Beat Your Fear of Being Disliked


Sure, everyone wants to be well liked among their peers – but when this desire to be liked transforms, this natural tendency can become a detrimental fear that eats away at a person and works against them, hindering their progress personally and professionally.

In most cases, everyone experiences some resistance when entering new social situations – a bit of hesitation and the idea that they may not be accepted surely runs through their head. However, confident people push those thoughts out of their minds, easily entering social situations, seemingly blossoming in them.

In contrast, people who have a fear of being disliked to a severe scale may feel highly self-conscious and anxious to such a degree that they may avoid the social situation all together.

Extreme cases of this are often diagnosed as something called “Avoidant Personality Disorder.

Exploring Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant personality disorder can manifest in a variety of ways, but people already prone to an extreme fear of being disliked are particularly susceptible. These individuals are often extremely sensitive to negative receptions among their peers and tend to describe themselves as lonely, anxious, and generally unwanted and isolated.

There is not a singular cause of this disorder or fear, but many experts suspect that there are often experiences, such as bullying or childhood neglect to blame. Most often, the diagnosis comes in early adulthood, perhaps because this is the stage in which the disorder starts interfering with life in tangibly harmful ways, such as inability to land or keep a job.

Sufferers may find that it is difficult for them to attend or conduct a successful interview. When they do get hired, they are likely to experience difficulties in meeting and socializing with their coworkers and peers on a social level, but also in the routine of daily business. This inability to enter social situations – even those necessary to perform their job – makes it difficult for them to succeed

People with avoidant personality disorder often experience symptoms such as:

  •  Self-imposed social isolation
  • Hypersensitivity to social criticism and peer rejection
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Highly self-conscious
  • Feelings of inferiority and loneliness

Overcoming Fear of Being Disliked

Overcoming a fear of being disliked – or in extreme situations, avoidant personality disorder, is difficult due to its intensely emotional nature, however it is possible, not to mention worthwhile.

Successfully overcoming this fear will not only help the sufferer to develop more meaningful relationships, such as friendships or relationships of a romantic nature, but also to build successful careers from which their fear would otherwise most likely prevent them from attaining.

For some, overcoming their fear is simply a matter of self-conditioning – intentionally putting oneself in social situations and forcing yourself to interact. That may be as small of an action as saying “hello” to a stranger on the street or a larger scale engagement, such as attending a social function with office co-workers. Overtime, you will build up your confidence and ability.

For others, this type of self-conditioning will not immediately be possible and they may require a more clinical, therapeutic approach.

Everyone’s fear manifests in different ways and requires individual attention to properly address and overcome it; what is important is that you treat your fear, facing it head on in order to overcome it and open new doors in every facet of your life. Remember – no matter how afraid you may be, you have nothing to lose by trying, but everything to gain.

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