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Fear of rejection (nullophobia) prevents you from building happy relationships with others and enjoying life. Many people suffering from this disorder are unaware of it, but ignoring the problem often condemns them to loneliness and living under stress. Learn the symptoms of experiencing the fear of rejection.

Fear of rejectionis a mental disorder based on an irrational fear of entering into close relationships with other people. Any relationship or friendship, for a disturbed person, carries the risk of being rejected and, consequently, a vision of loneliness (which is especially terrifying). People who suffer from fear of rejection usually follow one of two patterns.

The first is life in a relationship, but with a feeling of constant uncertainty and fear that it may end someday. Such a relationship does not give a person happiness, and sometimes it causes neurosis. The fear of rejection is so great that the sick person does everything (and often against himself) not to lose the other person. He tries to constantly reassure himself about his feelings and meet the expectations of the other party. Eventually, it takes the form of being cornered and compulsive, which in turn becomes the cause of the breakup.

The second route that people with a fear of rejection take is to avoid close relationships with others. Patients do not want to get involved and try, assuming in advance that the relationship will not survive anyway. They defend themselves against loneliness, but they don't want to risk being rejected. So they do not give a chance to people who want to get to know them better.

A number of mechanisms that are activated in the patient's psyche perfectly mask the symptoms of the disorder, which is why people suffering from nullophobia are not always aware of their ailments.

Fear of rejection is often associated with low self-esteem.

Where does fear of rejection come from?

Most psychologists see the causes of nullophobia in the past of a given person. Usually, the occurrence of this disorder is influenced by parents who were too overprotective and by taking care of their child in everything, raised a person who is not able to live independently. Such people are afraid of independence and loneliness, therefore they agree to do a lot, so as not to stayrejected.

The most common cause of fear of rejection, however, is the experience of rejection in the past. The negative and strong feelings from that period have a real impact on later life. In the past, rejection could be associated with, for example, abandonment by the parents or the loss of one of them. It could also be an experience of a painful breakup.

Fear of rejection may also be conditioned by independent factors and, for example, be an innate character or personality trait. Solitary traits can be innate and, for example, inherited from parents.

Symptoms of fear of rejection

Fear of rejection may result from a personality disorder, so the symptoms of this type of anxiety may be slightly different in each case.

Narcissistic people usually mask their fears with haughtiness, high self-esteem, self-idealization, lack of empathy, and excessive demands on others. This approach discourages tightening a relationship with such a person.

Avoidant people will avoid situations that could build stronger relationships with other people.

People with dependent personality disorder will show a sense of helplessness, submission to the other person in the relationship, lack of own opinion and willingness to shift responsibility for their actions to others. People so subordinate to others cannot function independently, therefore their fear of loneliness is extremely strong.

Nullophobia also occurs with borderline personality types. Then the symptom may be going to extremes in social relationships (from love to hate) or emotional instability, always standing in the way of a happy relationship.

People with paranoid disorders will mask the fear of rejection with suspicion, distrust, and long-term holding of resentment.

A symptom of anxiety may also be an attitude withdrawing from any interpersonal relationship, a tendency to live alone, low emotionality, making it impossible to enter into closer relationships with others. It's a defense mechanism to protect against too much familiarity.

Worth knowing

Fear of rejection is often followed by lowered self-esteem and lack of understanding of others. This also translates into other areas of life. Lack of self-confidence and motivation makes it difficult to undertake ambitious tasks and achieve set goals. With high intensity of disorders, fear of rejection may be the beginning of neurosis or even depression.

Can you deal with nullophobia?

Fear of rejection is not only often difficult to realize, but alsoit is difficult to deal with the problem without the help of a specialist. Therapy is the most effective method of treatment, although the patient's fear of rejection may be an obstacle here. This time by a therapist.

The main goal of rejection anxiety therapy is to help the patient stay in the relationship.

Therapy principles:

First, the patient must give up his fears and fear of entering into a closer relationship with the therapist. This is where the withdrawing attitude is likely to reappear. The therapist's task is to conduct the treatment in such a way that these concerns cease to be relevant. The patient must understand that telling the therapist about difficult experiences will not change their attitude towards the patient and will not cause rejection. For nullophobia to be eliminated, the psychotherapist must keep the patient in therapy and not let him abandon the treatment.

This gaining trust is the greatest success of the therapy and a chance for the patient to understand the problem. The psychotherapy itself is long-lasting and requires strict consistency. It should be remembered that patients are oversensitive about themselves, so it is very easy to lose their attention and discourage them from therapy. However, once they understand their problem, the chances of eliminating the fear of rejection are very good. After successful and complete therapy for fear of rejection, patients should confidently develop close relationships with other people, forgetting their previous fears.

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