Fear of rejection

Hi everyone! So, I haven't been on this site for what feels like a while. I stumbled across this site some months ago when I was in a dark place and googling "lack of motivation" (haha) and it was just what I needed. A kind, supportive community of people who got it. Thanks to everyone who left supportive comments whenever I posted. It truly helped ease the isolation during those dark months.

Anyway, I have been feeling pretty good and non-depressed for a few months now but the last few days in a slump. I'm feeling quite lonely. I have this big fear of rejection. In both romantic relationships and friendships. Once I form any emotional bond to a person, it's almost always followed by fear that they will ultimately not like me and reject and leave me. I think it's me projecting my own mindset onto them since I have a lot of trouble accepting or loving myself at times. I definitely have bouts of self-loathing. I'm 35 with no husband and no kids so I feel like a freak sometimes. I do have times where I love myself and feel confident, but not so much lately.

I've been doing lovingkindness meditation for a bit to try and get back to loving myself. Any one else have big fears of rejection and what do you do to cope or combat it?

26 Replies

  • Hey, just a quick reply to say I'm also 35, unmarried and with no kids! There are quite a few like us around so you're definitely not a freak!!

    I don't fear rejection as much as feel I'm not good enough for others, so probably not best person to help with your question - but just wanted to let you know you're not alone with your social situation, or illness for that matter. xx

  • Yay! There are others out there! Haha. Thanks.

    I get the whole feeling you're not good enough for others thing. That's pretty much where all my fear of rejection is coming from. Best of luck to you.

  • Hi, I suppose my first question is why do you think people will reject you? Has that happened in the past?

    I have problems with attachment, because in one way or another, everyone I love has left me. Some of them have come back, and some have come back in unexpected ways.

    I wish I could tell you that I've hardened my heart to it, because I'd love to suggest that to you. But I haven't. I think the two things I do do might help though. Someone on here shared a video where a woman talks about being enough, so I tell myself. I am enough. I also try to touch base with my friends and loved ones as often as possible because it shows I care.

    I don't know if this has been even remotely helpful, but I wanted you to know I have tried to think of a solution.


  • Oh, thank you, Lori, I appreciate it. It is partially because yes, I have been rejected in the past. When people I like or love simply don't return texts or calls, I think it must be because they are tired of me or that I must just not be that fun or desirable of a person to hang out with. Or if I'm always the one initiating contact, I stop and then maybe they fade away. Or being flaked on by people who say they will be somewhere to meet up and then they don't show. Also, being rejected by past boyfriends.

    It's also just my own straight up insecurity. It's been an on-again, off-again thing my whole adulthood. Usually once I get to really like a group of people, I have this irrational fear that ALL OF THEM will suddenly decide they don't like me. Even if there's no reason.

    Anyhow, I'm trying not to focus on the fear too much as it doesn't seem to help. I want to believe in change and forgiveness. Most of all, love.

    When you say every one you love has left you, and some have come back, and some in unexpected ways, how was that for you when they left? And then when they came back? And yes, I think touching base with friends and loved ones is great as it gets me out of my self-absorption. Also, I feel like it is sometimes work, as in, I may not feel like it, but it almost always makes me feel better. Kudos.

  • I know what you mean, sometimes it is hard when you feel like you are more invested in a relationship/friendship than the other person. It feels like they have all the power.

    I have been with my husband for 12 years and can safely say that I haven't flaked on anyone because of him for at least 9 years. When we first got together I was in my late teens and so we were consumed by one another. I think it sucks when people use their spouse to say they can't do things.

    I have been flaked on and have done the flaking, although I've never let anyone get to a meet up and then cancelled, that is very rude. Sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes the sofa and blankets are too damn comfy. I usually rearrange the meeting or invite them round to be lazy with me. Luckily I have very understanding friends who have been wonderful through this episode of depression.

    Saying that, I'm at the age where all of my friends are having babies and so it'll be interesting to see how our friendships adapt. My relationship with my uni friends has been strong, and I haven't seen babies impact it in a negative way yet.

    Some of them used to leave as a way of punishing me when I was younger. At first I found it very distressing, but eventually it lost its power, I became desensitised. That being said, it still obviously affects me now subconsciously. Others have left me through their passing (although this obviously wasn't by choice). I think about them no longer being in pain and can find comfort in that.

    My brother left to go and live in another country on the other side of the world. This has been the biggest hurt, and one that I need help with. Rationally, I know that he is happy, better off and healthy over there. His move was the best thing for him and his expanding family. Emotionally, I grew up being a fiercely protective big sister. I envisaged a life where my brother and I would live nearby and our children would be close.

    I couldn't bare to talk to him for a very long time. I would talk to him occasionally, but I couldn't even do that for very long. I would go months not speaking to him. It would eat me up inside but I felt like if I didn't see him it wouldn't hurt me. I never considered how much it was hurting him at the time. I can't talk about it anymore because it's too painful.

    Suffice to say, I now speak to him and his family every week. I tell him I love him regularly. I haven't been able to give my brother a hug since 2013, but he knows how much I love him and his family. I'm not over it, and he's been there since 2011. But talking to him regularly seems to be healing the wound a little.


