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Thread: How do I get over the paralyzing fear of rejection?

  1. #1

    Default How do I get over the paralyzing fear of rejection?

    I want to date but I am so afraid of the power women have and my own inability to read "signals" correctly. I am afraid because when I get rejected, even if it's just once, I become extremely depressed. I am afraid of that depression, so I can't just take rejection in hand and move on... I break down and melt down.

    I have plenty of therapists I'm working with but none of them have solved this yet. They're good therapists and I'm very honest with them about everything but I want a second opinion.

  2. #2

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    Having good self-esteem really is the key to this.... bar none. I've been on numerous dates, have had numerous rejections, and been through a couple breakups. Experience is invaluable. If you suffer from depression or what seems like social anxiety, medication can help. You can't date until you work on that though.



    I want to date but I am so afraid of the power women have and my own inability to read "signals" correctly.
    Expand on this more for me as I'm not sure what you are talking about.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartolome View Post
    I want to date but I am so afraid of the power women have and my own inability to read "signals" correctly. I am afraid because when I get rejected, even if it's just once, I become extremely depressed. I am afraid of that depression, so I can't just take rejection in hand and move on... I break down and melt down.

    I have plenty of therapists I'm working with but none of them have solved this yet. They're good therapists and I'm very honest with them about everything but I want a second opinion.
    As geno said, self esteem is one key...

    the other aspects can be:
    - understanding rejection and how / why it happens
    - understanding chances... chances in terms of that when you start to date or try to get a girl to date you're just as likely to get rejected as to get accepted.
    - understanding bonding / human relationship basics: just because someone is sympathetic / open at first there's no - none at all - need for this to be the start of a relationship.

    Basically self esteem will help to see you in the right light, to be confident and self reliant - that on its own is pretty powerful, it will make you a lot more "attractive" to most.
    Being OPEN for the rejection, basically accepting that there are no guarantees, no "proven recipes" - that rejection actually is quite likely to be the outcome for 75% of the dates you'll hook up.... Know this, and don't make more out of it than it is: A women saying no... it's not that powerful. it might not be "nice" - but it doesn't define who you are.
    Also by not being afraid about a possible rejection you'll come over far less "over-eager" and more "secure" that on its own can increase your chances by a good bit.

    Keep the head high, stand up and keep trying

    Be WHO YOU Are... that is really important... if you try to "fake" it - or be james bond during the date, well it certainly will not work out well in the long run

  4. #4

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    I'm on meds. Tons of them.

    Thanks everyone else for responding.

    I have no self esteem. I hate myself. To be very honest. ANd I know I'm supposed to work on that first but it's such a damn mountain range of obstacles... I have a number of psychiatric disorders including Asperger's and PTSD. That's what I meant about not understanding "signals." If a woman paid attention to me I believe I would feel better about myself.

    If the last time I experienced rejection resulted in months of depression with risky behavior how can I ever be expected to recover?

    And as for women's power... the power to cause that depression is what I'm talking about. The power to make me feel so frustrated and lonely and worthless.

    As for being who I am... that's who I ALWAYS am. No pretensions. Never works to attract romantic interest. I'd rather be anybody else but I'm not a social chameleon.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartholme
    I have no self esteem. I hate myself. To be very honest. ANd I know I'm supposed to work on that first but it's such a damn mountain range of obstacles... I have a number of psychiatric disorders including Asperger's and PTSD. That's what I meant about not understanding "signals." If a woman paid attention to me I believe I would feel better about myself.
    I very much sympathize with your predicament. Asperger's itself can be very challenging. My brother battles with that, even though he's just different. He goes to social groups which has helped him substantially. I urge you the same if you have not.

    Your sense of self shouldn't be predicated on a woman paying attention to you or not. I'm sure your therapist must have mentioned other ways of cultivating that.



    If the last time I experienced rejection resulted in months of depression with risky behavior how can I ever be expected to recover?
    There is always hope. Just keep pressing on. It's better than quitting. Take some pride in that you are still trying while others would give up.



    And as for women's power... the power to cause that depression is what I'm talking about. The power to make me feel so frustrated and lonely and worthless.
    Well, if you think about it you let someone have power over you in such a way. At the point, you surrendered yourself.



