If we feel controlled by the fear of rejection, then our focus will be on being “people pleasers.” However, we need to say what the apostle Paul said, “We are not trying to please men but God.” (1 Thessalonians 2:4)
If you are uncertain whether or not you are living for the approval of others, answer the following questions honestly to see if you live with the fear of rejection.
- Do you avoid certain people out of fear that they will reject you?
- Do you become anxious when you think someone might not accept you?
- Do you feel awkward around others who are different from you?
- Do you feel disturbed when someone is not friendly toward you?
- Do you work hard at trying to determine what people think of you?
- Do you become depressed when others are critical of you?
- Do you consider yourself basically shy and unsociable around others?
- Do you try to see the negative in others?
- Do you find yourself trying to impress others?
- Do you repeat negative messages about yourself to yourself?
- Do you look for clues as to how others are responding to you in order to avoid the pain of rejection?
- Do you say “Yes” when you should say “No” to others?
- Do you expect others to respond to situations and conversations in the same way you would?
- Do you hear people saying that you are a “codependent person”?
- Do you experience hypersensitivity to the opinions of others but insensitivity to your own emotions?
- Do you often feel overly controlled by others?
- Do you struggle with anger and resentment toward others?
- Do you seem to be easily manipulated by others?
If you conclude that you have been controlled by the fear of rejection and you have lived for the approval of others, take this verse to heart … “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)