Full of passionate hope, a greeter seeks acknowledgement by a greetee. The greeter makes wide-eyed contact and gives the kind of hopeful expression a child might use when seeing Bambi, a shiny toy on the shelf of a store, or a jelly donut. But it’s not to be, for despite eye contact, the greetee distinctly turns their back in such a way to deny further communication.
Wow. Rejection and loneliness are a terrible; so state Cacioppo et al (2009) by writing that “[t]he health, life, and genetic legacy of members of social species are threatened when they finds themselves on the social perimeter.” In fact, rejection and loneliness lead to both emotional and physical pain which, in turn, can have a significant detrimental impact on how individuals perform on a variety of tasks. Including life, for lonely individuals don’t live quite as long (Luo et al, 2012).
Coping mechanisms? Let’s start with the meanie who turned their back. “You! Yes, you! Stand still laddy… ” and be a charitable fellow! Next time, say hi. Rejected person, what do you do? If the fellow isn’t charitable, make like a presidential candidate and kick ’em in the behind. Or don’t, because that would require stooping very low indeed. But, do buck up and find better friends.
Cacioppo, J. T., & Hawkley, L. C. (2009). Perceived Social Isolation and Cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(10), 447–454. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2009.06.005. Online here
Luo, Y., Hawkley, L. C., Waite, L. J., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2012). Loneliness, Health, and Mortality in Old Age: A National Longitudinal Study. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 74(6), 907–914. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.028. Online here.