- Why a fear of rejection is about a fear of loss
- How a scarcity mindset leads to being terrified of being rejected
- What the most successful, rejection-proof men all have in common
- How embracing the Friend Zone can make you fearless with women
- How having more people in your life can destroy your fear of rejection
…and so much more.
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Today, I want to ask you a simple question: what would your life be like if you weren’t afraid of rejection? How much better would everything be if you could go up to people you were attracted to and not be afraid of being turned down?
Maybe you’d be going on more dates. Maybe you’d just be more social in general. But eliminating your fear of rejection could create a profound transformation in your life.
And you can do this. You can learn to be absolutely fearless when it comes to meeting new people.
It’s just a matter of making a very simple change in your life. In fact, by making this change, you’ll not only be unafraid of getting rejected, but you’ll have made a transformation that will make you MUCH more likely to meet and date amazing women.
But in order to be able to MAKE that change, first we need to understand why you’re afraid of being rejected and how it holds you back.
This almost always comes down to one simple issue: you’ve invested that one person — often a person you never met before just now — with FAR too much importance. And honestly, if you stop and think about it objectively, you’d see it. I mean, imagine if your best friend came to you and told you that he’d fallen madly in love with this woman and if he can’t be with her and ONLY HER, then he’s going to fall to pieces… except he doesn’t actually know her, he’s barely even talked to her and he didn’t know she even existed before he saw her picture on Tinder or saw her on the bus or something.
Incidentally, this is why I hate almost 90% of romcoms and that FUCKING James Blunt song.
… I’m fun at parties.
But y’know, the important thing is, if she doesn’t write back or agree to go on a date with him or just doesn’t want to talk to him, then his life is OVER.
He doesn’t know her last name, her favorite color or whether she likes tacos or what she wants on her pizza, but now she’s the most important person in the world and her not going on a date with him is going to throw him into a deep, deep depression.
Let’s be real: you’d think your buddy was going monkey-shitting bananas for letting this destroy him. So why in plus perfect hell do you let that same situation affect YOU the exact same way?
The answer is that you’re treating that person as though she were your last chance for love, ever and now you NEED it to go perfectly. And when you’re treating every woman you meet as The One and if you screw it up, you’ll die alone, unmourned and unloved, no goddamn wonder the possibility of rejection is making you lose your shit. You’ve made being turned down into something so dire that you’re walking a tightrope and on one side there’s a pit of alligators and on the other is a sea of chainsaws and oh yeah, the tightrope is on FIRE.
It becomes impossible to separate your sense of self from the outcome because the imagined consequences feel so immediate and personal… even when 90% of the time, getting rejected isn’t personal at ALL. Most rejections have absolutely nothing to do with you and EVERYTHING to do with her — she’s had a shitty day, she just broke up with someone, she doesn’t date men, you’re the fifth guy to hit on her and she just can’t deal with it right now…
It ain’t personal but it feels like it, because you’ve made this one moment impossibly important. Especially when you’re seeing this as your final chance to avoid dying of loneliness and how can she NOT see that she’s the only thing standing between you and a loveless eternity in the screaming void?
Now all of that is what’s known as a scarcity mindset — the idea that something, in this case women, is a rare and limited resource. This belief is at the center of a LOT of the ideas that fuck up your dating life. The bullshit interpretation of the 80/20 rule — that 20% of men get 80% of women — is a prime example; all those imaginary guys are hogging all the women and I dunno… swimming through ‘em like a Scrooge McDuck money-bin full of tits. It’s a root cause of needy behavior that kills attraction and drives women away. And it leaves guys terrified of being rejected because when there’s a limited pool of women to choose from, each one telling you no is just one step closer to your vanishing in a puff of sulfur and frustration.
It isn’t true… but it feels like it’s true. It’s easier to believe because it confirms your fears, and so you WANT to believe it. Even when it’s actively damaging your love life and making you miserable. And yes, I’m aware that some people live in small towns where there’s a relatively limited pool of single women. This still applies, the way you work it is slightly different and a topic in it’s own right; if you want to talk more about how to date in small towns, throw a question for an upcoming Ask Dr. NerdLove in the comments.
Those self-limiting beliefs are why the key to learning how to overcome your fear of rejection is to start breaking that scarcity mindset and start cultivating abundance in your life.
After all, it’s hard to get freaked out by the possibility of someone not liking you when you know that there’re literally millions of other women out there who are just as amazing, if not moreso.
