For quite the majority of her life, Linda has lived through this dilemma of wanting to be both unique and ordinary. She wanted to be her own person and express her individuality, but also couldn’t bear the thought of not being accepted to the point of getting feedback from others. This internal struggle manifested itself right from her teenage years until she was in her thirties.
Linda was constantly in agreement with everyone’s opinion and did not venture to go against anybodie’s views for fear of rejection. Very often she said “yes” when she actually meant “no”. Several times she let others trample on her.
Every time she listened to music or watched a tv show, she would turn it off when someone else entered the room, fearing that her taste would be criticized. She wouldn’t let anyone get too close to her. She lived a double life: she had kept an “acceptable self” that she could show to others and had buried her “real self” deep within herself.
Eventually, her problems became so severe that she developed a social anxiety disorder. She avoided going to the supermarket for fear that people would judge what she had in her shopping cart. She didn’t eat in front of other people, worried about what they would think of her meal. She became afraid to leave the house because she felt that everyone she met would judge her in some way.
At this point, Linda gave priority to everyone’s judgments and feelings and didn’t give a damn about her own.
In addition to Linda, many people today live with the dilemma of wanting to be unique while constantly living in the minds of others. As an adult, you might think that this doesn’t affect you, but in reality, it goes much deeper than you think. Every morning, you carefully choose what you will wear to make sure you look good in the eyes of others. You decide to give up an idea or goal for fear of going against the opinions of those close to you. You agree to go to a boring party for fear that your colleagues will think you are not sociable.
One of the most prominent fears in human beings is the fear of rejection.