Being Rejected Physically Hurts
Have you ever been the last kid in class to be picked for a team? As other kids moan and groan how they are going to lose if you end up on their team? The look of disappointment and giving up in their eyes, just because you were the only one left?
You start turning red, and getting sick to your stomach as the tension in the room builds...As ALL the other kids on the opposite team start to snicker thinking that because YOU aren't on their team, they have the win in the bag!
Have you ever had others at school say things to you that didn't really make sense? Demeaning things that are said to you but you just tried to smile and partake in the joke? Hoping that SOMEBODY would stick up for you, but you watch 20 kids simply turn their heads and walk away?
Well...it hurts. It's mean...undeserved...and the effects last a lifetime. Researchers from Italy say they've found that being socially rejected actually causes us physical pain. Social rejection activates brain circuits that associate with physical pain whether someone experiences the rejection first hand, or possibly witnesses someone else experiencing it, and feels badly about not doing anything to help.
The researchers say you feel the pain when someone else gets rejected because you are having an empathic response in your own brain. So the next time you watch a kid getting teased on the bus...DO something about it.