Now I know that a lot of you are getting ready to yell in the comments about how you try and you try and get nothing BUT rejection, so how could abundance mean anything but MORE rejection? And the answer is that you’re still putting too much emphasis on the importance and meaning of that rejection. It becomes about what you’re NOT getting. You can’t see past the negative experience of it. And honestly that’s not entirely your fault; humans have an inherent negativity bias that means that negative feelings or experiences have a much greater impact on us than positive ones. So it’s natural to feel like the negative outcome is so much more significant. Part of cultivating abundance and an abundance mentality is training your brain to look beyond that, to break those negative patterns and CHOOSE to look at the more positive side of things.
But abundance isn’t just about the mindset of “well, it’s a shame but there’ll be someone else so who gives a fuck” — though that IS important. It’s also about actually cultivating an abundance of people in your life.
If you look at the most successful men out there — the ones who are fearless in the face of rejection, who have the FEWEST problems finding love or sex — they aren’t the ones who stay at home all the time, who only talk to one or two people a week or who sit around complaining in subreddits and Discord chats about “The Friend Zone” or inventing new and fascinating forms of phrenology to explain why they’re single.
They tend to be the most social, the ones who talk to people and show interest in others. They’re almost always the ones who seem to know EVERYBODY, even the waitstaff at their usual hangouts. They’re the ones who are more fun to talk to because they actually LIKE people; they’re more comfortable connecting with others.
As a result, they have more people in their lives, and larger social networks in general. And that’s important because, despite how it can feel, the majority of people DON’T meet their boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives via online dating. Most people meet their partners through their friends and social circles. Sometimes indirectly — they met at a party thrown by mutual friends, for example. Sometimes it’s directly, and a friend introduces the two. Having more amazing people in your life in general gives you more opportunities to meet amazing women in an organic and almost effortless manner. But more to the point: they ALSO tend to have lots of women in their lives. Not just the women they’re fucking or trying to fuck, but women in general. They’re not afraid of the Friend Zone, they EMBRACE the Friend Zone. They’re not the ones who’re bitter and resentful that these women won’t date them, and they’re not keeping these women around as “friends”, angling for dates like Nice Guys. They’re actively good, platonic friends to the women in their lives.
And that’s a huge secret to their overall success, because it makes them rejection-proof. Their self-worth isn’t caught up in whether or not any one particular person likes them or if they get shot down by one woman. Even though it stings — and rejection almost always does — they’ve got an abundance of awesome women in their lives who think they’re pretty damn great.
Here’s where the difference comes in: the people who struggle the most with rejection tend to ONLY give attention to specific women… and even then, they focus like a LASER on the women they want to date. This is a mistake, because it teaches you to ONLY focus on loss. When they’re the only women you’re interacting with or trying to build a connection with, then you’ve CREATED artificial scarcity for yourself. You’ve taught yourself that if you’re not perfect, you have no chance.
Taking away that need to turn that ONE person into your girlfriend or just trying to get into her pants utterly transforms how you interact with her. You don’t have that self-imposed fear of being “perfect” because hey, it’s fine if you’re not.
You’re freeing yourself to be real with them instead of this artificial construct that you’ve convinced yourself that women want… without any basis in reality. And as it turns out, women really prefer guys who’re being their authentic selves instead of insisting that women only want Chad Thundercock. Crazy, I know. But it works.
Now I know a lot of folks look at the idea of having women in your life that you’re not actively trying to bang and think that this is “White knighting” or “lowers your value” somehow… but in reality, it actually brings MORE women into your life, women who are attracted to you and want to date you.
The key here isn’t that you’re NOT just befriending women who you would never find attractive. It’s to recognize that being attracted to someone and being friends with them aren’t mutually exclusive. When you don’t have the bullshit distinction between “friend” and “fuckable”, you know that being attracted to someone doesn’t that you need to try to have them or that an erection isn’t a commandment, you vastly widen your potential social network and actually cultivate the benefits that come from having these women in your life.
To start with, having more female friends — friends who you find hot, even if you’re not trying to bang them — makes it INFINITELY easier to talk to attractive women. Part of what trips guys up is the idea that hot women are somehow different from literally everyone else. They’re not, but that self-imposed belief cranks up the anxiety level from non-existent to apocalyptic.
Getting comfortable with women in general and attractive women in particular, eliminates that belief that just because someone’s hot, they’re inherently better, harder to relate to or just somehow not a person, like everyone else. Eliminating that IMAGINED difference in value makes it much easier to connect and relate with women on a real and authentic level, instead of feeling like you have to perform a complicated dance in order to prove that you’re “worthy” of her.
