Overcoming Fear Of Abandonment And Rejection

About 10% of people in the United States struggle with some type of phobia; this means that millions of individuals are currently coping with different types of fears. While fear of abandonment is not officially considered a phobia, it is widely considered to be among the most commonplace–and potentially damaging–fears. Individuals who suffer from a phobia of being abandoned might behave in ways and engage in thought patterns that not only negatively affect them, but also their relationships with others.

Abandonment anxiety is a complex issue; individuals who suffer from it may find that their fear is rooted in various other issues, such as trauma, loss, and other developmental experiences from their childhood or previous relationships. 

Some potential signs that someone is struggling with a fear of abandonment might include:

  • Aiming to please those around them
  • Engaging in unwanted sex
  • Forming rapid attachments to others, including those who are unavailable
  • Failing to fully commit to relationships
  • Having had very few long term relationships
  • Struggling with being nitpicky and difficult to please
  • Feeling unworthy of love and generally insecure
  • Moving on quickly in an attempt to make sure one does not get too attached to a partner
  • Having difficulty trusting others
  • Experiencing intense feelings surrounding separation anxiety
  • Having a hard time experiencing emotional intimacy with  others
  • Feeling jealous of everyone one encounters
  • Having control issues and repressed anger
  • Engaging in self blame often
  • Feeling hypersensitive to any sort of criticism
  • Having a tendency to overthink things and, by extension, searching for hidden meanings behind the words and actions of others
  • Experiencing general feelings of depression and anxiety

Another common fear that many people suffer from is a fear of rejection. Most individuals have some sense of anxiety when they find themselves in situations that could culminate in rejection; however, for some individuals, this fear can become cripping, causing a negative effect on their day to day life and relationships. Similarly to fear of abandonment, fear of rejection can stem from a variety of issues. Letting fear of abandonment or rejection go unaddressed may culminate in increasingly greater limitations on an individual’s life and relationships.

One way that people can address various phobias, including anxiety around abandonment and rejection, is through dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT. DBT therapy was originally developed by Marsha Linehan in the 1980s for individuals who suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD), but has been proven to help a variety of other conditions as well. This is likely because individuals who suffer from BPD generally experience very intense negative emotions that they likely find extremely difficult to manage. These emotions can have a ripple effect, causing strain on an individual’s relationships with those around them.

Since DBT was originally created to help regulate these emotions, it’s become a viable solution for other emotional health and regulation-related concerns as well. Therapists who employ DBT meet with their clients often, helping them seek ways to establish a balance in their worldview, instead of just looking at things as if they are black and white. DBT helps its subjects learn and practice skills to help them better cope with their emotions and their environment, as well as navigate potentially difficult situations and relationships.

Here at Grouport Online Group Therapy, we offer online group therapy for relationship issues and specialized DBT groups for DBT skills training. Not sure which is best for you? Sign up today for a 20 minute consultation with a licensed mental health professional who will get to know you and match you with a therapy group that is perfect for your needs and goals. Your therapy group will  meet once a week, at the same time and day, for approximately one hour. Grouport costs just $35 per week and can be canceled at any time. You can find more FAQs here.

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