Isolation and marginalization are some of the worst social situations a person could go through. The feeling that you are alone and rejected, coupled with outright avoidance from the people you try to cut in with, can make a person spiral into deep anxiety and depression . The need importance of acceptance is so powerful that it doesn’t need to be proclaimed. It gnaws at the walls of a person’s heart, creating a sense of longing and a strong desire to be welcomed. The craving for belonging can be so strong that it will manifest physically, taking a hold of all your nerves and muscles until you feel a breakdown coming. This highlights the importance of acceptance.
“The deepest desire of the human heart is to belong … to be welcomed … to know that you are seen and worthy of kindness,” Rachel Macy Stafford.
The importance of acceptance
American psychologist, Nathan DeWall of the University of Kentucky explains that the human body responds to rejection the same way it does pain. People who undergo constant rejection tend to have poor health, and this problem should never be taken lightly.
“We should assume that everyone is going to experience rejection on a semi-regular basis throughout their life,” he wrote in a paper published in the Current Directions in Psychological Science, Science Daily . “A lot of times, people keep these things to themselves because they’re embarrassed or they don’t think it’s that big of a deal. When people feel lonely, or when people feel excluded or rejected, these are things they can talk about.”
A cold response or a too-quick handshake can make a person feel invisible or unimportant, and this has nothing to do with being too sensitive or unnecessarily emotional. It’s a common trait every human being has, except for people suffering psychopathy . When a person is in physical pain, opioids would be released by the brain to fill in the gaps between neurons (synapses), thereby dampening the pain effect and blocking the signals. A study conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School found that the brain reacts the same way when a person is experiencing social rejection, attempting to block pain signals by releasing naturally-occurring opioids .
One smile is sometimes enough to make a person feel accepted. You’d be doing a huge favor by teaching your kids to do something simple like giving a simple ‘hello’ to the new kid. Donating warm blankets to the homeless in the winter is an act of kindness that can never be forgotten. Talking to someone who looks lost and confused is a new environment can save them from extreme mental distress. Simple acts of kindness that highlight the importance of acceptance make the world go round.
Such was the compelling story of Rachel Macy Stafford, bestselling author and top contributor on the Today Parenting Team . She inspired millions of people with an awakening narrative of lessons learned from her personal experiences. Last year, Rachel enrolled her fifth-grade daughter in an extracurricular activity, and while still getting to know how things work at the activity center, she met a couple of other moms who taught her how important it is to be accepted.
“On the first day, we walked up to two women who were waiting with their children for the activity to start,” Rachel wrote. “I politely asked them a question about protocol and explained we were new. I was met with annoyed facial expressions and curt answers.”
Rachel no longer bothered to introduce herself. If they couldn’t answer her questions nicely, they certainly wouldn’t want to know who she was or what ‘hole she’d crawled out from’.