Feeling Lonely And Misunderstood May Actually Be A Fear Of Rejection
A fear of rejection is a very common trait amongst us humans that can wreak havoc on our lives. However, it more often than not goes undiagnosed/misdiagnosed, making it far more debilitating.
I myself had been working on and around mental health for over a decade, with 5 years in therapy and well over 3000 pages of journaling written, before I, mostly by happenstance, stumbled upon the term, and realized that this accounted for the large majority of the interpersonal problems I was struggling with.
If you feel lonely, misunderstood, and a necessity to "hide" your true self from others, you might have a fear of rejection.
The Fear Of Rejection Cycle
When we fear rejection, we hide who we truly are and attempt to appeal to everyone — because if anyone doesn't like us or is upset with us it brings up feelings of shame, self-attack, and being flawed or broken.
So we instead mute ourselves and our personality — walking on eggshells with literally everyone, in an attempt to avoid the painful feelings any rejection can bring.
But this actually makes matters worse, as we present outwardly as bland and uneventful, making it impossible for many people who would love who we are to even know that we exist.
When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one
When we do finally manage to get in a relationship (friend, business, or intimate) where we can let some of our true selves out, we become extremely dependent on and enmeshed in that relationship.
An oasis in a desert when we are dying of dehydration.
But every relationship has disagreements of preference and temperament — whether that be the type of food we eat, movies we watch, politics, or anything else.
And so in an attempt to keep this oasis, we fall into our rejection avoidance habit — pre-emptively hide anything that they may not like.
But needs can never be suppressed indefinitely, so we eventually blow up with all the suppressed needs.
This obviously causes a fight and instability in the relationship, and will eventually kill it entirely after the cycle happens enough.
In parallel with this (and worsened the more this has happened), we will even pre-emptively reject those we are close to or may one day become close to in an attempt to prevent any opportunity for rejection.
Any sign that someone does not like something about us or that we will have any relational conflict is an immediate disqualifier for them as candidates for our vulnerability (a prerequisite to intimacy) nipping in the bud any opportunity for the level of connection we deep down need.
Now feeling even more lonely, misunderstood, and desperate for connection, the cycle repeats.
If you resonated with this cycle and would like a part 2 on solutions, please let me know as I'd love to write it :)
If this description just blew your mind with a perfect description of your relationships and you want more info ASAP, please reach out to me as I'd love to talk more!
If the above is true but you don't want to talk to me, check out these books:
No More Nice Guy by Robert Glover
Rejection Proof by Jia Jang
Both changed my life.
Thanks for reading!