Human beings are social animals. We are always on a quest to seek happiness and one very important category that defines happiness for most people is BEING PART OF A GROUP. To be loved and to love, is the most common predilection of man. The feeling of being left out, the feeling of rejection is in no way less hurtful than physical pain. As far as the brain is concerned, a broken heart may not be so different from a broken arm.
All of us are quite familiar with that uneasy feeling you have when you join a new school, a new college or a new workplace. That apprehension of whether or not you’ll find good friends, be involved in important discussions, find people who chime in with your thoughts, does haunt you for a while. Anyone who lived through high school gym class knows the anxiety of being picked last for the dodgeball team. The same hurt feelings bubble up when you are excluded from lunch with co-workers, fail to land the job you interviewed for, or are dumped by a romantic partner.
Rejection, being left out, feels lousy.
As clever as human beings are, we rely on social groups for survival. We evolved to live in cooperative societies, and for most of human history we depended on those groups for our lives. Like hunger or thirst, our need for acceptance emerged as a mechanism for survival. “A solitary human being could not have survived during the six million years of human evolution while we were living out there on the African savannah,” says Mark Leary, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University.
Being excluded is associated with poor mental health, and exclusion and mental health problems can join together in a destructive loop. People with depression may face exclusion more often because of the symptoms of their disorder, and being rejected makes them more depressed. People with social anxiety navigate their world constantly worried about being socially rejected. A feeling of exclusion can also contribute to suicide. And exclusion isn’t just a problem for the person who suffers it; it can disrupt society at large.
And one such ostracized community in our society today is the LGBT community. They have been positively neglected through the years and seldom do we give thought to their needs and emotions. Considering them to be outlandish has always been the trend but it is high time that we realize our inadequacies towards this community, as responsible citizens of a modern society. Let us not forget that people belonging to this community are not aliens but our very own brothers and sisters, human beings, social animals, looking for that small sense of acceptance, that they deserve.
Everyone wants to feel accepted. Everyone deserves to be loved. So why not open up our minds a bit for the greater good and share our love with the ones who wish to live normal lives like every other human being?
I WISH TO SEE AN EQUAL AND UNJUST SOCIETY THAT ACCEPTS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE. DO YOU?