Tag Archives: fear

Do You Have a Fear of Rejection?

Carolynn Aristone, MSW, LCSW is a Couple and Marriage Counselor. She wrote an article for Good Therapy.com, entitled: How to Overcome Fear of Rejection.

In Aristone’s article, she cites, The Pain of Social Rejection, written by Kirsten Weir for the American Psychological Association. Weir Stressed couplewrote that “our need to belong and for acceptance, links back to our early survival skills. Weir cites brain research which reveals that the areas of the brain that register pain due to physical injury, the dorsal anterior cingulate and the anterior insula, also register the emotional pains of rejection.”

Do you recall a psychic pain due to rejection that was so deep that you felt it in your body? One client said that her heart actually hurt when she was rejected by her boyfriend. laidoffAnother client felt physical pain throughout her entire body and was unable to move after she was fired from a job she had for over 20 years. The emotional and physical pain is real. The question is, what do we do about it? We want to get rid of it and feel better but feeling any kind of pain is a part of life and not necessarily something to get rid of. The problem occurs when we only feel pain and are unable able to live life.

Aristone says that “rather than value this (rejection) warning sign, this important bodily communication, we fear it. The pain becomes unbearable. We attach all kinds of meanings to the pain, to rejection itself. We perceive rejection as an absolute truth about who we are or what we can achieve. Somehow, this primitive survival signal creates a slow, painful death—of our spirits.”

Aristone goes on to list “five ways to transform how you respond to this difficult experience.” I don’t agree with all five of her points but I do love these:

  1. Expect rejection SOME of the time. I have no idea where I heard this, but someone once said to me, “You see that gorgeous girl? Someone, somewhere, is sick of her [crap]!” Like that girl, you, too, will be rejected, no matter how attractive you are, how much money you have, or how nice you are—someone will “get sick of you” in some form. Not everyone is compatible, and you will not meet everyone’s needs at all times. If you can accept this, you can decrease the personalization of rejection, maintain faith, and keep trying.
  2. Stop making rejection your whole life story. Assuming the identity of “victim” will not attract or keep a mate. The more you cling to the “rejected” role, the more you suffer. There is more to you than your rejection. Surround yourself with friends and family who support you. These people serve as a reminder of your worth. They are a part of your love story. To overcome rejection, you must connect with people who love you.
  3. Real intimacy is possible only when both partners become vulnerable.

Rejection is a part of life. There’s no way to avoid it. However, the way we think about it affects us greatly. The three points above are useful tools in dealing with rejection. If you have been suffering from feelings of rejection, I want to hear from you. I want to help you. Feel free to contact me here

Children’s Fears and How We Can Help

Unforeseeable disruptions to regular life can be explaining to childrenfrightening, especially for children. It’s difficult enough to explain to adults why tornados happen but try telling a child. Try explaining a job loss or the end of a relationship to an adult. Intellectually we may understand but it’s still complicated. And children do not yet possess the same intellectual capacity as adults.

TornadoMonday’s tragedy in Oklahoma affected not one but two elementary schools. School, like home, is supposed to be a safe place. As I write this article, there are 24 deaths, including 10 children. That’s a lot of information for anyone, adult or child, to wrap his/her head around.

As residents of this small town begin to literally pick up the pieces from Monday’s ruin, they will try to understand how to continue living their lives. Eventually, most will learn a new way to live and they will adapt to their tragedy.

There are, unfortunately, times in children’s lives when they may experience unwelcome disruptions to their routine. There could be a natural disaster, such as a tornado or the divorce of a child’s parents. The following are just four suggestions about what we as adults can do to help children deal with fears:

 1. Express:

Encourage children to talk about their feelings. expressionIf they’re too young and/or don’t have the vocabulary yet, let them express themselves through drawing or playing. Have them show you how they feel. Support their feelings and try not to minimize their fears.

 2. Visualize:

grandma's armsRemind children that they are loved and although bad things happen, most of the time, they don’t. Help them to think about a place that makes them feel safe. Maybe it’s in grandma’s living room or it could be in your arms. Help your child to imagine that safe place and the feeling that comes from being in that safe place. Let them know that when they feel scared, they can always think about that place and feel safe.

 3. Consult:

If you’ve tried many ways to help your child feel safe and nothing seems to work- consult with a therapist who works with children. Licensed therapists who have experience working with children, are often able to get at the root of the child’s fears and offer suggestions that a parent may be unable to see. Most parents just want their children to be safe, happy and healthy. A child specialist wants these things too but they are less attached to the child than a parent and can therefore see the entire picture.

 4. Neurofeedback:     childtherapist

One of the amazing things that NeurOptimal, the type of neurofeedback training that I use does, is to help children (and adults) no longer fixate on a fear or an unpleasant thought. Whether there is a real or a perceived trauma, it is common for us to focus all of our attention there. Neurofeedback helps us become unstuck. The thoughts and obsessions that we’re used to focusing on, no longer have as much power after training. To learn more about neurofeedback, take a look at my website.

Most children (and adults) have fears. The power that we give to these fears effects how quickly children are able to move past them. The next time your child expresses a concern, notice how you respond. You may see that you already have these tools in place. If you don’t or you want some help, let me know.