“As if to underline just how important social connections are to us, the brain has even wired social rejection to the ‘pain pathways’. American researchers found that being socially snubbed or rejected made the brain’s “pain areas light up” (2). It seems feelings of social rejection share neural pathways with feelings of physical pain; so there really is such a thing as the ‘pain of rejection’. No wonder so many people worry about how they come across to others and fear possible rejection. For some people, this fear can be too much and drive up social anxiety to unbearable level.”
I found this research particularly interesting. This is why it hurts so much inside then.This even happens online in self help forums where you make the effort to post or reply to people and then are ignored while a group of people often referred to as a clique carry on talking over you as if you dont exist making you feel rejected even by other shy rejects.This often hurts as much as real life. Its obvious to me that many people with SA had cruel or nasty things said to them as children which resulted in their SA behavior and then rather than learn by their family’s mistakes copy this learned behavior and do the same to others in real life or online. I have noticed this behavior with my own family and I should imagine its almost certain its widespread within SA families. Again this is why using self help forums for anxiety can be quite harmful as groups of people on there are quite cruel or callous at times and yet appear to have the opinion of themselves as caring and kind in order to boost their own self esteem and ego.The popular posters have already got to a good level of online interaction whereas the ones who are most SA and struggle may feel far worse as they are rejected online just as in real life. They are also very youth orientated and so older people immediately feel alienated. For example both the main UK and USA anxiety forums both have a sub section for the over 30’s as if once you hit 30 years of age you are weird for still being socially anxious and this makes me stand out which is not what you want if you already have self esteem issues.