Fear of rejection is most people’s biggest fear. My passion in life is helping people face their biggest fears. When you feel that F.E.A.R. (false evidence appearing real) pushing up against you, know that true growth is on the other side. You face it and you grow. Connecting with people, the fear of rejection, can be immobilizing. There’s a big difference between danger (e.g. my house is on fire) and fear. Danger is legitimate, fear/anxiety are not (e.g. rejection will kill me).
Here are 6 questions you can ask your co-workers, partner, spouse, friends, and family to help you bond. They CAN positively transform your connections. Each one could also lead to what feels like rejection. Vulnerability is making a move with no guarantee of the outcome. It means no longer playing it safe and being our truest self. Taking action, in the face of your fear of rejection, is the only long term way to overcome this type of anxiety.
Initially I thought these questions were primarily for romantic relationships, but I’ve found you can use them to improve any important connection. They work great with friends, co-workers, and family. You don’t need to ask all 6, but even just one a week could help strengthen even the most challenging of relationships. You have the courage inside to reach out and connect!
“”Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.” Abe Lincoln
6 Great Questions
- What are the main causes of stress for you right now? Anything I can do to help?
- How can I help you succeed in an area of you life (e.g. career, health, relationships, etc.)?
- Is there anything I’ve done recently that has hurt you that I need to make right?
- What’s one thing I can do MORE of to help our relationship?
- What’s one thing I can do LESS of to help our relationship?
- Am I doing anything that makes it difficult to communicate with me lately?
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principal that holds all relationships together.” – Stephen Covey
Guidelines for Asking These Questions
For couples, both of you answer each question and take no more than 30 minutes to go through all 6. Minimize other distractions (e.g. children, phones, electronics, etc.). For other relationships, like friends, co-workers, and family, just look for opportunities to ask and listen. Validate their answer by saying something like “that makes sense”. Adjust the questions to fit your style. In other words, alter the wording so that it feels natural.
Be curious! Prove you’re listening by paraphrasing what you hear. Cut yourself some slack if this feels weird. New positive habits ALWAYS feel awkward at first.
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