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A very lonely guy fearing rejection looking for guidance

Community Member

I've been off the forums for a while but I'm feeling particularly lonely around Christmas with little family and few friends.
A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and it's been pretty bad at times. Just this year I've started to get on top of things after overcoming some very real obstacles like a long term relationship breakup, change of jobs, financial stress, etc.
After ending that relationship (actually a good thing) I found myself very lonely. I'd lost touch with most of an already small group of friends and my life had being rapidly going down the toilet. Instead of asking for support I hid away from people. I've always been quite shy and introverted and pretty lousy at maintaining relationships.

Rather than sitting at home alone which was really getting me down I decided to look for some social and activity groups to join. I’ve often found it downright scary approaching people I don’t know, especially the opposite sex. I got over that fear and did it anyway, which is great and I’m a lot more confident in that area now.

There are a lot of people I see on a regular basis for activities but I’m terrified to ask people for their phone numbers or add them on Facebook where I have a small number of friends. I’m very insecure, always wondering what people are thinking. I had a couple of bad experiences where it became obvious to a couple of people who I met that I was struggling with some issues.
I’ve been trying so hard this year to make new friends and also tried to reconnect with old friends. It’s just been really hard and taking a long time. I’m terrified people I meet will pick up that I’m still not 100% and not be interested. Some of the people I’ve tried to reconnect with haven’t been overly receptive.
It seems like I’m always or nearly always the one who has to get in touch with people and suggest something.
I feel like I’m on the right track, but it’s really slow going. It’s distracting me from other important things like work etc. Really sick of feeling lonely and want to feel wanted. I’ve been spending time trying to learn more social skills online.

I’ve used up all my available govt funded psychologist sessions this year and aren’t in a financial position to pay privately.
Looking for any suggestions of how I can get over this debilitating fear of rejection? Do I just need to keep on the same path and be happy with slow progress?

6 Replies 6

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Steve

I'd be happy with slow progress, because progress is progress. That said, however, I too have a fear when asking for other people's phone numbers. It's almost like it's considered pushy to ask someone. So to overcome this problem, I used that $10 vistaprint deal and got me some 'social' business cards made up (just has my first name, email and mobile).

Using these cards, I offer my contact details to people I like and ask them to text me. When they do, I get their numbers. It's a lot less pushy, and if they don't call then I know that I never had a chance there anyhow... another rejection avoided 🙂

Hope this helps


Community Member

Expanding on SubduedBlues' idea - You could generate a special icon on facebook messenger to put on the social card. The people you meet can message you without needing to be facebook friends by scanning it through the app on their phone.

Community Member
Thanks for the idea. I might give that a go.

Community Member
Useful to know, thanks.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Steve,

As a fellow introvert, I just wanted to say how proud I am of you for a) having the courage to end a long-term relationship that wasn’t right for you b) change jobs c) the efforts you have made to join social and activity groups and d) overcoming your fear of rejection with approaches my women. I don’t think you have given yourself enough credit for all the things you have managed to achieve, it’s no small feat, especially for an introvert!

I think most people share a similar fear of rejection or not wanting to seem “desperate” but I have met many people over the years who have gone out of their way to keep friendships with me or people I know going and I don’t think of them as anything other than a sociable, friendly person. No one is going to think less of you for wanting to be friends with them, it’s a nice, validating feeling. I think Facebook is a great way to start as you really don’t need to “put yourself out there” very much, the only downside is they may not use it very much and you may interpret that as them not being interested. Another option may be to suggest to one of these people “hey, do you want to go for a coffee” after your activity, and then they can say yes, or no if they’ve got something else on.

I also don’t want you to feel that you have to be “100%” or not be entirely yourself to make friends. Your goal is to make friends with people who are understanding and accepting of you, their friendship isn’t worth much if they can’t do that.

Community Member
I feel like if i was going to write a post it would almost be identical to yours. I wonder if we could chat somehow?