Networking: How To Avoid The Fear Of Rejection
By Andy Lopata, Business Networking Strategist
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” Seneca
Fear of rejection
Why are we so frightened of meeting new people? Personally, I blame my mum! Throughout my childhood years my mother always used to warn me, “Don’t talk to strangers!”
This childhood fear of strangers is very powerful, especially when combined with a fear of humiliation or rejection. Whenever we are put into a position where we are expected to meet new people, the adrenaline starts to flow and the nerves kick in. It...
...may make perfect sense to tell a young child to avoid strangers, but why do we carry this fear into adulthood? The situations faced by children and adults are very different and this advice is certainly redundant in most business or social engagements as an adult.
When was the last time that you went to a networking event and saw someone either being humiliated or being rejected? Have you ever introduced yourself to someone to be met with a scowl and a barbed remark asking, “Who do you think you are?” Have all the people in the room ever turned around and laughed at you for having the audacity to want to speak to someone you haven’t met before?
It’s very unlikely that any of these have happened to you at a networking event. After all, people attend these events because they want to meet new people. Yes, there is a chance that our ego may be damaged if someone we approach shows no interest in us. But we can just dust ourselves off, move away and make it their problem, not ours. After all, they’ve missed out on the pleasure of getting to know us!
So the... continued on page two >