Fear Of Rejection: Meaning, Effects & Types


Everyone experiences rejection. Whether it’s rejection for a job or rejection by a social group, it all depends on how one approaches the situation.
Some people react more strongly to rejection than others. Being sensitive to rejection makes their daily existence difficult.

Fear of rejection is also one factor where an individual develops a persistent fear of getting rejection. With this constant fear, there come negative thinking patterns. Along with the build-up of stress and change in behaviour due to negative thinking. 

They are constantly expecting to be rejected. And, while they search for evidence that someone does not want to be with them, they frequently act in ways that push other people away. This conduct sets in motion a painful cycle that can be difficult to escape.

Let’s Understand What Is Rejection

It may happen in a variety of situations. Rejection often refers to a person or organization pushing something or someone away or out. For example, a person may reject or refuse to accept a present.

It is used in the mental health therapy field to explain people’s emotions of sadness, regret, or loss when they are rejected by others. After a significant other exits a relationship, a person may feel rejected. A youngster with few or no friends may feel rejected by his or her classmates. Individuals who have been given up for adoption may feel rejected as well.

Rejection can also occur in nonromantic life events, such as rejection of a job or rejection of a college application. While each rejection is hurtful, some rejections may be more difficult than others. A rejection can generate bad feelings and emotions because most individuals want social contact and many people seek social acceptability.

Fear Of Rejection 

Rejection has been the most devastating thing that could ever happen to an individual. But under what circumstances it happens also plays a crucial factor. 

A painful rejection is also prone to formulate problematic behavioural patterns. An individual may shoot up in his/her anger or face persistent low moods such as crying spells and feeling sad

Because they are afraid of rejection, many people today separate themselves or avoid including others. Fear of or sensitivity to rejection, which drives a person to withdraw from others, can result in persistent feelings of loneliness and despair. While rejection sensitivity can co-occur with a variety of mental health conditions such as social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder, it is not a recognized diagnosis.

Many persons with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have rejection sensitivity (ADHD). Fear of rejection is so common in people with ADHD that it is known as rejection-sensitive dysphoria. Self-criticism, anxiety in social situations, and severe grief following a perceived rejection are all prevalent symptoms of rejection-sensitive dysphoria in persons with ADHD.

Rejection’s Psychological Effects


Rejection may be incredibly painful because it makes people feel unwanted, unappreciated, and unaccepted. Most people will face rejection at some time in their life. A busy parent may abruptly reject a kid, while a student may feel rejected by a rude or harsh lecturer. These sorts of rejections may resolve rapidly and have fewer long-term consequences.

Ongoing or long-term rejection can have profound and long-lasting psychological consequences, including:

Trauma: It can occur as a result of long-term rejection or rejection that leads to strong sensations. Children who feel regularly rejected by their parents, for example, may struggle in school and in relationships with their classmates. Some people acquire a persistent dread of rejection, generally as a result of many painful rejection experiences early in life.

Depression: Although rejection has been related to the development of depression in adolescent females, individuals who suffer rejection may also acquire depression. Bullying, which is essentially a combination of ostracism and rejection, may also have a variety of harmful consequences, such as depression, stress, eating disorders, and self-harming behaviours. A depression counselor can unravel the concerns addressed by an individual while they are facing rejection.

Studies have demonstrated that the brain responds to social pain in the same manner that it responds to physical pain. According to a study, social pain, or rejection, activates the same brain circuits as physical pain does. When an individual suffers social pain, receptor systems in the brain produce natural analgesics (opioids), just as they do when they experience physical pain.

Anxiety and stress: Rejection can aggravate or precipitate pre-existing symptoms such as stress and anxiety. Similarly, these and other mental health problems can amplify emotions of rejection.

Abuse: According to one study, the perpetration of abuse in intimate relationships among male members of the study was connected with greater degrees of parental rejection in childhood. Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and deficits in social information processing were also related.

While rejection can be painful, taking the anguish of rejection out on another person via mental abuse or physical violence is never healthy. According to one study, perceived rejection may contribute to hostility or anger against that group.

A therapist can help people who feel rejected learn to deal with perceived or actual rejection and develop social skills that will allow them to interact with others more readily.

Types Of Rejection

Rejection occurs in several scenarios, and any mental health consequences will depend in part on the circumstances surrounding the rejection. Some examples of popular sorts of rejection are:

Rejection from one’s family of origin, generally parental rejection, can take the form of abuse, abandonment, neglect, or withholding of love and affection. This type of rejection is likely to follow a person throughout their life and can have catastrophic effects.

Social rejection: It can happen at any age, but it is most common during childhood. Bullying and alienation in school or on the job are examples of social rejection, but they may apply to any social group.

Rejection in a relationship: Rejection can occur when dating or in a relationship. For example, a person may refuse to share an occasion or experience with a partner, withhold love or intimacy, or treat a spouse as if they were only a casual acquaintance. When one person decides to leave a relationship, it might affect the other.


Rejection in any form may be painful, but when it comes from a valued loved one, it can have a significant influence on self-worth and self-confidence. While an online psychologist may help people heal from wounds created by being rejected by a loved one, it can also help people learn to accept various types of rejection that happen in everyday life, such as being rejected by a possible romantic partner, getting turned down during a job search, or applying to college.

Seeking help is a sign of courage. Don't let self-limiting beliefs hold you back from a life you deserve. Avail online therapy to become happier and better. Learn how

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