    As for being who I am... that's who I ALWAYS am. No pretensions. Never works to attract romantic interest. I'd rather be anybody else but I'm not a social chameleon.
    I would suggest taking pride then in standing up for yourself in that way. Sometimes the best relationships simply happen and you don't realize it.

    Don't give up on yourself, keep going to your therapist and keep working on you.

  6. #6

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    Damnit I always do this. I'm not supposed to engage the ABDL community when I'm depressed but somehow that's the only time I get active on the forums. They were right the last time. It's a pity party. I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks Geno for being sympathetic

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartolome View Post
    Damnit I always do this. I'm not supposed to engage the ABDL community when I'm depressed but somehow that's the only time I get active on the forums. They were right the last time. It's a pity party. I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks Geno for being sympathetic
    This is a great site because first and foremost, we are a support group, so don't feel bad about expressing yourself when you are depressed. I go through bouts of depression occasionally. This site has been wonderful for me. We look out for each other, so know that we're here for you. We can't always have solutions for problems, but we're good at listening to problems, and being supportive.

    I've read you're threads and they all are similar. The best I can suggest is that you be patient, and do try to interact with other women. I would start with small expectations, just wanting to socialize and have a good time. Let nature take it's course. Geno always has good advise and I agree with him. If possible, start with going to social groups. Maybe find an interest group.

    Since you write, do you attend a local writer's group? I'm recently retired from my day job, and as a writer, I'm going to try to become involved with our local writer's group. I also am a bike rider, so this summer I may try to link up with a riding group. You might try something like this. Getting out and engaging in some exercise might be good for how you feel about yourself.

  8. #8

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    Bartolome,

    I used to be you. In some ways I still am. I have AS like you and I hide it far better online than I do in real life. I have anxiety that has caused me to pretty much stop my entire life for years, and I'm just in the past few months recovering. I had a lot of bad childhood trauma and a smattering of it in my adult life, too. Like you, I also had a crippling fear of rejection. Like you, I also hated myself. And I understand exactly what you mean when you said you felt like the attention of a girl (in my case guy) will provide you with your self esteem.

    I'm not one hundred percent better or anything. I'm not gonna lie. But things are a lot better than they have been. I got a job just recently, I'm back in classes trying to finish my BA, I get out a ton more, and more and more I'm caring less about what people think of me.

    First of all, those women don't have any power over your feelings. They only have the power you give them. One woman can reject another guy, and he will feel the slight sting for a moment before or two before shrugging it off and getting back out there to meet more people. Yet another man will have the exact same scenario happen with him, same woman, and he'll react by punching his fist through a glass window. That same girl can say no to another guy and he'll react with a lowered self esteem for about a week before he gets back out there again. Do you see what I mean?

    That one girl isn't causing anything. It's all about how various people deal with rejection. You dealt with it once by months of depression and reckless behavior. I'm not saying it's your fault. Depression and mental health problems are a bitch to deal with and I know it first hand. But those girls still have zero power over you. The good news is that you have all the power. It's all about how you react to things. You can't control whether or not someone will like you or reject you, but you can control your response to it. Even more good news, you don't have to react in the same way every time. If you get to the root of the problem; likely your self esteem in this particular case, you too could be the guy who shrugs it off rather quickly.

    And what is rejection anyway? It's just a normal process. It's not working out. One party is unhappy. This means your relationship will likely be unhappy, too. You can't have a one-sided relationship. That's lame for you, too. So really thank goodness she did you a favor of letting you know that it wasn't working out so that you and she both now have a chance to find something that will.

    And who gets rejected, anyway? Just total losers, right? NO! Plenty of awesome people get rejected. I know that, because everyone gets rejected. Those famous actors/authors/athletes/musicians you see right now got rejected about a gazillion times before they lucked out and/or worked their way up there. The only way to not get rejected is to somehow grow up in total isolation from the world and never socialize at all. And come on, even being aspie and not needing it as much as the normal people, you know that would totally suck. We need to socialize, too.

