Rejection Hurts.I've been reading some research work on the mental and physical reactions to various forms of social rejection (of course, with the normal caveats of avoiding correlation equals causation etc). For anyone who's interested in the science, I can post references.
I believe this is relevant to readers of ILIASM.
People describe rejection as being heart-broken, wounded, stabbed in the back, and Tibetans apparently refer to it as being "hit in the heart" - which strangely was the exact phrase I used to my W to describe the impact of her repeated brutal refusals. And in some WTF moments, I was literally unable to breathe, bereft - a very physical reaction. And I've read recently on this forum, posts describing it like being "knifed in the heart".
And, as I've posted, I would cheerfully treat those who parrot "a refusal is not a rejection" to a nice bath in some boiling sulphuric acid. After all, it's only pH.
The experiments have illustrated:
a) A similarity between emotional response to rejection and actual physical pain, in brain responses
b) A link between the somatic response to rejection and physical pain! Giving people paracetemol lessened their vulnerability to feelings of rejection
c) People naturally vary in their sensitivity to rejection; teenagers do more, introverts do more. There may be a genetic link. Also a link with kid's early environment, whether this was "safe". Also, loneliness exacerbates, increasing contact with friends decreases.
They refer to the "brain being on the alert in an unrelenting way" - there are many examples here of that continuing stress.
I think these results are powerful and suggestive. For one thing, I encourage you all to take seriously that ongoing structural rejection (particularly by your nominal lover) is actually and physically harmful. You are allowing harm to come to you, the pain is a signal to change the environment. It has the potential to damage your health. A feeling of being accepted and safe in a social context is one of the most important factors in our wellbeing.
Second, as well as the "obvious" thing of networking and increasing your own support circle outside the refuser, they found an interesting thing that rejection was lessened if you GIVE support to others. So participating in helping others, volunteering etc, can help you.
I'm also an advocate (if not a very good example) of the benefits of exercise - I think the natural opioids are probably pretty good for us.
I would NOT recommend taking paracetemol to deaden the pain, quite apart from the health risks, I believe painful feelings are there for a very good reason.
hl42 51-55, M 31 Responses 47 Dec 17, 2012