How to Release the Fear of Rejection to Connect with Others

We all want authentic connections with others.  The loving closeness with our spouses, the comfort and support from a close friend, but in order to have these real connections we may have to show our vulnerability.  Being vulnerable is how we connect to one another by sharing the good parts and the parts we don’t like to talk about.  We have to learn to be brave to truly share our thoughts and feelings with another.  In doing so, we allow them to share their true selves with us.


So, since we all want these types of relationships, why don’t we have them.  We fear that we will be judged harshly if we share our intimate thoughts and feelings.  That we will be blamed, attacked or shamed by those we care about and that our negative side with push others away, instead of drawing them closer.  We determine that, since we feel bad and are ashamed of how we feel or what we did, that others will to and therefore no longer love us.


Rejection – and the fear of rejection – is the biggest impediment we face to choosing ourselves. ~ James Altucher


People Need to Connect with Others


Despite the fear of judgment, we have a deeper need to bond with others.  Science has shown that our brains are wired for these personal connections.  We don’t need a lot of them, but these special bonds are required so that we don’t feel all alone in the world.  These special relationships provide a sense of comfort and protection that we desire in our lives.  It has even been proven that we have a tendency to value belongings less when we feel cared for and accepted by others.


But, in order for us to authentically connect with others we need to take off our armor.  We need to stop allowing the disguises of fear to thwart our human connections.  We need to be less concerned about impressing others or worrying that we may say something wrong, and just be who we truly are.  Those who accept you, flaws and all, are real friends.  They are the ones that will continue to care about you despite the mistakes you will make as time goes on.  Love, is accepting another as they are- their true authentic selves. 


Your connections to all the things around you literally define who you are.  ~ Aaron D. O'Connell


Let’s review three ways in which we choose to be inauthentic and why. 


1. Guarding our Self-Esteem


So, to be authentic we have to show who we really are.  But, we have past experiences where doing so caused our feeling to be hurt.  There were times where we were humiliated when we dared to share our thoughts and feelings.  Or, we were teased for not being athletic enough or smart enough in a certain situation.  These interactions from our past made us feel unworthy and therefore, we are now guarded when we meet new people. 


Consequently, we try to alter ourselves into a person that is more acceptable to others.  We conform to what society thinks is normal.  We try to earn acceptance, respect and love for being something we aren’t.  Essentially, we are lying to ourselves and others.  And if we are accepted, we still feel ashamed because we know we are being dishonest with others and ourselves. 


Despite how we have been treated in the past, we are good enough.  We are worthy of love and acceptance just as we are.  You were born a unique individual.  No one else on this planet is like you, so you really can’t compare yourself to anyone.


If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.  ~ Fred Rogers


2. Protecting our Feelings


Revealing our heart and emotions can be frightening.  The past has shown us that sharing our feelings can cause rejection.  So, we appease others with providing societal accepted responses instead of sharing our true frame of mind.  By doing so, we don’t get closer to others; we actually end up more isolated.  


Your ego thinks that there is real danger in your feeling getting hurt and that is not necessarily true.  Yes, being wounded by other’s words can have an effect on you.  It may lessen your self-worth but it is not truly dangerous, like a tiger attacking you.  The ego is meant to alert you to danger that is life threating, not hurt feelings.  (This doesn’t apply to any form of abuse.) 


But isolation and your mindset can be altered as we all have the capacity to heal and forgive others.  Forgives allows us to release the past so that we can move forward.  This then leads into self-care, the process in which we nurture ourselves and in order for us to alter how we face the world. Changing our mindset allows us to see that everyone is different and therefore not everyone will respond like another.  When we choose to treat everyone the same we are alienating ourselves from authentic connections. 


Most of your healing journey will be about unlearning the patterns of self-protection that once kept you safe.  ~ Vironika Tugaleva


Releasing the Fear of Rejection


Suffering, underneath our desperate efforts to be accepted, is our true self; the exposed, innocent, and unguarded authentic self.  It takes mindfulness and self-care to encourage ourselves to be just as we were created to be and release the fear of rejection the ego holds on to. 


We cannot abandon the egoic mind as it is an integral part of our being human.  What we can do is to evaluate if the danger the ego reveals is actually genuine.  Being embarrassed in not life threating.  Neither is being rejected.  Therefore when these feelings come up, we can appraise them and determine that they aren’t life threating. From this assessment process we can determine how to move forward. 


The ego is powerful and we will not be able to eliminate its desire to protect us in order for us not to feel fear or shame.  The authentic path isn’t the elimination of these feeling but the awareness that they are operating so that we can choose differently. 


The fear of rejection is worse than rejection itself. ~ Nora Profit


Courage to Connect with Others


Reaching out to connect with others from an authentic place is an act of courage.  It doesn’t negate the anxiousness that you may feel as you show your true thoughts and feelings.  Being aware of the emotions and choosing to be authentic anyway allows these sensations to settle.  As we continue to do this over time we become truly confident and these emotional states diminish.


Keep in mind for you to connect with another you have to be able to respect and honor their truth, just as you want them to do.  You have to appreciate their viewpoint and offer compassion and understanding.  Both parties need to be open and kind, sharing themselves with bravery and genuineness. 


Truthfully, the benefits of being authentically you overshadow the disadvantages of being dishonest with yourself and others.  As you would expect, some people won’t be open with you and your vulnerability may be exposed, but it’s worth the risk to find those individuals who do. 


Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people, don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.  ~ Harvey Mackay


Moving Forward


As you determine to make authentic connections with others and become conscious about your mindset you can alter the course of your life.  If you would like to receive more enlightening articles right into your email fill this out now.

Do you need help becoming aware of your own mindset?  Do you need support in making authentic connections with others?  Do you want a strategy to help you create a marvelous life?  If so please contact me and we can put together an action plan for you to be authentically you and for you to know that you are enough.

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