Getting a Handle on Rejection



Last week we started this months theme breaking down some reasons behind men's fear of rejection. Men are in a unique position when it comes to rejection since traditional gender roles still prevail around courtship and dating. The pressure is on men to be the initiators. This pressure can trigger intense anxiety for men that inhibits their ability to connect with women romantically. With help men can learn how to harness the stress response involved, especially with such a specific anxiety.

Let's start with looking at men's behavior in situations with rejection potential. How do most men handle this anxiety related to the fear of rejection? In one of three ways:

1) They hedge their bets and act overly safe. This could mean they try to pretend they just want to be the woman's friend and try to sneak through the back door undetected (women sense this and hate this by the way- no woman likes a sneak attack), or they try really hard to impress the girl by being extra nice and overly chivalrous to the point the woman senses that it is not genuine. Either of these approaches result in a pat on the back and an "It was nice to meet you."

2) The guy acts over the top obnoxious or macho or overly sexual. In this second scenario the woman runs for the hills or tells the guy to get the f*** away from her. Why do men do this? When a man does this he hides his real self to avoid the feeling of vulnerability of putting his true self out there and risking real rejection. By acting like a jerk he can tell himself "Oh well, that wasn't really me she rejected." It is like building in an excuse for the rejection so he does not feel so bad about it once it happens.

3) Some men just can't control the combination of their anxiety and their sexual urges and somehow get to the point where they think openly expressing this to women they just met is a good idea. It's not, OK?

Now, I am not proposing that being your true self is being all emotional and singing a Jon Secada song when you meet a woman you like. I am also not proposing you tell her you think she's "the one" after you meet her or on the first date, because those feelings are not real. You might feel really attracted to her, but that doesn't mean she's the one. Saying this is due to anxiety, and likely an attempt to try and speed things up between you and her to deal with your immediate urge. How can you know that she's "the one" after just meeting her or the first date, or so early in the relationship? You can't, so I am proposing you be real. Live in integrity with yourself and your unique personality. Learn how to express this to others. Be comfortable being alone, be comfortable with yourself, so you don't need her to accept your advances to validate your self worth. If you want to tell her she is attractive, say it. Say it because it is something you genuinely feel, not because it is something you think might impress her, make her like you, or what you think you are supposed to say in that circumstance.

I am proposing you say what you really think and feel even if it risks the woman not liking you for YOU. She may not decide to be with you, but she will respect your honesty. Most men don't give a woman that honesty at the outset. Women know this, which is probably why they are always trying to slow things down and directing it to the get to know you better part. Then men think they've been rejected. Women are usually waiting until the point they get a sense of who you honestly are. This is also a reason men face rejection. When women get a sense they are not hearing the whole story, or that you are not being yourself, they feel either manipulated, put off, or "ho hum, here's another one" and bail. Be different than most other men are with women. Be yourself.

I will go into more explicit detail on the tele-seminar that I will be holding at the end of the month

Next week

Next week I will be covering rejection in relationships. I think this will be an interesting topic, since most literature out there covers rejection in the context of approach anxiety and how to have success dating, but fear of rejection and insecurity can bleed into relationships and sap them of their vitality. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in hearing more about, sign up for the free tele-seminar below...

Subscribe to Dan Bolton, LMHC's mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format