in our comfort zone.
To overcome the fear of rejection, embrace being uncomfortable. You understand the irrational fear you can overcome, and the consequences of rejection are minimal to nonexistent, beyond the immediate emotional shock.
#3 Exposure therapy. The quickest and most effective way to overcome a fear of rejection and ask a girl out is simply through exposure therapy. Get rejected a bunch of times and realize the world doesn’t end.
It will be painful in the beginning and feel completely unnatural, but trying to avoid it, doing mental gymnastics, and finding reasons to put it off is in itself just the fear of rejection taking over.
This works precisely because the fear of rejection is irrational. If you do not go through with the desired action, you are in exactly the same place as if you do so and get rejected. You are in essence rejecting yourself, before giving someone else the opportunity to.
#4 Realize the anticipation of rejection is much worse than rejection. Even if you experience rejection, it is never as bad as you build it up to be in your mind beforehand. The fear is worse than the reality.
Only through repetition do you start to tone down the fear. The more you prove to yourself that it is okay and life goes on without any significant pain, the less intense the fear becomes.
#5 What’s the worst that could happen? Sometimes it is the simplest things that help us. Ask yourself this question—what’s the worst that could happen?
#7 Things to remember if it is personal. Sometimes, for whatever reason, someone you like is just not interested in you. Not everything is meant to be. If someone doesn’t share the same feelings as you, it was not destined to happen. Now you know and can move on.
For every person who rejects you, there will be someone else who does like you. You have value as a human being and there will be someone who appreciates it. Every time someone doesn’t, you are one step closer to finding someone who does. Really, a failure has no lasting consequences. Nothing beyond the short term emotional hit your ego takes.
The more you get comfortable with the potential of rejection, the more you will be able to go after what you want, to approach the person you fancy, to ask for the date or to move things forwards in your relationship.
#8 Earn it. We live in a society used to receiving everything instantly. We no longer work to get food, shelter, or basic amenities. Technological progress makes life better for all of us. But it comes with the downside; we rarely must work for anything.