Social fear and anxiety is one of the most common concerns I hear from clients. No one is born being afraid of people, so it must be learned somewhere along the path. We each have had many opportunities to learn social fear, from overbearing parents to mean kids on the playground. Sometimes we can point to certain situations where we became afraid. Other times it seems like it was always there, which means that we learned it at a very early age. It can be helpful to understand where it comes from, but that is by no means necessary.
As you might guess, the treatment for social fear is facing it. That means going out there into the unpredictable world and subjecting ourselves to the possibility of rejection. Terrifying.
When we get up the nerve to do this, we discover two things. The first is that rejection really isn’t as bad as we built it up to be. The second is that we don’t get rejected nearly as much as we thought we would. As we learn these things, the fear loosens its hold on us and we find freedom. The standard treatment in therapy is developing a fear hierarchy and facing it. However, there is another option that you can do on your own. Simply begin each day with the intention of getting rejected at least once. Ask for a store discount or ask a stranger for money for gas. If you are turned down, mission accomplished. If you aren’t, so much the better. After a few days or weeks of doing this, you will start to find liberation among people. You will be able to talk honestly and you will be at ease.
Want to make it super easy, buy the Rejection Therapy game. Then do it. It’s a lot cheaper than therapy!