The Summa Theologica is downright amazing when describing how things really go down inside your head. According to Aquinas, when our “passions” (the part of the emotion you feel in your body) get going it hampers our ability to think and make decisions. Psychologists call this phenomenon an “amygdala hijack”.
When you’re in the presence of anything you fear, your body starts preparing itself for a life and death struggle, a place where you don’t need to think because you don’t have time, where your entire physiology is gearing itself towards getting you to safety. And come on, don’t we all feel fear talking to a beautiful woman? Nervousness, and, if you admit it to yourself, fear of what you’ll think of yourself if she does shut you down, the real cause of “fear of rejection”.
I mean it makes a kind of sense, who hasn’t been rejected by a woman, and immediately felt a tinge of despair, I mean, thoughts like “Well of course she doesn’t want me either”. Your mind sees things clearly even if you can’t verbalize it, if you think a course of action is leading you towards feelings of embarassment and despair, of course you’re going to get nervous, of course you’re going to want to get out of there, or not approach a girl at all.
So, what’s the solution? A bunch of cheesy self affirmations? “Positive Thinking” perhaps? You know the sort of thing that happens, people tell you that if you just think things will turn out right they will, but you also know the first time it doesn’t turn out right your belief in “Positive Thinking” falls apart, and you’re left feeling just as alone and desperate as before, probably worse.
But there is something you can do. There are some things you can learn. Aquinas discusses this very issue, of how a man can show bravery even when his “passions” are shutting him down.
What do you need to know and do to get this handled? More tips at chattanooganaturecenter.org