Adults who experience a fear of abandonment may struggle with a preoccupied attachment style. They frequently anticipate rejection and search for signs of disinterest from their partner. They may feel triggered by even subtle or imagined signs of rejection from their partner based on the real rejections they experienced in their childhood. As a result, they may act possessive, controlling, jealous, or clingy toward their partner.
They may often seek reassurance or display distrust. Therefore, resolving these emotions is key to feeling stronger in themselves and experiencing healthier relationships. People often choose partners who fit with patterns from their past.
For example, if they felt ignored as children, they may choose a partner who is self-centered or distant. People are rarely aware of this process, but they may feel an extra attraction to a person who reminds them of someone from their past. Or they may find ways to recreate the emotional climate of their childhood.
People who are afraid of being abandoned often not only select partners who are less available, but they may also distort their partners, believing them to be more rejecting then they are. Finally, they sometimes even provoke the other person in ways that influence their partner to pull back and create more distance.
Catching on to these patterns, which Drs. We can develop earned secure attachment as adults in several ways. Another way for individuals to develop more security within themselves is through therapy.
Experiencing a secure relationship with a therapist can help a person form earned secure attachment. As human beings, we are not helpless victims of our past, but we do need to face our past in order to create a better future. Daniel Siegel talks about the importance of creating a coherent narrative in helping individuals feel more secure and strengthened within themselves. When people make sense of their past, they may be less likely to feel such intense, knee-jerk fear of abandonment. However, even when they do feel fear, they are far better able to calm themselves down.
Learn how, over time, a fear of rejection can escalate into additional phobias. Sign Up for a Daily Dose of Psychology First dates, and especially blind dates, are scary for anyone, but those with a fear of rejection may. Fear of rejection often keeps us from making, or even seeking, Rejection is a concern that many people carry in the dating world, as it can.
They can identify where their fear comes from and where it belongs, and they can take actions that are more rational and appropriate to the reality of their present lives. They can enhance and strengthen their relationships rather reacting with fear and insecurity and creating the distance they so fear. Every one of us has fears about being left alone. Another general practice to adopt is that of self-compassion. Kristin Neff has done studies, revealing countless benefits of self-compassion.
Rather, it involves three main elements:. The more individuals can trace these feelings to their roots in their past, the more they can separate these experiences from the present. It takes courage for someone to be willing to see what hurt them and face the primal feelings of abandonment they may have had as children when they had no control over their situation.
However, when people are able to face these feelings, they can essentially set themselves free from many of the chains of their past. They can become differentiated adults, who are able to create new stories and new relationships in which they feel safe, seen, soothed, and therefore, secure. I developed fear and anger when my wish to be like her was ignored.
I wanted to die of embarrassment as the car arrived with laughing people but no apology. Eventually, I found that I could stumble through the world, sweating profusely, worried about my imagined ugly features, feeling terribly insecure, but if I kept at it, I could attempt to achieve some of my goals, because I was alone in the world and I had to. I had a fairly good career but two unsuccessful marriages, partly because, as this article suggests, I chose people who were distant and selfish to some extent, not feeling worthy to choose a person who would love and support me emotionally, and toughed it out despite loneliness, frustration and the bewilderment that inevitably came.
I know now that it was likely because I experienced in childhood the same treatment. To this day, and I am 66 years old, I relate to broken people, outsiders and shy children moreso than the so-called normals. Part of my life was spent teaching, and you can bet the behavior of the adults in my early years informed me as to how NOT to teach, just as the fine, intelligent people I was privileged to meet later on glowed in my mind and methods in the classroom. Teaching helped me to replace some of the stupidity I experienced, with success and compassion, since I was determined that no child would struggle as I had with self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness and humiliation.
I am still working on leaving the anger and disappointment of a childhood behind, but I think I will be more successful if I just consciously try to choose opportunities for happier times in the future that remains. Thank you for sharing Christine. Lost my mom when I was 4 and my father either ignored or attacked me all the time, it was a constant fear of being seen, just wanting to be invisible. God bless your heart. Yes, I can also relate to your experience. I lived with my mother till she died when I was I went to live with a father I barely knew.
