The new season of The Bachelor opens up with Ben Higgins in his hometown of Warsaw, Indiana, telling his parents that his greatest fear is “to be unlovable.”
“I have this fear that I won’t be the guy that they like,” he says to the camera in a very honest moment in the beginning of the show.
“In an effort to show Ben just how lovable is, we made him the Bachelor,” Chris Harrison states tongue-in-cheek in the opening scenes on the first night. Higgins apparently shares that he has a fear of rejection, as also seen in the past season on The Bachelorette with Kaitlyn Bristowe, in which the world was first introduced to this next Bachelor and his open fear of rejection.
Well, Ben, you are not alone. A lot of people have a fear of rejection, but the answer lies not in finding a love interest to fill that void. What I definitely find bothersome from a therapeutic and mental health standpoint is that fear of rejection generally comes from a human need to find connection with others, but cannot be filled by another. It must be filled from within and finding self-love or acceptance in self.
This TV show generally plays upon cast member’s insecurities and vulnerabilities, which is what makes it emotionally appealing to its audience. Higgins’ honesty is refreshing and appreciated in reality TV, but his solution is not the answer to the problem. To be open about insecurity on the stage of reality TV is an interesting way to work out this deep-seated emotional fear.
Higgins appears to be emotionally open and should be given credit for being able to state to all of America his fears on television — how therapeutic! This might help people realize that even this Bachelor has insecurities.
Fear of rejection is a common worry most people experience in their lives. There are many worries: jobs, relationships, money and loss are common themes in all people’s lives. People fear not getting the job they want or not succeeding in their career. People fear loss of love or never finding love. Finding love or employment might temporarily quiet that worry of rejection, but for people to reduce their anxiety or fear is to get the root of the matter and not just change what’s on the surface.
The question remains about what to do if you feel you have a fear of rejection or feel unlovable.
One suggestion is to keep a journal about this topic and see if you can find out any insight about yourself through writing and working through this negative belief about yourself. Another solution might be to get into individual therapy and discover where this negative belief comes from and work with a therapist to figure out how this negative thought developed and gain a positive belief to replace it. Feeling unlovable can start from childhood or might be a feeling that comes about after failure in relationships; however, the solution to changing this feeling about yourself is to replace it with self-love, acceptance and mindfulness.