Does your shyness and fear of getting rejected keep you from having the relationships you want? Are you lonely much of the time?

Everyone gets rejected at times, but for those of us who are socially confident, rejection is a minor matter, and people who are confident quickly bounce back from being rejected.

For some of us however, rejection is a traumatic event, and just the thought that someone might possibly reject us is enough to make us run away from the very people we want to get to know.

People who suffer from a fear of rejection sometimes start to believe that they are deeply flawed, unlovable human beings.

When they look at others who are socially successful, they assume that socially successful people are different and better human beings.

People who fear being rejected believe that when someone rejects them, it's because the other person realizes how deeply flawed they are. They believe the rejection was their own fault.

They don't realize that even very confident, very attractive people get rejected too.

People who fear rejection don't realize that the real reason that relationships either happen or don't happen depends on how compatible the combination is of the two people involved.

Instead people who are very afraid of rejection think that every time they make an overture to someone else, it's a referendum on their own personal worth.

Relationships are largely a question of compatibility on many levels.

So, when we get turned down by somebody, it's not some kind of proof that we are deeply flawed.

It just means the other person didn't think we were a good match at this particular time.

It is a fact of life that when we make social overtures to other people, we face the risk that people will sometimes reject us. The only people who never experience rejection are those who never interact with other human beings. Otherwise, everyone occasionally experiences situations in which they are rejected. You might get turned down for coffee, for a dance, for a party, a relationship, or even for marriage.

When we experience rejection, we can tell ourselves that we are doomed to be rejected forever; that any rejection from another person is proof that we are somehow not good enough, and that we were wrong to ever think that another person could like us.

But is this the only way to look at rejection? Remember that people who have healthy self- esteem, who are outgoing and who make lots of social overtures to others, get rejected too. The difference is that they don’t feel nearly as troubled by rejection. They don’t take it personally.

Rejection is often much more troubling to those people who are very emotionally sensitive, who have low self-esteem, or who have had a very dysfunctional or abusive childhood.

Some people are so terrified by the prospect of rejection that they never make a social approach to another person. This is unfortunate, since avoidance will reinforce their fears, and increase their loneliness.

When you intensely fear rejection, you may arrange your whole life to avoid any situations that can trigger your terror. You will be convinced that getting rejected by someone is the most horrible thing that could ever happen to you. You never get a chance to expose yourself to the feared situation and learn how to overcome your fear.

However, if you actually confront the situations in which you feel anxious, your anxiety may lessen as you become more used to dealing with the feared event. By proving to yourself that you can face up to your fears, they will eventually lose their power over you.

If you have made relatively few social approaches to other people, each one will loom very large in your imagination. Every rejection will seem to reverberate as a humiliating failure, and you may convince yourself that you will never again muster the courage to approach another human being.

One way to overcome the fear of making social overtures is to simply persist in making many, many approaches to other people.

If you are terrified of rejection, you may have thoughts like, “My self worth depends totally on whether other people approve of me and accept me. If people do not approve of me, I’ll be completely devastated and feel horrible because it means I’m worthless. If anyone rejects me it means that probably everyone will continue to reject me my whole life.”

We can become so completely overwhelmed by the negative emotions that follow this sort of thinking that we don’t notice what distortions we have introduced into our thinking processes.

If you persist in developing the habit of making many social overtures to other people, you will come to realize that occasional rejection is simply a part of life. It does not mean you are a flawed human being.

The way you can be totally rejection-proof is if you give up absolutely all interactions with other human beings for the rest of your life!

Is that something you are really willing to do? There are occasionally extreme cases of people who adopt this option. For the great majority of us however, giving up all social connection is too high a price to pay to avoid the occasional pain that sometimes accompanies human interaction.

There is good news though. Even if you are very emotionally sensitive or shy, even if you didn’t get much emotional support as you were growing up, you can still learn to change the way you talk to yourself about the experience of rejection.

You will have to practice a lot to change the way you think about rejection, and if your problem is extreme, you may benefit from a good therapist who can show you new, more supportive ways of thinking and relating to others and to yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Do you want to learn how you can overcome rejection fears? Get the new ebooklet "How to Overcome Your Shyness and Your Fear of Rejection and Have the Friends and Lovers You've Always Wanted" by self help author Royane Real at