I'm wondering how big of a role fear of rejection plays in your relationships and what it stems from. NTs are notorious for withholding their deeper feelings from others and can take a long time to truly open up but shut down in a matter of seconds if the other persons reaction is unexpected or unwanted.
So what does it take for someone to get you to open up? What role does fear of rejection play in your relationships (not just romantic ones)? And how is this linked to your self image?
I'm definitely a "long time to open up, shut down in a flash" type. Even my best friends don't really know me well (actually, I probably share here more than anywhere else, other than occasional conversations with family)...
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I dunno, I'm not sure if I fear rejection as much as I fear failure.
This is a lot of it for me, too. I tend to see rejection as failure, though. It's the "why wasn't I good enough?" thing. Objectively, I know that it might have nothing to do with that, but it does trigger the failure reflex, as it were. I (absolutely unrealistically, I know) tend to expect myself to excel in every possible situation... and when I'm given definitive proof that I can't - even if only in the opinion of someone else (even a stranger), it can be pretty devastating.
Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou
I like being able to hold people at arm's length, and if I ever really connected with someone and built a relationship, I would no longer be able to be an island.
I don't think that I'm this way by nature, really... but longtime habits have sort of driven me in this same direction. I went out with someone a few times a couple of months ago, and I think that this is part of the reason it didn't last. Spending a lot of time alone has made me almost hyperindependent, and although proximity seemed connective to me, in retrospect we clearly weren't really connecting after our first meeting. Not coincidentally, she seemed interested after that first evening, and nonchalant-to-cool after that.
Originally Posted by Trinity
But what about the unrealised fear? Actual rejection is quite different to an irrational fear.
Good point... Rejection sucks, but once it's over, it's usually over. Anticipation of rejection and dwelling on it ahead of time (or the "what if I'd been rejected" when you avoided the opportunity) is much worse.
Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer
I fear making a fool of myself. Though, ironically, it doesn't really bother me when I'm joking around -- i.e. I'm not afraid of making a corny joke.
But when it comes to things that I find (or once found) important, I paralyze myself in fear.
Never thought I'd say this, but I agree with Uber (). I'll do some crazy or silly things given very little provocation - but only with the understanding that it's a joke, a performance of some sort, or an "I've never done this before, it's not the end of the world if I'm not good at it" situation (although I'll still expect myself to surprise people with how well I do).
In the end, yes. I tend to take rejection as a personal failing. I tend not to put myself in situations where it's a likely outcome (not proud of that - trying to get better).