How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection?

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How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection

mb1forThe human race is hard-wired to seek approval from others. Living in organized societies was critical for the earliest humans, and studies show that most people need human contact to thrive today. Fear of rejection can cause people to withdraw, or conversely, to act out in inappropriate ways to gain attention. Neither strategy is effective for making new friends and gaining acceptance. Here are three ways to overcome the fear of rejection.

Imagine the worst-case scenario

But what if the worst-case scenario happens? What if no one talks to you at the party and you leave without having any fun or making any new friends? That kind of scenario could potentially happen to anyone, even those with the best of intentions. Ask yourself, what could be the worse thing that could happen, and would it be the end of the world? In the end, it’s just a party. There will be other parties, with other people. You can always try again. Once you’re comfortable with the worst-case scenario, you can focus on the best-case scenario.

Project the best-case scenario

Now that you’ve moved past the worst-case scenario, it’s time to project the best-case scenario. Suppose you walk into the party and say hello to someone who smiles at you and says hello in return. You strike up a conversation with that person and join a slightly larger group where you participate. You make a new friend or two and have a good time. When you go to the party, consider that the best-case scenario is already all set up to happen. You’ll walk in with a smile on your face and approach people in a friendly manner, so people will want to get to know you..

Practice, practice, practice

Practicing interacting with others is a great way to overcome your fear of rejection. Start small; practice greeting people as you pass them in the park. Look them in the eye, smile and say, “hello.” Most of them will say “hello” back to you; a few of them won’t. That’s ok... you’ll find that this exercise will show you that it’s no big deal if everyone doesn’t immediately smile back at you. From there, move on to small groups. Join a reading group or hobby club. Practice introducing yourself and starting a conversation. Groups of people who have the same hobbies and interests as you are a great place to start; the topic of conversation is mutually interesting and people are looking to make new friends. The more you practice meeting people, the more you’ll be able to move past your fear of rejection and on to meaningful relationships.