Instead, you’re able to just be at ease with them. You can joke with them, laugh with them and generally behave like their being hot is no big deal because hey… it’s not. You’re used to it.
That is going to make you far more confident than the guy who looks at women and thinks that “good enough to be friends with means not good enough to fuck”
And don’t forget: confidence is sexy.
Similarly, having those women in your life means that you have more opportunties to meet other women. Your friends may not want to date you… but that doesn’t mean that they won’t know other folks who would. And trust me: when you’ve got friends who care for you and respect you, they’re going to think about who they know that you would be perfect for and who would be perfect for you.
That alone is going to increase your dating pool and help create a sense of abundance that will mean that any single rejection will just dust off your shoulders.
But there’s another reason why having an abundance of women in your life — even when they’re platonic friends — helps erase your fear of rejection. It’s not because you’re cool if they give you the let’s-just-be-friends speech. It’s because of what having those women in your life says about you.
Have you ever noticed how whenever you’re in a relationship, women suddenly seem to find you much more attractive? It’s frustrating because hey, where were all these women when you were single? But there’s a reason for it.
The fact that you have a partner changes how those other women see you; your relationship is serving as a form of social proof — an indication that you’re desirable as a partner because… well, other people clearly desire you.
But it isn’t just a case of jealousy or other people wanting what someone else has. It’s that you’ve been vouched for. You’re someone that women now know is safe to be around, because other people have demonstrated it.
For all that it’s axiomatic that ‘women want bad boys’, what women ACTUALLY want is a guy that they can feel safe with. Attraction can’t exist without safety. Love, sex and relationships demand physical and emotional vulnerability and there’re too many people who will take advantage of that vulnerability. That means that finding someone that they can trust and feel safe around is an incredibly high priority for women.
And while having a partner is an obvious way of having someone vouch for you, having those women in your life who think you’re great, even if they’re not interested in dating you, is going to be a huge marker in your favor. After all, they have friends too… and when we need a recommendation, when we want to be introduced to someone or if we want to know if we can trust someone… we look to our friends, first.
So by having those women in your life as friends, not only have you increased your social circle — giving you more opportunities to meet people — but you’ve got a coterie of women who are going to be quick to sing your praises to people who might be interested in you.
This not only increases the number of people you meet — helping you develop abundance in your life — but it means that the people you do meet are going to be coming to this knowing that not only are you awesome, but that you’re someone they can feel safe around. They’ll know that you’re someone good. That, in turn, means that they can let down their guard and lower those barriers that women erect for self-defense. And THAT means that the two of you have an opportunity to be open and real with one another and to connect on a deep and meaningful level — in ways that you often can’t do with strangers.
Bringing more people into your life gives you more opportunities to meet folks — both new friends and new potential partners. And those friends increase your pool of potential partners even further. This means that you have a greater abundance of people in your life, helping you to break that scarcity mindset. That abundance helps you become more confident and less afraid of a potential loss… which means that not only are you willing to take more chances and maximize your opportunities when they come around, but you’re ALSO much more likely to recognize a losing hand and fold early, instead of losing even more by trying to see it through.
And it’s not hard to start developing abundance in your life… it just requires making the effort. You need to start building the habit of talking to people and taking opportunities to get to know them. Every day gives you a chance to met new folks or work on connecting with the people you already know.
I mean, come on, if you’ve played the Persona games, you already how this works.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be an extrovert or some sort of social butterfly. You don’t need to be comfortable in crowds or the life of the party. You can be just as effective in building those networks and bringing those people into your life by talking with them on a one-on-one basis. And not everyone you meet or talk to needs to be your new best friend. But being on good terms with lots of people builds those networks and provides that social proof that helps bring more people into your life.
The fear of rejection is ultimately the fear of loss and of loneliness. But by learning to abandon that scarcity mentality and to develop abundance, you’ll learn that you’re not LOSING anything; you’ve gained valuable information. They’re not right for you, and so now you’re not going to waste YOUR time trying to win her over. You’ve been freed to go find someone who appreciates what you have to offer and you can enjoy yourself instead of worrying about the feelings and opinions of one person — a person who ultimately isn’t that important to you. By giving up that scarcity mindset, you’re freeing yourself from fear. And when you leave that fear behind, you’ll be able to build the abundance in your life that will bring more amazing opportunities your way than you’ll ever have believed possible.