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  • Writer's pictureSharon Reynolds

When Things Feel Scary: How Rejection Sensitivity Can Make Fun Things Not Fun

Do you ever feel like some things that are supposed to be fun just don’t feel fun for you? Maybe it’s hanging out with friends, trying new stuff, or even spending time with someone special. If you’re a woman with ADHD, you might know what I’m talking about. It’s called rejection sensitivity, and it can turn fun times into not-so-fun times.

Understanding Rejection Sensitivity

Let’s talk about what rejection sensitivity is. It’s like having super ears and eyes that are always on the lookout for anything that might feel like rejection. Even when something isn’t really bad, your brain might tell you it is. It’s like a trick your brain plays on you, making you feel scared or sad even when everything’s okay.

Rejection Sensitivity Therapy

Impact on Enjoyment

So, how does rejection sensitivity make fun things not fun? Well, imagine this: You’re excited to hang out with your friends at a party. But when you get there, your brain starts thinking, “What if they don’t like me? What if I say something dumb and they laugh at me?” These worries can make you feel uncomfortable and anxious, even though your friends are actually happy to see you.

The same thing can happen with other fun stuff, like trying new adventures or spending time with someone you like. Your brain might start telling you scary stories about what could go wrong, like getting hurt or feeling embarrassed. This can make you want to avoid these experiences altogether, even though deep down, you really want to enjoy them.

Coping Strategies Now, let’s talk about what you can do if rejection sensitivity is making fun things not so fun for you.

  1. You're Not Alone! First off, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Lots of other people with ADHD feel this way too. So, don’t be too hard on yourself!

  2. Seeking Support and Guidance Next, try talking about how you feel with someone you trust, like a parent, teacher, or therapist. Sharing your worries and fears can help lighten the load and make things feel less scary. Plus, they might have some good advice to help you feel more confident and comfortable in fun situations.

  3. Embracing Relaxation Techniques You can also try practicing some relaxation techniques to help calm your mind when rejection sensitivity starts acting up. Deep breathing, visualization, or even just taking a break and doing something you enjoy can help you feel more at ease.

  4. Challenging Negative Thoughts You can also try to challenge those scary thoughts your brain is telling you. Ask yourself, “Is this really true? Am I really going to be rejected or embarrassed?” Often, you’ll find that the answer is no. And even if something does go wrong, it’s not the end of the world. Everyone makes mistakes, and that’s okay!

Rejection Sensitivity Therapy

Breaking the Cycle

Lastly, it's important to understand that time plays a big role in how emotions get stronger. When you face situations that make you feel left out, you might automatically pull away from them, wanting to feel better in places you know are safe. Even though avoiding those situations might make you feel better for a short while, it actually makes you more afraid, making you want to avoid them even more. This creates a cycle where you keep avoiding things and feeling more sensitive. But if you face these situations more regularly and at shorter intervals you can break this cycle and make the fear of rejection feel less strong.

In conclusion, rejection sensitivity can turn fun times into not-so-fun times by making you feel scared or anxious about things that should be enjoyable. But remember, you’re not alone, and there are things you can do to help manage these feelings. Talking about how you feel, practicing relaxation techniques, and challenging scary thoughts can all help make fun things fun again. You can reclaim agency over your experiences and cultivate a life enriched with meaningful connections and opportunities for growth. So, don’t let rejection sensitivity hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest!

Seeking support is vital in managing rejection sensitivity. If you're a neurodivergent adult woman with ADHD, consider therapy services tailored to your needs. Take the first step towards reclaiming joy and confidence today.

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