When I was a little girl, I moved from an all Asian school to an all Caucasian school at the age of 6. I went from being the most popular kid to the girl who pretended to play “hide and go seek” at lunch break so no one would notice I had no friends. Being one of the only Chinese girls in my school I felt desperate to fit in and wanted so badly for people to like me and accept me as one of “them”. Growing up, the boys I liked never liked me back and I constantly felt rejection. Perhaps my childhood experience is what brings me to my biggest insecurity today – fear of rejection.
I have created intricate strategies and methods to avoid it at all costs – often at the expense of canceling people out of my life just so that I can beat them to the punch. Call it being a control freak, call it being insecure, but when I don’t get the response expected from someone, I assume the worse and take it personally. I immediately create a story in my head that “they just aren’t that in to me” and purge – deleted off my phone, social networks and life they go. I jump to the conclusion before they even have a chance to respond. I realize that I have a pattern of letting people “go” instead of letting them “be” and as much as I’ve tried to change this habit, I have to admit, it’s been very, very difficult and I have a long way to go.
Recently, I met someone who expressed interest in me but was going through the stages of a post-breakup of a major relationship. The minute that I didn’t hear from him, despite his distraught emotional headspace, I did my typical “purge” routine. Easily, out of my headspace, my agenda and life he went. Then a dear friend of mine gave me some words of wisdom.
“Amy, we’ve grown up to feel like we always need instant gratification. We always want the boy to like us back right away just because we like them.
There is one common thread to wounded birds. They are all trying to re-learn how to fly and they become adamant on changing the way they do life and relationships, for the fear of going back to that broken place”. – SS
These words are very true and relevant. Many of us (me included) have an idea/expectation of how courting/relationships should play out. And when it doesn’t happen according to the “plan” in our head, we feel rejected and take it personally, when really, it has nothing to do with you at all. In this fast pace world of instant messenger, SMS, email – the flash speed of things is actually not a normal pace…we’re just so used to it, that when things do take a normal pace, we get impatient and antsy.
Books such as “He’s Just Not That into You” do have many points that ring true, however, it’s important to remember that every situation, every person, every potential budding of a relationship is different. I have been relentless trying to be the extreme opposite from that girl in that book who just didn’t get the hint – and to be honest, that way of going about relationships has likely kyboshed more opportunities than thwarted potential rejection. Women whose hearts are like “7 lane superhighways” may find it frustrating or demotivating when dealing with men who take a slower one lane dirt road, but sometimes things just take time and their own pace. All you can do is “be a friend with no expectations and the both of you will eventually find out if your highway and his road will meet one day”. Everything happens and doesn’t happen for a reason.
I know many women who beat themselves up and get upset when it doesn’t work out the way they expected. All I can say is, it has nothing to do with you. It’s not because you aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, athletic enough – you, are perfect just the way you are. But when you are with a match that isn’t meant to fit with you, it just doesn’t fit. And that’s no one’s fault or shortcoming.
Being a single girl, meeting different people, giving things a chance to realize that it wasn’t a fit – yes, it can be exhausting at times. And while before I would see a negative angle of “it just never works” or “I give up!” – I’ve realized that it’s not “working” because it wasn’t meant to. I’m at a place of contentment now where I just have faith. Faith and patience that it will all happen when it should happen, and when it does, it’s going to be AMAZING. I’m not a religious person, but I’m starting to believe more and more that half of it is fate and half of it is choice. So have faith in fate to bring the right opportunities with the right people – at the right time, and be open to making and choosing the right decisions when it does.