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The second one is VERY important; *** being ostracized is more mentally damaging than being bullied. ***
Don’t know how many ways I can say this; being told “go away”, ignored completely when you speak, being chosen last for teams all say “you are worthless to us”
Kids think they are being nicer by not picking on someone that annoys them, and they are right. However, at least when a child is being picked on, however horribly, it means their existence has been noticed and has caused a reaction.
The cool kids hate it when the teachers pick the teams or assign students to work together in group. The ostracized kids are always relieved (of course by this point many would rather work alone after years of being rebuffed).
We need to teach our children not only to not bully and belittle, but to also be inclusive; to respond in some sort of non-negative way to kids they would rather ignore. It’s not easy, but being told by a peer that they are worthy of positive notice could improve - and maybe even save - a life.
and it’s not just people too! studies have shown that animals are the same way. the reason social pain triggers the same pain as physical is because a lot of animals are herd animals or at least rely on some other animal for survival. to be excluded from the pack is a near guarantee that the ostracized animal will die without being protected and provided for. of course no one likes the feeling of looking inevitable death in the eye so the pain is meant to be an incentive to get rid of the feeling by finding a new group or rejoining the old. which would also explain the feeling of ‘just wanting to belong’ or ‘fit in’ with a new group or the one that just treated you poorly. even though they’re hostile, you’re protected.