One of the biggest barriers out there to those of us looking for romance is fear of rejection. We know that if we make the wrong move at the wrong time – or simply say the wrong thing - it could result in rejection. Then, not only will it knock our confidence, but it may also ruin our chances with the object of our desires.
But here’s the thing about fear: psychologists tell us that when we don’t face our fears, they tend to grow and grow. So, our fears are simply a part of the deal – and they have to be faced. There’s no point thinking to yourself that you’ll make the move once your fear has abated – as it’s unlikely it ever will.
According to one recent study conducted by Voucherbox, our greatest fears in the UK are around personal failure and negative judgement from others. So, whilst these two factors cover a wide range of fears such as lack of career success and financial need etc., they also include fear over our potential failure in our romantic life.
And when psychologists talk about feeling the fear and doing it anyway, they’re really saying we need to find ways of moving in the right direction despite our fears. But when it comes to romance, this is a very tough call for many of us. We really fear rejection by the one we’ve set our hearts on – and quite logically so, but at the same time, if you don’t make some kind of move, then the other person may never know how you feel. It’s a bit of a conundrum.
Also, the same survey finds that over 37% of people try to meet their worst fears head on, so if they’re all out there trying, maybe you should too.
10 Quotes About Love and Fear | Babble #facingdownfear https://t.co/KLeSNAkvpO pic.twitter.com/9RIsSz4JV2— Facing Down Fears (@facingdownfears) December 10, 2016
So, here are a few ways you may be able to “feel the fear and do it anyway” with your love life:
Firstly; use the “so what?” technique. Imagine talking to the person you desire and asking him or her out. Now work through the worst case scenario: “what if s/he completely rejects me out of hand; what happens next?” By thinking about the worst possible case, you’ll soon see that whilst it would be uncomfortable, it wouldn’t be the end of the world and you’d move on. This can be a useful tactic as the reality is likely to be a whole lot better than your worst case imagination. What’s more, your “rehearsals” mean it will be an easier move to make in practice.
Secondly, why not try a softly, softly approach? Think through different ways of gradually making your feelings known to the object of your desires to test the water little by little. As you gradually build things up, you should soon get a feeling for how the other person feels whilst giving yourself ample space to back up and keep it light.
Alternatively, why not pose your thoughts very carefully in a letter to the person? In this way, you can say exactly how you feel whilst putting the ball in their court and making it easier for them to respond in kind if the answer’s a negative one.
Whichever route you choose – face your fears and good luck with your endeavours.
Photo - "Love Padlock" (CC BY 2.0) by MsSaraKelly