Presented by MD Ahmed's www.Fuel4Success.com
Raj sought my help because he wanted to get married and have children, yet the relationship of his dreams seemed to elude him. When I first met Raj, he was an attractive, creative, brilliant, and successful businessman in his middle 30's. And he had a great sense of humor. It wasn't that women weren't attracted to him. He had no trouble having first dates with interesting, intelligent, and attractive women, but it never went anywhere. Raj was baffled.
When I first started to counsel Raj, he was reticent. It felt like pulling teeth to get him to share anything with me, especially his feelings. He stayed in his head, brilliant in his ability to articulate but flat and unemotional. His words were carefully planned out and delivered; he seemed always to be tense. It was tough to connect with him.
Me: Raj, something seems to be in the way of your spontaneity. Are you aware of how carefully you pick your words?
Me: There must be a good reason you do this. Do you know what that is?
Raj: I don't want to say the wrong thing. I don't want to make a fool of myself.
Me: And what are you afraid will happen if you say the wrong thing or make a fool of yourself?
Raj: I will be rejected.
Me: So most of the time in conversation, you intend to avoid rejection?
Raj: Yes. I'm terrified of rejection. I will do anything to avoid it.
Me: Raj, what are you telling yourself it means if someone rejects you?
Raj: It means that they don't like me because I am inadequate and unworthy.
Me: So in your mind, everyone, beautiful women, have the power to define your adequacy and worth?
Raj: Yeah, I guess so.
So when you are with women, you intend to control how they feel about you so they won't reject you. Yet, you seem to get left over and over. How do you account for that?
Raj: I guess I am just inadequate.
Me: Raj, how old do you feel when you are so careful about what you say? How old were you when you started to do this?
Raj: I guess when I was about 14 when I started being interested in girls. I wanted to make sure that I made a good impression.
Me: What made you believe that they wouldn't like you if you were just you?
Raj: Well, for one thing, my older brother was always putting me down, telling me I was a dork.
Me: So you learned to believe that you were not okay for who you are and that you had to pretend to be other than you are?
Raj: Yes, I think that's correct. I always feel that I have to impress people.
Me: Raj, when you then get rejected, aren't they denying your created ego-self rather than your real, authentic self? Is it your wounded 14-year-old ego-self that is inadequate, rather than your brilliant, creative, funny, successful self? Aren't you trying to hide your true self because you decided, from many early experiences such as that with your brother, that you are inherently inadequate?
Raj: Yes, I don't think that who I am is good enough. So I always have to be careful about what I say.
Me: Yet the few times in our sessions when you have forgotten to watch what you are saying, you are hilarious, insightful, engaging, and endearing. Your true self is wholly lovable and worthy. Yet you spend so much energy trying to hide him, squashing him down in your efforts to avoid rejection. If you were to get to know and appreciate who you are, you would stop worrying about rejection! You would see that you are just fine and that if someone rejects you, it's more about them than it is about you.
As Raj did the inner work to reclaim his beautiful essence, his true self, his fears of rejection gradually diminished. And, of course, when he could be authentic instead of controlled and controlling, everything in his life changed, including his relationships with women. After two years of satisfying dating, Raj found the woman of his dreams.
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