Fear of Rejection

Fear of Rejection

A few years ago, I wrote some blogs about my biggest fears to celebrate the release of Empath, a book about a girl and her anxiety dragon. Two years later, I’m looking back on the fears I used to have to see how they stack up. Today, my fear of rejection.

Empath is also on sale this week for $0.99!

I am Afraid of Rejection

Originally Published May 2015

You’ve probably noticed a theme lately of these ‘fear’ blog posts and they all have to do with other people. Missing out, sex, being alone, death – all of these really center on my most basic fear of being rejected.

When I say “rejected” what I mean is that I’m afraid people secretly hate me, and don’t want to be with me–ever. Which is interesting because I actually enjoy spending time with myself for the most part lazing about on the couch.  Life is great when I don’t have to wear a bra (see #campaignfornopants).

But when I’m around other people, all of those bad behaviors from before my quarter life crisis return. I love myself, but I’m convinced that there’s no way anyone else “gets” me.

The truth of the matter is, it’s easier and less stressful to spend my time locked away in my own little hobbit hole than to put myself out there to be rejected. “You know it’s going to happen anyway, so save yourself the heartbreak and just don’t do it.”

When someone appears to be halfway interested in me, of course my initial response is, “Don’t fuck this up. Don’t be yourself. You’ll drive them away.”

I’m super self-doubting, so I become super nervous. Because I’m super nervous, I become super awkward. And because I’m super awkward, I hate my awkward self. The cycle continues until I am just convinced that the object of my affections is going to leave at any second.

So when they invariably do, the self-hating voices are empowered and then we go again the next time I’m infatuated with someone. So to save myself the heartache, I keep myself locked away.

It’s safe here. And yet…as much as I like being alone, I still want a partner.

The Problem with People

Relationships–good relationships–are precious commodities. Just because a guy likes me doesn’t mean I’m immediately going to jump into his arms. There has to be a spark on my end, and if it’s not there, it’s not there.

But when it is there and it’s two-sided, that’s when the fear creeps in. And the worst part – the part that frustrates me the most – is that whether they like the person that I am or not is totally out of my control. Sure, I can put on make-up and wear a low cut shirt and all of that, but sooner or later, they’re going to see me in my jammies. Sooner or later, they’re going to see how irrational and unpredictable my brain can be. Sooner or later, I’m going to yell at them because I have low blood sugar and I can’t seem to stop long enough to get food.

Never Again… Maybe

What is the most painful is when I have let someone in, I do trust them, and then they reject the whole person that I am. And that, my friends, is the truth of why it took me so damned long to accept that The Ex and I had broke up.

I felt like I was safe with him, that I could be my naked self (hello fear of intimacy) and I thought he loved the whole of me. And to accept that he didn’t was one of the most painfully difficult realizations that I’ve ever had.

I don’t miss my ex and I don’t want him back. But at the same time, I do want him to come back so I don’t have to face the fact that the one person I could count on to never reject me…rejected me. Even now, two years later, that pain hasn’t gotten any less terrible.

Here’s the kicker: I haven’t had a serious relationship since then, which scares me more than anything else (Edit 2017: Had one, lost it)  And I’m afraid that because I’m too afraid of rejection, I won’t ever open up. And, as I said last week, I’m afraid because I can’t open up, I’m going to be alone forever.

Dealing With It

The way to slay this fear is to put myself out there more. To just suck it up and be confident enough in my own skin to be okay when someone doesn’t like the true, honest person that I am. And also to remind myself that being single doesn’t mean I’m less of a person, less of a human being, less successful. Being in a relationship is not the only way to find true happiness.

Unfortunately, in the depths of my subconscious, I don’t believe that. Be it years of conditioning, media messages, or just my own biological need, I desire to be with someone else. Which is why I continue to place the power of my happiness in the hands of others. And why I continue to be terrified that they’ll reject me.


Buy Empath for Kindle, Paperback, or Hardcover.

Slay Your Fears: Two Years Later

There’s a lot of truth still in this blog post. I’ve put myself out there a few more times, but nothing’s really stuck. Now, over 30, I’m feeling the pressure to Couple more than ever, especially since I’m surrounded by Happy Couples with Babies.

I’ve spent my time nurturing the non-romantic relationships available here. My focus has been on reestablishing close friendships with my bestie, other high school friends, my cousins, and my parents. The folks who know me and love me no matter what.

But I have reverted a little bit. I put myself out there in a semi-serious relationship. Thought things might work out for ol’ Sush. Then, right before Christmas: “I love you, but I don’t want to be with you.”


This time, the hurt was painful, fresh, and over quickly. What’s lasted is the idea that I probably won’t ever find someone to share my life with–and being okay with it. Now that I’m in my thirties, I no longer crave the “normal” relationship, or the white wedding or any of that. I do want kids, and I’m working to get myself in a position where I can do that solo.

