I had never experienced it until I fell in love with my ex; overwhelming panic at the thought of losing him.
I had breakups in the past and been terribly sad and crying, but for some reason I absolutely panicked when he rejected me. We would have an argument over something insignificant that he would be relentlessly badgering me about; some accusation of wrong doing on my part, then he wouldn’t allow me to defend myself and walk away.
He twisted my words and refused to listen when I spoke from the heart.
I hadn’t always been able to speak my feelings and make myself understood. But I had taken college courses on communicating effectively because it was important to me that I could express myself clearly, without shame or anger.
I had been painfully shy and highly sensitive as a child and because I didn’t know how to express myself, I had cried alot. Crying had angered my father and I had been told, “You want something to cry about? I’ll give you something to cry about!” Or, “get out of my face if you’re going to cry!” I used to get headaches alot, had an ulcer at 10 yrs old and by the time I was 17, I had an eating disorder that I struggled with all through my 20’s.
I had been to counseling after my first marriage failed because I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes. I knew I hadn’t been perfect, I wanted to understand myself better in order to be better.
By the time I met the narcissist, I was in my mid 40’s and felt, for the first time in my life; I was truly ready for a healthy love relationship. And the narc seemed to see and appreciate that fact about me. He used to say I was the first woman he had ever dated who was calm and rational. We could discuss anything. I understood him. He was 10 years younger than me and I felt he was rather naive. He was so enamoured with me, I feared I might hurt him and I told myself I had to be careful to not lead him on and not to hurt him. I was a very independent, self sufficient woman who was turned off by love sick puppies.
He wanted to see me all the time. He introduced me to all his friends, took me to meet his family, insisted I talk to his mother on the phone. He told me to answer his phone, gave me a house key, he arrived when he said he would and called if he was late. I had never met a man like him. When I got that uncomfortable feeling in my gut I told myself, it was because I wasn’t used to being treated so well. I thought I would be crazy to walk away from someone who loved me that much. I fought the urge to dump him.
Rejection doesn’t feel good, no matter who is rejecting you. You may not even like the person that much but the minute they reject you, you wonder, “Why would they reject me? What’s wrong with me? What did I do wrong?”
Fear of rejection is normal but it can become immobilizing and all consuming when you rely on others to give you your self-worth. At times when you are consumed with the fear of rejection you need to step back and not act on your fears. When you feel that fear growing in your belly, that irrational need for their approval envelops you, instead of giving into it and panicking; take a walk, and give yourself time to think clearly and self counsel.
Some things to think about;
Is this rejection or does the person just need some alone time?
Are they going through something?
It’s not all about you. Are you being self centered?
Did you do anything that would have hurt the person? If you did, do you owe them an apology? Then, apologize.
If you don’t feel you did anything wrong, they are obviously angry with you, and you have tried to explain your position, yet they are still rejecting you. Respect their wishes and give them space. Some times a person needs time to process information and accept that they were wrong. You are not going to “fix” anything by forcing the other person to discuss the issue. You may be thinking, “but I can’t let it go until it’s resolved.” My answer to that is, “Yes you can. You have to practice self control, divert your mind, do something else. You are in control of your reactions, in fact; it’s the only thing you CAN control. You certainly can’t control another person.
What is the worst thing that can happen? They end the friendship and never tell you why. Right? So what? If that happens, the world will continue to spin, you will continue to live, nothing will change, you won’t be less valuable, YOU won’t be any different than you were yesterday. You might feel a little lonelier, but hopefully you have other friends, if not you can make more friends.
All we can do is be the best person we can be, not every one is going to like us, we have to accept we aren’t perfect, neither are our friends. But, if you are your authentic self, you will attract people into your life who genuinely like you for you.
I ran into an old friend the other day and they said, “I love running into you. You always seem so happy to see me, like running into me, made your day.”
I said, “Because I genuinely am happy to see you. Running into you always makes my day”. It was a “feel good” moment that kinda says it all. My world wouldn’t change if this person wasn’t in my life, I don’t see them very often, but I like them, I am happy they are my friend, I value them, I show them I value them, but my self worth is in no way connected to whether they like me or not.