Here's the deal: everyone is rejected at some point, and it hurts…
I mean look, Billy Joel has built his whole career on singing about rejection.
And feeling studies have shown that rejection is really not that far removed from actual physical pain.
Today on WellCast we took our viewer's suggestion.
Thanks for the awesome idea, Ken Jackson!
Today, we're going to be looking into social rejection.
We're gonna examine why being suddenly shunned from a group of peers or friends is damaging your psyche.
And give you our 3-step take-back-your-life-method for remaining healthy, happy, and in control.
If you're upset after some form of social rejection, say your friends have stopped talking to you or your coworkers are giving you the cold shoulder, that's totally normal.
Put simply, a negative reaction to social exclusion, is ingrained in humans because being part of a social community has so many perks.
Humans are hardwired to feel pain when excluded.
It's how we stay alive, and it's not just psychological pain either.
Take a 2003 study done by neuroscientists at UCLA.
These researchers simulated social exclusion with the computer game in which the participants played catch with what they believed to be other humans.
When this virtual game of catch became a virtual game of monkey in the middle, these participants who were hooked up to an MRI exhibited activity in the section of the brain that's usually associated with dire physical pain.
So science has told us what we basically already know: it really really hurts to be excluded.
But like we said, being rejected?
Well, that's a part of life.
So what do we do?
How do we stop from feeling so crummy when we're left out?
The best way to counter the pain of rejection is to seize control in deciding how to react to it.
And this brings us to our WellCast exercise.
Taking back your life triathlon.
Step 1: beef up your self-esteem!
Studies have shown that when cut-off from a social group, people with low self-esteem can sink into physical sickness, depression and a storm of other maladies.
The clear fix is to build your self-esteem right now!
Easier said than done, we know!
And it's hard to stay away from negative irrational thoughts.
But try to think about your situation in a logical rather than emotional manner.
In your WellCast journal; write down your three biggest accomplishments in life.
The goal here is to not define yourself by one upsetting event but learn to define yourself by your accomplishments, your life experience.
Look at that list!
Believe in who you are.
And know your self-worth.
Accomplishments are no easy feat.
And trust me, you can rise above all of this negativity.
Step 2: treat your injuries!
The emotional pain you're feeling right now is almost indistinguishable from physical pain in your brain.
So why not treat it as such?
You're in recovery.
And scientists say that it’s crucial to maintain good physical health during times of emotional stress.
Work on getting an hour more of sleep a night.
Map out your meals ahead of time, and make sure you're getting fruits and vegetables.
Exercise 30 minutes a day.
It'll release endorphins in your brain which will promote a sense of well-being.
The healthier you stay, the higher your mood will peak, we promise.
Step 3: get proactive!
Think of this as a great opportunity to make new friends that you have more in common with.
Look for new social circles.
Join clubs, team sports, youth groups.
Go after anything that piques your interest.
Use an excuse to practice that new-found self-confidence, and really go all-out to meet new people.
Odds are, you'll find a group of friends with whom you will fit right in.
Alright, let's recap!
By taking control of your life – a control you thought you lost when you were socially rejected.
You're less likely to be emotionally bogged down by what happened.
You can do that by working to raise your self-esteem, taking care of yourself physically, and reaching out to form new friend groups.