by Maureen Simmons
I stared at my text inbox for what seemed like forever. New relationships are tough. And the older I’ve gotten, the more picky (or nit-picky) I’ve become. I know he’s busy, but really, how long does it take to pluck out 160 characters to respond to a text message? I’ve mentioned it to him–several times– and his response is always the same. “I respond to all of your messages.” Yes, he does “eventually”.
His lackadaisical attitude was wearing my patience to the bone. The only time I am slow to respond to a text, phone call or email is when I don’t want to hear from the person. Sure, sometimes I really am too busy to respond immediately, but generally I respond right away. Maybe subliminally he didn’t want to hear from me. Maybe he was just-not-that-into-me.
Still holding the phone, I glanced at my computer screen—which was opened to Facebook– and saw a status update from Apostle John Eckhardt, of Crusader’s International Church, that read:
“Fear of Rejection:
Once a person has been rejected, they expect or anticipate further wounding. They fear additional hurt causing them to create false defense mechanisms.
1. Who can they trust?
2. Will they be hurt again?
3. Will other people inflict their wounds upon them?
In order to prevent further hurts, they begin to suspect the intentions of others. They develop a distrust of other’s motives; in other words they develop a “paranoia”. As this pattern of distrust and suspicion grows, the paranoia will eventually develop fears that others are plotting against them. The root behind paranoia is always “fear of rejection“. (https://mightywinds.org/)
Wow! It’s as if scales fell from my eyes and I could see myself more clearly. I let out a deep sigh as I realized this was not about 160 characters at all. It was about my fear that his slow response meant he was rejecting me. I put down the phone and picked up the bible; which lay close-by. I knew if I wanted to be free from the fear of rejection I would need to pray, read and apply the scriptures, and consciously resist the urge to feed that fear any longer.
Good relationships are work (or so I’ve been told). And while I can’t do anything about how quickly he’ll respond to a text message, phone call or email; I can do the necessary work on me so I am not bent out of shape over something so miniscule. I mean, who gets bent out of shape over a text message anyway?
The vibration from my phone interrupted my thoughts. I picked it up. It was a text from him. Thinking of you! I laughed out loud and immediately texted back, “Thinking of you too!” Ha! If only he knew.
BMWK – have you ever let fear of rejection or issues from past relationships impact your current relationship? What are some ways to overcome fear of rejection?
Maureen Simmons, a Sr. Human Resources Manager by trade, uses her coaching skills to build people in their life, career and personal relationships. She writes a career-related blog under the moniker “The HR Maven” and is completing her first book tentatively titled: Jumping for Joy: Principles I Learned in the Valley, due to be published in the Spring of 2013.