Do you get rejected more than you think is “normal”? Are you starting to believe that you are totally unlovable? Is constant rejection making you feel helpless and hopeless?
Today’s Q&A topic is brought to us by Wasif, who wrote in asking about constant rejection and what people with social anxiety can do to avoid the trap of believing not only the negative voices in their heads, but also the stories they’re telling.
This is a tough situation, and I know how dejecting it can feel. Believe me—I’ve been there. We put ourselves out there over and over again, and despite taking bold action, it’s a total bust.
When we step outside our comfort zones and take risks, we expect to be rewarded with the realization that our fears are unfounded.
In one sense, you’re absolutely right—this is the ultimate goal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.
When working toward ultimate confidence, especially in dating scenarios, there are several factors that can make it tricky, but one thing is for sure: the idea that you’re unlovable is absolute trash.
That mindset is a result of the toxic loop of personal attacks we feed ourselves day in and day out. These stories that we choose to give power in our minds have often been there since childhood, planted by those around us with a limited capacity to give and receive love. We should not take that lack of perfect love out on ourselves.
Another person’s capacity to love is not a reflection of your worth—everyone is worthy of love!
This is something everyone deals with. Even in the case of our parents, no one can be perfect and loving ALL the time—it’s just not possible. Some people, however, may have dealt with very limited parents or caregivers, and those people have to work harder than others to move past the stories in their minds.
If you’re working on moving past those stories, here’s a good place to start:
Not everyone is going to like you, and not everyone is going to have a reason for it, either.
Look out the window, and consider what you see: does one tree deserve more love than another? Does one squirrel or hawk deserve more love than another squirrel or hawk?
They just simply are what they are by their very nature, and it is absurd to imagine that one is inherently better or more lovable than the next. And yet, some people don’t like squirrels or hawks or trees at all; some love all three; and some have weird preferences regarding each. There is no sense to it.
It’s the exact same thing with people: it doesn’t matter who you are—how sexy, rich, charming, powerful you appear to be—not everyone is going to like you. Period.
Whether you’re male, female, heterosexual, or none of the above, some people are going to instantly love you, some are going to be instantly indifferent toward you, and some are going to instantly hate you for no good reason. It’s just the way it goes.
Sometimes it’s chemistry, sometimes it’s a bad first impression they can’t get over, and sometimes it’s completely based on internal biases. The sooner we can accept that fact, however, and learn to let go of the need to be loved by everyone, the better off we’ll be.
In the meantime, though, it’s also possible that you’re inadvertently doing something to bring the rejection onto yourself. So, let’s take a look at some of those scenarios:
Your sample size might be too small – I always ask: “How many rejections are you basing this belief on? How many times have you tried?”; and I always get the same answer: “Maybe three times in as many weeks.” That is NOT a lot of attempts.
If you want to see big results, you have to take big action.
When I’m talking about putting yourself out there, I’m talking about making multiple approaches per day. You don’t need to be completely enamored with every single person you approach—you just have to take action so many times that you get to a point where it doesn’t bother you anymore.
“Yes, but I’ve done that, and I keep getting these rejections!” That brings us to issue number two:
Your presentation might be off-putting – How do you feel when you approach these people? Are you nervous, scared, anxious, or timid?
If you’re physically bound-up, your voice is shaking, and your energy says that you’re ready to run at the first sign of a struggle, then odds are, the other person is going to pick up on it.
Now, I am perfectly aware that anxiety and nerves are a major issue for many of the people reading this—that’s why you’re here! But I also know that I’ve dealt with this myself, and that you can overcome it!
Whenever I personally approach with fear as my guide, I am universally shot down; when I approach with confidence as my guide (even fake confidence), I may not see amazing results every time, but I sure do see far better results.
The trick in these situations is to anticipate the fear (and your physical response to it) so that you can power through it and put on a brave face—some like to say, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”
Most of us have been avoiding the edge of our comfort zone for our entire lives. To move toward it—and past it—is a really big deal. So, as we work toward that, it’s going to be scary and uncomfortable and, frankly, hard as hell. But, so is anything else worth doing.
“But I’ve tried to power through it, and it just does NOT work for me.” Onward to issue number three:
You may be doing too much, too fast – Sometimes the action we have decided upon is just too anxiety-provoking for us. In that case, we simply have to dial it back.
If you’re turning into a puddle of sweat and suffering heart palpitations every time you approach a woman, then you need to start small. Instead, try just saying, “Hi,” to women you find attractive as you pass them on the street.
Make a pact with yourself that you will park a mile away from work and walk down a busy street every morning so that you can greet as many women as possible. If you can commit to ten daily greetings with no need to push past that, eventually you will start to feel no nerves about that level of interaction.
In fact, if you really want to see results, you can do this with everyone!
Interacting with people you have no romantic interest in can be excellent for your dating life.
After all, the more relaxed you are around people in general, the more confident you will become in all areas of your life, and the more that confidence will translate to those with whom you share an attraction.
The important thing here is that you’re actually taking action, even if it’s scaled back—we call that “Gradual exposure,” and it’s something I cover in great detail in the Dating Mastery course of my program, Confidence University. This program covers how to gain confidence in every area of your life, but also dives deep into dating and relationships. So, if you’re looking to create extraordinary relationships, then check it out at TheConfidenceUniversity.com.
This brings me to another aspect of dating confidence that I cover in both Confidence University AND my once-yearly live event, Unlimited Dating and Relationship Confidence:
Your opinion of yourself might be contagious – If you don’t think much about yourself, what kind of message do you think you’re sending out into the world?
When you’re not really on your own side and you doubt your value, you’re constantly emitting that energy and actually pushing everyone around you away.
It doesn’t matter how cool or confident or calm you pretend to be: when you don’t really like yourself, it’s impossible for anyone else to like you.
Now, if you think that reading people’s “energy” sounds like mumbo-jumbo, there have been several fascinating studies in recent decades showing that the way we think does affect our interactions with one another.
Even if it didn’t, wouldn’t you want to live your life on your own side?
No one deserves to walk through life feeling dejected and less-than from the inside out. If this is something that you struggle with, then read my books; listen to the podcast, Shrink for the Shy Guy; check out a live event; go out and find some other inspiration if necessary (there is plenty of amazing content out there to help you with inner self-acceptance!).
Each of us deserves to be loved and is worthy of that love. To make that happen, however, you need to be on your own side and truly being to accept and love yourself as you are. If you can take steps toward that self-acceptance, you will be amazed at what starts to come your way.
I hope that this Q&A has been enlightening for Wasif and everyone else who is struggling with rejection. It is not always about you, but sometimes all you need to do is adjust one tiny aspect of your approach or give it a little more time. I’m very interested to know how this is working for you and what specific challenges you’re facing, so please leave your thoughts in the comments below and let me know what tips you’re finding the most valuable.
Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.