“Rejection really hurts but most rejections inflict damage to our psychological well-being that goes way beyond mere emotional pain. Here are ten lesser known facts that describe the various psychological impacts rejections have on our emotions, thinking, and behavior.”
The most profound fact for me is something I’ve known for some time – rejection feels life threatening. The reason for this is how “rejection served a vital function in our evolutionary past. In our hunter gatherer past, being ostracized from our tribes was akin to a death sentence, as we were unlikely to survive for long alone. Evolutionary psychologists assume the brain developed an early warning system to alert us when we were at risk for ostracism. Because it was so important to get our attention—those who experienced rejection as more painful (i.e., because rejection mimicked physical pain in their brain) gained an evolutionary advantage—they were more likely to correct their behavior and consequently, more likely to remain in the tribe.”
While we may not die when rejected from the tribe in our current time, our brain’s unconscious primal survival instinct is fully intact and does not know the difference. We think rejection is no big deal, simply part of life, and we should just brush it off. It’s not that simple or easy and in my opinion we as people and as a society need to work harder to be more compassionate, understanding and gentle with our words. Words create worlds. Never dismiss or reject another if possible. Being rejected from the tribe, whatever that form is – family, community, workplace, or any other social group – it feels like our life is threatened.
So be careful, think before you act or say something that may be perceived as rejection by another, and ask yourself what purpose it serves to hurt another this way. Is there another way to express what must be said to another person in a way that is gentle and respectful so they can hear it and feel included? I know there is. Think before your speak. Just sayin’ 🙂 ♥