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Here are some exposure therapy steps to push you in the right direction.

We’re all a little scared of rejection. Some of us are a lot scared. It doesn’t help that culturally, we’re taught to see rejection as a personal failure, where in fact, rejection happens to everyone, every single day. It happens when we don’t get a smile back on the street, when someone avoids eye contact or brushes us off during a conversation.

Most of the time, the person doing the rejecting has other stuff they are focusing on: really, it’s not us, it’s them. But it’s one thing to to logically understand this, and another to feel it. Many of us refrain from putting ourselves out there for fear of being shot down. So, how can we train ourselves to be desensitized to rejection, and begin to live more vibrant and fearless lives? Here are some exposure therapy steps to push you in the right direction.


Start by smiling at people on the street, especially people whose perception you may care about. Instead of walking past cooly in an attempt to maintain a façade, make eye contact, nod, smile. For some of us this will be terrifying at first. Sometimes, you won’t get a smile back, and that’s okay! Over time you will stop feeling personally hurt. And when some do smile back, that may just make your day.


Next, it’s time to go up to people. Make a pact with yourself that you will talk to three people the next time you head out to a bar or other social setting with your vinas. These people have to be strangers, or not-so-close-acquaintances. Start off with people who don’t make you so nervous. They may brush you off, they may not. Remember, the idea is to actually get rejected a few times so that you understand that the world does not end when you do, and realize your capacity to pick yourself back up. After a few nights out, try talking to people who make you nervous. But don’t push yourself too fast. Baby steps!


A lot of us feel like asking for something, whether it be a raise or a date or even respect, will reflect badly upon our character in the eyes of another. What most of us don’t realize is that oftentimes what you think will be a “no” is really a “yes!” It’s important to remember that if someone has a negative reaction to you it will probably be temporary, whereas your happiness and confidence is much more permanent. Besides, admiration is usually the primary reaction to those who ask for what they need!

What are some steps you can take towards facing your fear of rejection? Ask a vina and comment below!  

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