Fear of rejection and the corresponding disappointment

Lots of people don’t do things they’d like to do for fear of rejection and the corresponding disappointment.

If this is you, then you can break this pattern of avoidance by practicing exposing yourself to rejection.

You might want to concentrate on

– interpersonal rejection, or
– other types of possible rejection

whichever is the biggest problem for you.

Here’s a personal example: A few months ago I thought about what types of people I’d like to have more of in my life. Top of my list was artists, of lots of different persuasions (e.g. writers).

Lately, when I’ve had contact with artists I’ve made it a reflex to think about whether I’d like to have more contact with them. And if my answer is yes, to explicitly invite that, even when their answer might be ‘not interested.’

Since people who avoidant cope to avoid feeling rejected tend to PERSONALIZE rejection, practice “surfing” those thoughts and feelings. Let any difficult thoughts or feelings ebb and flow without getting into a tangle with them. See if you can develop a personal metaphor to help you do this.

Realize that you don’t need to be rescued in any way from the pain of rejection. Its tolerable without needing to be rescued from it or needing to use other strategies to try to escape the feeling.

Because the goal is to break associations between “feeling bad” and using avoidant coping, the best times to practice non avoidant coping are often when you’re feeling a bit down, anxious, or sensitive.

All of this could fit within the “valued life direction” of being open to experience.