“I’m scared of being rejected” or “I don’t want to be rejected“. How many times has this come up in your thoughts?
Rejection is bought up a lot in the world of mental health. It’s something that many people with mental illness, including myself, have an ‘irrational‘ fear of.
Rejection is a refusal to accept, in a sense. Having a fear of rejection, this means we are both refusing to accept a positive response, as well as being afraid that someone will refuse to accept us.
I’d take a guess and say that for people like me, the fear of rejection comes from a past of trauma. Where we have learned to protect ourselves by removing any risks of harm, including emotional.
My anxiety is fuelled by the idea of rejection, almost all my biggest fears and catastrophes revolve around rejection itself.
In fact, I think my biggest fear of all, is the idea that people will turn on me and decide they do not like me. I can’t think of anything worse than being hated. It’s a big worry when I’m all over the internet; I’m a walking target.
I know that most of this time, rejection won’t happen. I am aware that the situation I’m playing in my head over and over, isn’t likely going to be what actually happens when the event comes around.
Trying to barter with a set mindset of rejection, only leads to the same feeling of being rejected by our own selves.
But I have been rejected before, more than once and not just in small, ways. Though, when you have a mental illness, nothing seems small.
My mind tells me that because I have experienced it at least once, even if it’s a 0.001% chance – it will happen again, and again and in an exact way I believe it will happen.
Anxiety is a powerful thing. I know what’s realistic, I know what’s irrational and I know these are just thoughts; but anxiety doesn’t care about facts and ultimately, he’s got more power over me than cold hard facts.
My life’s been this cycle of ‘flighting‘ away from every scary situation, which is pretty much everything.
Then I’ll be falling into a relapse because, through this all, it turns out I’m the person doing the rejection, I’m rejecting myself.
Rejection doesn’t come just come from other humans. Though, I believe that I am not worthy of anyone’s time because I feel like I must be this terrible, annoying person. I’ve lost, friends, family and so many people I cared about because of this belief.
Because it’s easier to reject myself from them than have them reject me, which I decide they will from the moment I enter their life.
Rejection comes in everyday life. It comes from not applying for jobs or education because you know you’ll never be accepted, and if you are, you find a way to purposely fail because you can’t accept that you have been accepted.
It attacks our hobbies and dreams, where we decide we don’t deserve that kind of happiness and therefore we choose not to fight for it.
It means dreams never get followed and hobbies become chores. It’s hard to enjoy something when you know that it’s not going to last forever.
You’ll see it creeping up through trying to go to the shop, where you feel there will be an error with payment and you’ll never be able to go to that shop again.
It’s in driving when you believe you’re actually causing other drivers the worst day of their life by being on the road.
You could even attach it holidays, where you list 100 ways things will go wrong. You’re certain they will all come true, so rather than go through the humiliation of the plane not taking off due to your existence, it’s better to stay at home.
Rejection isn’t just being told to leave. Rejection is a feeling of being undeserving and unimportant.
Even writing this, I can feel my future readers laughing at how ‘silly’ this all sounds – I’m already planning my next rejection.
I believe there is an element of truth as to how sometimes, we are so set on rejection that we create it.
It’s worth understanding that this article is only a glimpse as to how the fear of rejection can completely take over a person life. But it’s not a fear we wanted, it’s not a choice we made.
When a person is always ready to run, consider that maybe they don’t know what it’s like to be asked to stay.