The Fear Of Rejection Is The Most Prevalent And Underlying Of All Fears And Risks Of Intimacy

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Piorkowski (2008) proposes that the fear of rejection is the most prevalent and underlying of all fears and risks of intimacy. Rejection can look different; it can be temporary withdrawal or permanent such as desertion. It can take the form of brushing people off, being critical, contradictory, or false accusation of malevolent intentions; it can be aimed at appearance and characteristics (e.g. speech mannerisms and personality) family/ethnicity, background, ideas, and feelings, as well as dreams, hopes, and aspirations. In short, rejection can take an array of forms, it can be intermittent or continuous, and its severity can range from insignificant to imposing (Piorkowski). When rejection is expressed by significant others it is particularly damaging, Piorkowski states, “ Because the desire to be liked, attended to, and approved of is basic to human nature, a disapproving response is invalidating and threatening to self-worth…for women especially” (p.69). Adults who experienced traumatizing separations or desertion, as a child, the fear of abandonment is extraordinarily agonizing (Piorkowski, 2008). It is further stated, “adult children of divorce struggle with intense fears of desertion, even when they’re in stable relationships with loving and loyal partners” (Piorkowski, p.70). Piorkowski suggests that “adult children” (p. 70) find it difficult to comprehend that their adult intimate relationships can be different than those modeled when they were children when they

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