How to get over your fear of Social Rejection
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I once heard that the two stages in life where people are least afraid to be themselves is when they are children, from around the age of four to seven, and when they are old. When you are a child you don’t really understand what it means to care about what other people think because you are so focused on your life at this very moment and living it. Playing in the mud, answering avidly, questions grown ups ask you about your best friend in preschool and your favorite teacher.
Then when you reach fifty you realize, “hey I’m past the halfway mark!” then slowly by slowly you start to care less what people think of you. By the time you are hitting you’re sixties and seventies you are allowed to be opinionated, to say, “I actually really hate jazz music, turn that crap down!” or, “Losing weight for who?! Why would I even be focusing on that when there are so many other important things to think about in life.” Most times you really couldn’t care less about anyone else thinking or judging whether you are pretty or handsome or not because the truth is at that age you are expected to have wrinkles and you beauty is more about wisdom than physical characteristics.
So what happens in that age gap in between?
From the time you become a preteen, into young adulthood, into your thirties and so on you start to realize that there is a dictated way to act given by society and if you do not conform to it then you will be an outcast. This leads to fear. The fear that causes clammy hands and sweating break outs right when you are about to go on stage in front of a group of people because you are afraid you are going to fail.
The fear that comes when you are in a place full of people you don’t know and you wait for someone to come up and talk to you instead of initiating a conversation because you are scared that no one will talk back to you if you talk to them first.
The fear that people will think less of you for every embarrassing moment that causes you to cringe, and every loud or awkward statement that you make; for every time someone cooler than you makes a statement that you want to disagree with but you can’t because they are cooler than you.
The fear of social Rejection.
I recently watched a TED TALK based on the art of being yourself by a lady called Caroline McHugh, you can check it out Here One of my favorite parts though was when she shared a story from her childhood. When she was young her father would make her and her sisters sing for his friends even though she believed they were terrible at it. One evening her mom called her and her sisters from upstairs and told them the guests they had been expecting had arrived and they should go downstairs and sing. Little Caroline had had it and told her mom she didn’t want to sing. When her mom asked her why, she replied softly, “I’m shy.”
Her mom asked again, “why are you shy?”
To which she replied, “because everyone will be watching me.”
Then her mom said dead set, “Caroline Mchugh don’t flatter yourself. You think that the people downstairs care one iota about who you are or how your singing affects their life. They will leave and probably not even think about it and continue living their lives. Their universes does not revolve around you.” *I kind of summarized what I could remember, but that was the gist of it.*
After that she took her guitar and went downstairs and sang, but she also kept that lesson for the rest of her life, and now she’s in her sixties!
We are afraid to be ourselves because we give ourselves a higher place on other people’s minds than we actually take. Did you know that most people are too busy worrying about themselves and their issues to think about your social awkwardness?
Like every other human being I have a rejection phobia. I don’t want to be an outcast and I want to be liked, loved even. Though I am learning that when my fear of not being liked or being rejected compromises who I am, then it is not worth it. We only have one life to live do you really think God created us to waste it on trying to be liked by everyone else? Or would He want you to use it becoming the person that YOU would like? The person that you were ultimately created to be?
Now it’s easy to know this in your head, but it’s harder to practically live it out. I mean, how do you learn to not care whether other people like or reject you? I have an interesting challenge that I want you to participate in, it is called the ‘rejection,’ or ‘out of your comfort zone challenge.’ I watched this other really interesting video by TED TALKS, (As you can tell I am in love with TED TALKS)
This one though shows you what the rejection challenge is all about. Basically it is to do something that would give probable cause for you to be rejected, or something that would be embarrassing, or something that causes the kind of social fear that leaves you deathly pale. Then after you do it, pat yourself on the back because it wasn’t that bad then do it again, and again, then do something else that challenges your social fear and do it more and more until you honestly start to not care what other people think about it.
The guy who talked in the video linked above suggested starting by laying down on the street for 30 seconds. I might actually do that and record my experience lol. Though I have seriously determined to get myself into one situation every week where I will possibly be rejected, and push so far out of my comfort zone that I realize being myself is actually enough, no matter what other people think. I might even try the 100 days of rejection therapy. If you do want to partake in this challenge with me please comment below and let me know, also like and follow and let me know if you want a post on “How to Embrace You for Who You Are.”
Love you all ❤