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Title: Does Fear of Rejection Control Your Life? Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: © 2005 by Margaret Paul URL: http://www.innerbonding.com Word Count: 699 Category: Self Improvement, Personal Growth
Does Fear of Rejection Control Your Life? By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Jay sought my help because he wanted to get married and have children, yet relationship of his dreams seemed to elude him. When I first met Jay, he was an attractive, creative, brilliant and successful businessman in his middle 30’s. And he had a great sense of humor. It wasn’t that women weren’t attracted to him. He had no trouble having first dates with interesting, intelligent, and attractive women. But it never went anywhere. Jay was baffled.
When I first started to counsel Jay, he was very quiet. It felt like pulling teeth to get him to share anything with me, especially his feelings. He stayed in his head, brilliant in his ability to articulate, but flat and unemotional. He words were carefully planned out and delivered. He seemed to always be tense. It was very hard to connect with him.
“Jay, something seems to be in way of your spontaneity. Are you aware of how carefully you pick your words?”
“There must be a good reason you do this. Do you know what that is?”
“I don’t want to say wrong thing. I don’t want to make a fool of myself.”
“And what are you afraid will happen if you say wrong thing or make a fool of yourself?
“I will be rejected.”
“So most of time in conversation your intention is to avoid rejection?”
“Yes. I’m terrified of rejection. I will do anything to avoid it.”
“Jay, what are you telling yourself it means if someone rejects you?”
“It means that they don’t like me because I’m inadequate and unworthy.”
“So in your mind, everyone, especially attractive women, have power to define your adequacy and worth?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“So when you are with women, your intention is to have control over how they feel about you so they won’t reject you. Yet you seem to get rejected over and over. How do you account for that?”