    And you said you can't live through it; well you did. You were depressed and all that, and I get that it totally blew, and it hurt, but you did get over it in the end. You won. From this point on, it tends to get easier. But just like any fear, you probably want to work your way up. Don't start base jumping for your fear of heights. It's okay to go easy on yourself. This is because you really ought to be nice to yourself, and love yourself. You're all you've got.

    Really in the grand scheme of things, you're all you've got in this world. You are born alone and if Donnie Darko taught me anything it's that everyone also dies alone. You're the only you can truly count on. You are the one spending all day and all night with yourself. Why not be your best friend? And if you hate yourself, and it's shit you can change, then go for it. Might as well turn into the person you want to be. If you think you're boring, get a hobby, learn a skill, read more books. If you think you eat too many cheeseburgers, stop eating so many cheeseburgers. Feel proud of yourself. Pretty simple when you get right down to it. This is all for your benefit, not some girl right now, not some girl in the future, but just you.

    You wanna know how I got my job? I stepped outside my comfort zone. For years I tried hiding my anxiety problems and pretending to be normal. Usually the stress of knowing I couldn't hide them forced me away from people in general. So when this lady asked me if I could drive her to a store, I admitted that I sometimes have panic attacks so bad that I can straight up evacuate a store in distress, and I may absolutely leave her in aisle six alone. And holy cow, she was like, oh, alright, so if you leave, will you be okay? I would be okay, I told her. So we went to the store. And I was fine. It was like giving myself permission to be myself took so much pressure off that I ended up somewhat normal that day. And while we were there in a situation I would have never pictured myself in a year ago, she totally offered me a job. Yeah, the lady who I admitted one of my most embarrassing faults to decided to offer me work, fully knowing that my anxiety could sometimes get in the way. Maybe it was because I was honest, or maybe it was because I was nice to her and drove her somewhere she needed to get to, but having a flaw or a fault didn't cause me to fail, that much I know.

    Sometimes I think that's what people mean when they say be yourself. I get that sometimes this advice isn't for everyone. If you're a total douchebag and you hurt people, then go ahead and try to change for the better if you have enough empathy to even see the pain you cause others. But for most people, I think I actually get that advice now. When you're being yourself, you're not all confusing with mixed messages like saying you're not anxious at all while trying to choke yourself out with your own hand throttling your neck. And so if people reject you when you're being yourself, it wouldn't have worked out anyway. They weren't the person for you, you weren't the person for them. There's lots of people in the world, though, and absolutely no reason to give up hope. And if you love yourself, at least you've got you. And that goes a long ways.

  9. #9

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    I can hide my AS when things are going well. But this year my life took a plunge for the worst. I lost an amazing job, I lost my benefits, I lost my apartment.

    And I refuse to agree that women don't have power over me that I don't give them. They do have power. If they didn't, I wouldn't be so damn desperate.

    Right now PTSD is just as much of a challenge for me if not more than AS.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @dobgoy: I used to it just takes a lot to get me out. I hate cold weather and I'm becoming practically agoraphobic. I have PTSD and I'm constantly waiting for somehting bad to happen. My heart beats too fast all of the time. I become tolerant of my medications way too fast. "Herbal" remedies help but when I'm anxious or angry I actually deny myself that because it's like my body is addicted to the anger.

    I think it's one thing to have AS. It's another to have both AS and PTSD as well as a variant of bipolar with a manic rage state. Plus severe OCD. I have too many psychiatric illnesses for anything to be simple.

    I don't get the typical euphoric mania. My mania is anger, rage, and the flipside is depression. The last time I tried asking a girl for her number was a year ago and she said no and I almost killed myself several times over the next few weeks.

    I used to be part of a writer's group that I started but that dissolved a couple years ago. That was when it was a lot easier for me psychologically to leave the home. I have a lot more trouble with that now and over-indulging with diapers probably doesn't help.

  10. #10

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    Why would people accept you if you don't accept yourself? Right now, I've been reading all your posts and I don't know one good thing you have to offer a woman in a relationship. This is probably because you are only focusing on the negatives. You don't like yourself and that's a huge problem. There are definitely positives to you, as well as your faults. What are they?

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