Have you ever been told someone doesn’t want to play with you? Maybe it happened during class, or in kindergarten, or in high school? Perhaps you were the only one not invited to a birthday party? Know how emotionally painful that feels? Well, I do too.
When we’re deliberately left out, our brain goes into a fight or flight mode.
Being excluded has been reported to be detrimental to a person’s health, both physical and psychological. A Forbes article talks about how it impacts one’s productivity, happiness, and performance in life overall.
When we’re deliberately left out, our brain goes into a fight or flight mode. It literally shrinks the area of attention; focuses only on survival.
Have you experienced your grades going down when you’re being bullied and excluded from your group of friends? It doesn’t mean you are stupid or didn’t study hard enough. It may simply be you have been fighting for your emotional life. You simply didn’t have the energy to do more. This phenomenon acts starts a vicious circle, doesn’t it? The more your attention focuses on only survival, the grumpier you appear. The worse your grades get, the greyer the world seems. Sounds familiar?
What to do
One solution is to reach out to someone when you are feeling excluded. I talk about finding the right kind of people in my previous post; a group of people with whom you can feel safe and who help build your self-esteem. Don’t have that set of buddies or anyone to talk to? We would love to hear from you. Please don’t think you are alone. Just write us a note.
When there is nobody who feels safe to approach, try this. Maybe you yourself can be that “safe” person to someone else.
We all have the power to change our circumstances. Small little acts are best. By becoming the “includer” ourselves (i.e. the person who invites someone in not pushes them out) we grow. By focusing on eliminating another person’s sadness, we participate in eliminating the exclusion culture we ourselves are suffering from.
One kind act at a time.
By being the “includer” we can help our brain to return to rest and digest mode, increasing our overall sense of wellbeing. And maybe even boost those grades!