I. Fear of Rejection
A. What is rejection?
Fear of rejection is the:
- Irrational fear that others will not accept us for who we are. It is what we believe, and how we act.
- Pervasive motivator for caution in our behavior and interactions with others.
- State of mind that makes us incapable of doing or saying, anything for fear of others rejection, lack of acceptance, and disapproval.
- State of being of individuals who are over-dependent on the approval, recognition, or affirmation of others in order to feel good about themselves. In order to sustain personal feelings of adequacy, these individuals are constantly concerned with the reactions of others to them.
- Self-censoring attitude that inhibits creativity, productivity, and imagination in one’s approach.
- Driving force behind many people that keeps them from being an authentic human being; will cause you to wear “mask” and not be real. The person is so driven by the need for acceptance of others that they lose your own identity in the process. They mimic the ways in which others act, dress, talk, think, believe, and function. They also become the three-dimensional clones of the “role models” you so desperately need to emulate in order to gain acceptance.
- Underlying process in the power of “peer pressure” that grabs hold and makes people act in stereotypic, “pop” culture, counterculture, punk, new wave, preppie, yuppie, and other styles. They crave recognition and acceptance from the reference group with whom they want to be identified.
- Energy-robbing attitude that leads to self- immobilization, self-defeating, and self-destructive behavior. This attitude encourages ongoing irrational thinking and behavior, resulting in personal stagnation, regression, and depression.
- Driving force of some people for all actions in their lives. It plays a part in their choices concerning their education, career direction, work behavior, achievement level, interpersonal and marital relationships, family and community life, and the ways in which they spend leisure time.
- Act of giving to others more power than we give to ourselves over how we feel about ourselves. What others say or feel about us is the determinant of how we feel about ourselves. We are completely at the mercy of others for how happy or sad we will be. Our self-satisfaction and belief in ourselves are in their hands.
The bottom line is fear of rejection is the renunciation of power and control over our own life.
Next Week – Jan 18th – Jan 24th: Forgiving & Forgetting Part IV – Steps to Overcoming Fear of Rejection.
Dr. Dorothy E. Hooks