I’m actually fairly proud of the work I’ve done in this area. I really don’t care if someone likes me or not, because I have a lot going for me. Which is nice…


Slay Your Fears with Empath

After a mysterious voice promises an easy out to her problems, Lauren finds herself in a fantasy world with magical powers. Just one problem: There’s a dragon that might want to eat her.

Available Now

From bestselling author S. Usher Evans comes a unique take about a real-world girl transported to a fantasy land and faced with a dragon that just might be the manifestation of her mental illness. Empath has “broken the feels” of readers around the world and helped them slay their own fears. 

“I think we should just cut our losses and move on.”

If you ask Lauren Dailey, things are totally fine after the breakup. She doesn’t care that all her friends are getting engaged and moving on with their lives when all her dreams went up in smoke. She’s not crying herself to sleep every night. Everything is A-OK.

That is, until a mysterious voice promises an easy out to all her problems, and she wakes up in a fantasy world with the powers of an empath.

Without a way home, Lauren embraces her new life. There’s a village full of interesting characters, including Cefin, a handsome young man who’s everything a fantasy hero should be. She’s getting the hang of doing laundry in the river. And when she uses her empath powers, she’s temporarily distracted from the sadness that followed her from California and crops up at the most inconvenient times.

Still, there’s one large, dragon-shaped problem: The Anghenfil lives in the mountains nearby, and some say he’s got a taste for empaths. And Lauren’s afraid it might just be that mysterious voice tempting her deeper into her own darkness.

Empath will transport readers to a new world, while remaining firmly rooted in the realities of dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Recommended for readers who need help overcoming their own dragons.

This is a stand-alone novel. Content warnings for suicide, substance abuse, and adult situations.

Praise for Empath

★★★★★ “A pint of ice cream for your soul.” – Erin Sky, author of The Wendy

★★★★ “A brilliant allegory” – Elizabeth F., Goodreads Reviewer

★★★★★ “As someone who faces anxiety on a daily basis, this book spoke to me.” – Katrina M., Goodreads Reviewer

★★★★★ “Empath is encouragement to accept your whole self and move forward into great adventure.” – Sierra D., Goodreads Reviewer

Empath Blog Posts and the Slay Your Fears Series

#SlayYourFears Turns 5 – Fear of Rejection

This week, I've been revisiting all my old blog posts on the things that used to scare me to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Empath. Back then, I wrote about the things that scared me, rejection, being alone forever, having no money, and it's been interesting to see which of those [...]

#SlayYourFears Turns 5 – Fear of Being Alone Forever

It's been so fascinating to revisit all the things that used to scare me. I'm celebrating the fifth anniversary of Empath, my anxiety dragon book that has been a quiet hit around the country. When the book first came out, my twenty-or-so fans were treated to a series of introspective blog posts [...]

Empath Turns 5 – And Still Teaches Me Stuff

Five years ago today, I published a little book called Empath. It was my third published novel, a quick side-trip into my psyche in the middle of writing the Razia series. The cover featured a dragon drawn by my very talented cousin Cassondra, a wee babe at the time. I sold [...]

#SlayYourFears Turns 5 – Fear of No Money

Yes, kids, I'm dusting off the ol' blog machine to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Empath, my anxiety dragon book that has been a quiet hit around the country. When the book first came out, my twenty-or-so fans were treated to a series of introspective blog posts about what really scared [...]

Upgrade my eBook Challenge – Empath

The Upgrade My eBook challenge 2017 has been extended to a whole month this year, giving you plenty of time to read the books–and write the reviews! The premise for the contest is simple: You’ve got one (or all) of my books in eBook on your Nook or Kindle, right? (And if [...]

Empath, Passion Projects, and Slaying Your Fears

Two years ago today, I released a little passion project called Empath. Nicknamed the "anxiety dragon" book, Empath was less about "what's popular" and more about pouring my loneliness and ache for home into something else so it would leave me. I'd become overwhelmed with my anxiety, which flares and spirals [...]

Fear of Fear

There's nothing to fear but fear itself, but fear is pretty damned scary. This week, I've been sharing posts from 2015 about the things that scare me, updating them with progress for 2017. For the last post of the week, it's time to talk about the fear of fear. Empath is [...]

Fear of Rejection

A few years ago, I wrote some blogs about my biggest fears to celebrate the release of Empath, a book about a girl and her anxiety dragon. Two years later, I'm looking back on the fears I used to have to see how they stack up. Today, my fear of rejection. [...]

Fear of Being Alone Forever

When you have a fear of being alone forever, you make some dumb decisions. A few years ago, I wrote this blog post (plus a few more) when Empath was releasing. I wanted to share all the things I was afraid of, hoping someone might not feel alone. Two years later, [...]

Fear of (no) Money

To celebrate the two year anniversary of my anxiety dragon book, Empath, I'm re-posting the #SlayYourFears series. Basically, I took a leap of faith and wrote about all the things that scared me. I hoped sharing them would help others realize they weren't alone. Today, I'm talking about my fear of [...]

By |2017-04-19T10:03:53-05:00May 10th, 2017|Empath|Comments Off on Fear of Rejection

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