Monday, May 10, 2010

The Fear of Rejection

You know exactly what I am talking about. You felt it when you wanted to ask that girl (or boy) that you admired for a first date, but struggled with her (or him) saying no. And you might not have even asked them because of that formidable fear of being rejected, no matter the reason.

Well, I recognize that many of us also struggle with doing things that we fear may result in any kind of rejection because no one likes that feeling. So, when it comes to something like wearing an earring (for a guy), getting a tattoo, having your hair cut or colored in a radical way, you have to understand your fears in order to get past them.

Well, this is how most guys feel when considering wearing their nails polished. It’s still not something that is widely accepted and endorsed yet, though it is becoming more common. And the fear of being rejected or ridiculed is enough to make many guys just say “aw, the heck with it!”.

Well, there are a few things you can do to get over this, and ladies, you can play a part too!

First, you have to feel that it is something that has a real benefit. Maybe because it makes you feel good about yourself. Maybe your SO likes it on you. Maybe you just want to be unique and express your own personal style. Only you know why you do anything the way you do, but whatever your reasons, you have to honestly believe that it is good for you. If you don’t feel this way, the fear of rejection will prevail and you will struggle with it.

Girls, try to be open-minded. If polished nails is a style that you find interesting, attractive and unique on a guy, let him know you like it! Just as you like receiving compliments, guys do too, and your kind and encouraging words will go a long way in helping him feel good about his choice to wear it.

And guys, you really need to know that just sloshing on some polish is not going to transform you in any way. You have to do it right, and that may mean spending some time and money to get it done well (at least until your skills have developed enough to do it well yourself) so it looks good. And don’t expect miracles either. Nail polish is an accent, not a wardrobe. It should enhance your overall look, not transform or take over.

Recently, there have been several companies who have decided to develop nail polish colors for men. Some will say that there is no reason for this since guys can wear any nail polish already available for women. But, I think what these companies intend is to make available shades and finishes that look more masculine and go well with a guy’s attire. Sure there are polishes out there that look like a guy could wear them, but honestly, these products are geared toward women and pretty much look that way with the high-gloss finishes and feminine colors. It has only been recently that shades like dark green and blue, and even matte finishes have come on the market.

And what about black? Now there is a masculine color if I ever saw one! But, the interesting thing is that it does look good on some women too, so I guess another example of where something like nail polish can be shared among us.

Another thing these forward-thinking companies have accomplished is to send a clear message that this is an up and coming style for men and they not only want to help direct and encourage the style, but increase the demand as well for the roughly half of the population that does not currently use their products. That’s huge!

So, back to the fear factor. Guys, you will feel anxious and not sure about this when you start wearing nail polish because we have been programmed to think it’s only for women. However, if you think differently, and realize that it really is only paint, you can begin to enjoy the freedom of being more creative and colorful without the baggage of feeling like you have to hide it. You will also feel excited when you try it because it really does feel and look pretty cool. I prefer to wear it only toes because I can control where and to whom I show it. I don’t really mind if others like it or not, but I do respect that nice older woman at church who would have a fit if she saw it on me (or an earring, a tattoo or anything else that she would consider ‘radical’).

You will also find that as you wear it, more people will notice and compliment you (if it’s done well). Once that positive feedback begins, you will lose your fear and those feelings that it’s “not right” for you. And then you can just enjoy it for what it was meant to be. And believe me, it IS addictive! Am I right girls?

I’d love to hear feedback from both women and men on this. Women, do you consider this just plain weird on a guy, or is it something that you could consider once you have seen it done well? Guys, is your struggle primarily in your head (like it was on that first date)?

Next blog, I’ll provide some insight into the question “So why would a guy want to wear his nails polished, anyway?”


  1. I think it's wondeful that you are willing to put yourself out there for the sake of the rest of the guys! I applaud you!

    Personally I think nail polish on men is fabulous but I am not exactly the social norm.
    I am accepting of anything that causes no harm and makes a person happy or feel good about them.

    I have complimented many men wearing polish and nearly drooled on the few I've seen wearing nail art! I love the creative expression!

    Go You! hugs

  2. Angel,

    It's the ladies like you that make this so much fun. I get nothing but compliments from the ladies at work about my toe polish, the guys are in the "whatever turns you on" boat. I get regular pedicures, and my nail tech says that she is seeing a lot more guys come in, and leaving with polish as well. It's catching on, but it's not for everyone. Those of us secure enough to enjoy it openly are the real winners. If we have support from the fairer sex, so much the better.

  3. Jake,

    Don't know if you will allow this or not, I don't want to hi-jack your blog, but I've got some polish I don't wear at this link, in case anyone wants any.

    Orphan Polish

    Best to ya,

  4. Evil Angel, I agree with your attitude exactly! If people want to do something that they like and enjoy, and it brings no harm to anyone, then why not? And your enthusiasm for guys wearing polish is awesome!!

    Kevin, you're right, it probably is not for everyone (women or men). But when someone wears it and enjoys how it looks and feels, it really works for them.

    Thank you both for the great comments!

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