My father had remarried and both of them were extremely abusive and either ignored me or constantly attacked me. There was not the insult of constant laughter, but every day there was sullen rage, threats, insults and distain. I have had some of the same experiences as Christine and can relate to her feelings.
I am only now aware of how much that abuse has affected my relationships. Thank you for sharing your story. My mother left me for my grandparents to raise. They did the best they could though and I thank God for them. I married young and divorced young,figured I better leave him before he leaves me.
I actually remember saying those very words to myself. Hmmm,do you think I have issues? I think it comes from my attachment to my mom from a young age. Sometimes making my presence to daycare owners, intolerable. She was the best mom but my perception sometimes was that I was 2nd important or the truth was being stretched to covers ones desire to do something without me.
Maybe this subconsciously stems from my dad as well? She is extremely loving with a huge generous heart but she has also been accused of being in her own world. Momentary lapses of emotional distance. In a way I think that helped protect her. In fact, this is an ideal way to learn more about the world and about your social environment.
Fear of rejection can often stem from the fact that while you were growing up, you were always compared to other people. Sometimes the fear of rejection creeps up on us unexpectedly and often hides behind a veil of excuses. However, it is very real and has a significant stranglehold on our lives. Have a read of the following symptoms of the fear of rejection and assess how many of them are currently manifesting in your life.
The more of these symptoms you just checked off your list, the more influence the fear of rejection has over your life, decisions, and actions.
And that, of course, is entirely okay. Acknowledgement and acceptance is always the first step to change. The fear of rejection is comparable to any other fear. It will, therefore, take time to work through and overcome its debilitating effect on your life. Overcoming any fear, of course, takes patience , hard work, and dedication on your part. The journey will not be easy because habitual patterns of behavior require consistent work and effort to change.
But in the end, it will all be worthwhile. In the end, the rewards of this journey will help you gain your freedom back. To overcome your fear of rejection, you must first identify what it is you want and why exactly you want those things. There must be legitimate reasons for wanting to overcome your fear of rejection.
Without legitimate reasons, there will be very little motivation to make a change. The final question on this lists creates pain by pinpointing the consequences of inaction. The answer to this question will hopefully help provide you with the motivation you need to overcome your fear of rejection. To overcome any fear, you must first gain proper perspective and clarity about that fear.
To do this, begin by identifying what it is precisely you fear. However, you still need more information about what specifically happens when you experience the fear of rejection. With this in mind, take time to identify the unhelpful behaviors you tend to indulge in while fearing rejection. This should now give you enough information about your fear. Your next step is to identify more resourceful behaviors that could be used to help you work through this fear in optimal ways.
Finally, have a think about the potential obstacles that you might need to work through to overcome your fear of rejection. The obstacles you face can, of course, be real or imagined. In fact, when it comes to the fear of rejection, many of the obstacles you face are primarily in your head. For this to happen though, you must take time to master two fundamental skill. We, of course, live in a social world. As a result, we interact with other social beings.
During these social interactions, we risk being criticized, judged, and rejected. The more competent you are in social situations, and the more assertive you are while speaking your mind and asking for what you want, the more confidence you will exude when around others. With a higher degree of confidence, you will feel more capable of dealing with any social rejection you might experience.
Subsequently, the more confidence you have in yourself, the more confidence others will have in you, and before you know it, the tables will have turned. Other people will swiftly look to you for guidance and support. They will look to you for acceptance and approval. And they might even end up modeling their own behavior on the person that you have become.
Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life? This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read.
Thank you for sharing Christine. Your email address will not be published. To overcome your fear of rejection, you must first identify what it is you want and why exactly you want those things. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Imagine someone trying to learn a new language and spending all their time focusing on how they don't want to not study, how they don't want to not speak a word on their upcoming holiday.
The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. If, on the other hand, you want access to an ever-growing library of s of visual tools and resources, then check out our Premium Membership Packages. These packages provide you with the ultimate visual reference library for all your personal development needs. A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success. You Succumb to Excessive Neediness You might not realize this, but your fear of rejection is coming across as a sense of neediness. You Fall Victim to Feelings of Guilt and Dissatisfaction To live with the fear of rejection is to live a life of extreme dissatisfaction and guilt.
Adam Sicinski Adam is a life coach, mind mapper, doodler and visual thinker.
He founded IQ Matrix in and has created over self-growth mind maps.