  • Glad you guys are talking regularly again and it seems to be helping. Could you maybe plan a trip to see him? Or vice versa?

  • Hi

    I'm sorry to hear that.

    It's good that you had a few months of being well, though.

    I think that everyone has their own way of coping.

    You sound like you're doing what's right for you. Keep doing it and give yourself time.

    Take care and be good to yourself.

    Good luck and best wishes.

  • Thank you!

  • Why would you feel like a freak because you are single with no kids. That does not make sense. Its personal choice if you marry or choose to have children and its no one elses business. As for fear of rejection I think that is pretty normal for most people.I would say stop thinking that way and just be yourself.

  • Thanks. By the way (noticing your pseudonym) I recently read "I'm Eve" by the real "Eve" of the movie. Pretty good book.

  • Ah have you, I have a signed copy of The three faces of Eve ie Christine Sizemore the real Eve herself.

  • I have a big fear of rejection and it mainly from men.

  • I hear that!

  • Hi I'm 62 unmarried and no kids as well, so you are definitely not alone. I also have a fear of rejection and commitment as well. I have never managed to overcome mine so have remained on my own. You are still young enough to have a family if you want them, so if it's an issue with you get it sorted while you still can. Counselling might you. x

  • Thanks. Don't rule out finding some one for you either (if it's something you still want). People find partners at all ages. Really! My great uncle got a new girlfriend when he was in his 80's.

  • Exactly you can find love at any time in your life. Some marry and its not true love. Rather be single than settle for second best. Also having kids is not for everyone, certainly its not for me

  • Hi there, lm 58 and not married.but have 7 nieces and nephews and worked 17 years in a preschool and several years abroad and at home as a nanny! Yes I've felt inadequate in the past. But there are many like us who lead active lives with good friends and jobs. Just imagine how much worse it would be if you were in the wrong marriage or relationship! I've googled Thomas hall. He is a hypnotist and I listen to him in YouTube. It's helped me to gain confidence and know that I'm as worthy as anyone else and definitely not a freak!! Life is never easy what situation your in, and it's not always in our hands. Lift your head up and believe in you!! I honestly wish you the best of everything, you deserve to be happy and confident to be the person you want to be, not what society deems the norm!!! Whatever that is??? I send you love, light, hope, and may all your wishes and dreams come true. 😉

  • Oh, thank you much!

  • I find one of the biggest problems for me is that with friends and acquaintances when they talk about their partner and/or kids (specially kids), I feel that is a huge area I am not qualified to talk about. Familes are such a big part of their lives and I find myself on my own too much. I am also very wary of talking about kids because I have been told too often in the past things like (very nicely) you would feel differently if you had kids of your own etc.

    Also I live in a small place which is quite reactionary and very few people are not in a relationship so I am considered a bit strange. I wish I had a £1 for every time people have assumed I am gay! I get grief from men mainly because a lot of respect women get is through their man round here. I am seen as being a 'lesser' woman. It's not nice. x

  • Thats so judgemental of them and small minded.One thing I can not stand is people assuming things because a person may not fall in to what is wrongly called the norm. I think it is them that have a problem not you.

  • I agree, but it's me who has to suffer their stupid remarks and assumptions. x

  • Yes I know, but you know and I know how stupid they really are you can just laugh at the small minds x Dont be made to feel odd because of them. Why should you put up with that. X

  • Wow this is exactly how I am feeling right now!

    I met the love of my life 8 years ago and have been in the best place until recently. I don't know what's triggered it but I seem to be feeling the same way I did for years while in an unhappy relationship.

    I'm so lucky right now and I think that's my fear. What if my partner falls out of love with me, they've been a little snappy of late and assure that it's not me but I can't help but feel it is 😔

    I don't have a family member I can talk to and all our friends are mutual friends now. If they ever left me then I'd be completely alone. Like I sometimes think if I stayed in the house forever no one would even notice. Apart from my boss!!

    I always fear rejection, but only recently have in my relationship. It was the only thing that I was certain of but for some reason not any more. It's the glue that holds me together and now I fear I'm falling apart...

  • Being with some one eight years is impressive to me...the longest relationship I've had has been two years and even that was off and on.

    Anyway, love is great but scary; I hear you. Hope you let go of your worries and feel more grounded soon.

  • Hi there,

    I've suffered quite a lot from fear of rejection because I didn't know how to handle it and sometimes it got the better of me to the point I would pity myself. The best way I found is just be friends don't push it out further or expect anything from it to materialize so soon. your expectations from a friendship or relationship could potentially be the cause of your various disappointments or fears so practice to never set these expectations up in the 1st place and live each day as it comes. being friends is easier as you can gauge what the person is like through general chit chat and you know if its worth being friends or not or if there is something worth while taking further. don't forget that society is very opinionated and its not easy finding someone you can have a like minded conversation with even if it is a friend you are finding.

    its understandable that people have dreams of where they want to be by a certain age and i guess its only natural to do so but try not to get swayed by it too much in the sense of panicking to push your life forward.

    take things easy and I'm sure you will find someone trustworthy.

  • Thank you, appreciate it.