When talking to someone new, do you assume the other person is bored, uninterested, or only making conversation with you to be polite?
Do you tend to notice and fixate on interactions where you feel put down or slighted? Do you tend to imagine slights from others? Do you tend to take these interactions very personally?
When you enter a group of people, do you assume that you won’t fit in or that the group members would rather you weren’t there?
Do you worry that people are being outwardly nice to you, but secretly do not like you?
When you invite someone to connect on social media do you worry that the person will ignore your request?
Do you think healthy and happy relationships come naturally to others but find it hard to imagine someone giving you the kind of love you see others receive?
In conversations with others, does it seem they are criticizing you or finding fault with you?
When others give you attention and seem interested in you, do you assume it’s only a matter of time before they lose interest?
When there’s no conflict or problem in a relationship, do you assume it’s the beginning of the end?
(The list of questions came from a helpful book, Single, Shy, and Looking for Love by Shannon Kalakowski.)
No wonder brave dating is scaring you! You don’t want to date to find out who you are because you already know you are going to be rejected. That you are not worth connecting with in that way.
I’m calling you out on it. (Yes, your heart just fluttered because there is fear rooted here.)
I’m also asking you to lead your brain, not have your brain regurgitating that messaging over and over again. Let me summarize what this great article says:
Too many people listen to what their brain says and they trust it. You actually believe that what your brain says is real! So when you try to imagine something different—like the truth of those (hurtful) words from your mom or your identity in Christ—this feels impossible because you are telling your brain something differently than what your brain has recorded.
Your brain chatters, mostly chatters regurgitated stuff. This is why you must guard what goes into your brain.
… You have been given authority over your brain. You do not need to follow your brain and believe what it is regurgitating is real. Your brain is able to follow the truth. When you recognize your authority, you can lead your brain. You know, such truth as worthiness is your birthright, Genesis 1:31. And Romans 8:1, So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And this list of truth can go on and on and on and on.
… Do you trust your brain? That whatever is in your brain is what is real? Then you have just given authority to anything that has ever been said to you to define who you are. Your brain is regurgitating those lies which have been spoken over your life. When you give your brain this authority you are allowing those lies to become true. When they never were–your brain just regurgitated them! No wonder it has been so hard to imagine being the truth that God says you are. It is hard to undo that crap. (Read the whole thing!)
Your rejection anxiety is real. There are roots in you that make it real. But it is also full of crap. It is time for it to be undone.
The worries and nerves you feel from time to time are real. What is in your control is what you do or say when you feel these anxieties.
You can choose to let your anxiety keep you stuck, or you can choose to move on despite the anxiety. You can choose to let your defenses and your excuses keep you locked up in a small world or you can bravely be a part of the world—because the rejection of one date doesn’t define you. You can’t control whether a date likes you, but you can control your own values and what you like in others (boundaries!!!). You can’t always choose how people treat you but you can choose the kind of person you want to be and how you wish to treat others in BIG ways. (Borrowed again from Dr. Brene’ Brown – What Boundaries need to be in place for me to stay in my Integrity to make the most Generous assumptions about you.” Brilliant!)
True life scenario = you may be turned down. But this has nothing to do with you not being worthy of connecting to someone. This is not a rejection of you. Yes, you were turned down. But this person who is temporary in your life cannot define you. Unless you grant that power to this person. To this temporary person.
May I scream this to you? May I use all caps and say YOU HAVE EVERYTHING INSIDE YOU THAT SOMEONE IS SEEKING. YOU ARE ENOUGH. LIVE BRAVELY SO YOU CAN BE VULNERABLY SEEN AND ATTRACT YOUR MATCH.
And lead your brain to live in the truth. So many of your answers to those questions you know are not based on truth. I know you are feeling that twinge of fear again. Or maybe it is more than a twinge? You can do this. You can say the words “I have rejection anxiety.” And you can say the words, “I need help.” I have no idea what help looks like for you. Maybe? But it sure beats all these poor excuses you keep playing over and over again for the small world shape your life is in.
Your life can be brave decision upon brave decision upon brave decision which will make you more attractive. This attractive is not looks (though there are secondary benefits). This is attraction which is the opposite of rejection. You will attract other healthy boundaried people into your life and know worthiness is your birthright and you belong making these stories with us.
Hello. It is good to actually see you.
(Photo credit: https://margiewarrell.com/risk-more-rejection/)
Originally published at Bravester with permission from Brenda Seefeldt Amodea.