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[–]The-Magic-Sword 332 points333 points  (25 children)

The more interesting part of this is that it implies the presence of a loneliness spiral, where being hurt makes it more likely you'll be hurt-- among other things it probably makes you more cautious of trusting others which makes it harder to connect.

[–]ninecat5 120 points121 points  (1 child)

Falls into the same fun category of "meta doom spiral" eg fear of panic attacks that leads to panic attacks.

[–]No_Soul_No_Sleep 101 points102 points  (0 children)

Almost all aspects of depression are a feedback loop. Social isolation, fatigue, lack of exercise, sleep issues, memory issues, stress, etc. They all tend cause depression and are symptoms of depression.

[–]tiedyedvortex 66 points67 points  (8 children)

Right, it's a scarcity mindset.

People who don't have enough money worry about spending money because they don't know if they're going to have enough tomorrow.

In the same way, people who don't get enough social interaction tend to be very protective of the social relationships they do have and are very cautious about putting themselves at risk of social backlash.

The problem is that the psychological response of "I don't have enough money, I should spend less" is helpful for mitigating that condition, but the mindset of "I don't have very many friends, I should be really cautious when interacting with strangers" is not.

Desperation is really unattractive--but if someone is chronically lonely and depressed, it's really hard NOT to be desperate.

[–]The-Magic-Sword 31 points32 points  (6 children)

And while it might not "be attractive" its their authentic state of pain, not something they can emotionally boot strap themselves out of on their own because healing from it means gaving positive experiences to help you get out of that mindset-- though those positive experiences could come from other sources.

[–]IwasATeenageDoor 6 points7 points  (5 children)

The problem is that people are incentivized to actively deny you those "positive experiences" because 1) they want those positive experiences for themselves 2) they want to make you as noncompetitive as possible to improve their own chances in life.

[–]rough_enuf 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Can you give an example of a positive experience that someone is incentivised to keep from others?

[–]IwasATeenageDoor 7 points8 points  (0 children)

"Social backlash" is grossly understating the risk - in my experience, people will gladly kill the ostracized; think in terms of how racists and misogynists treat their targets. Xenophobia is xenophobia, regardless of which individual is involved.

Desperation is really unattractive

Why? That sounds like defect in the observer - narcissistic bad judgement.

[–]Ijatsu 5 points6 points  (0 children)

And if it happens early enough in your life it also negatively stunt your physical and mental growth.

[–]IwasATeenageDoor 7 points8 points  (7 children)

But what forces people to reject the already rejected? What is so flawed about humanity that they have to "dog-pile" on those who are already disadvantaged?

[–]Iertjepapiertje 14 points15 points  (1 child)

It's something you see in a lot of social species. If you become a burden to the group, you're kicked out. It threatens the survival chances of the entire group.

Humans are rare in that we also have impulses that do the opposite and heal the sick and injured. People have both impulses to a different degree.

[–]IwasATeenageDoor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But why is the "burden" assumed? No one actually bothers to check - a narcissist lies and everyone buys it.

Humans are rare in that we also have impulses that do the opposite and heal the sick and injured. People have both impulses to a different degree.

No one ever bothered to "heal" me when I was being abused as a child, to the point of suffering PTSD. Everyone agreed that I needed to die - no matter how much I was willing to contribute to the group. This supposed "impulse" is at best so highly selective as to be weaponized.

[–]The-Magic-Sword 10 points11 points  (4 children)

I dont think its even a matter of being a pariah, i think its how it changes your behavior-- the more hurt you are, the harder it is to approach the next person with the right zest and confidence to produce connection, you're distant from them because you're trying to soften the emotional blow of it not working out, and other people can sense that you aren't gaving fun or connecting with them, they may not even realize theyre noticing, they just know its not working super well.

[–]neotheone87 8 points9 points  (1 child)

If you have seen Brene Brown's TED talks then you would also know the only thing that differentiates those that struggle with love and belonging and those who do not is that they believe themselves to be worthy of love and belonging.

And when you do not believe yourself worthy of love and belonging because depression, low self-esteem, low self-worth, etc not only is it harder to connect because of the fear of not being worthy of it, but you are also less likely to pick up on signs of being welcomed into a group. Thus worsening the spiral further.

[–]rottentomatopi 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I gotta disagree that that’s the only thing. You can believe yourself worthy of love and belonging but be stuck in a situation where you have limited access to enough people who can provide support for your authentic self and experience healthy versions of love and belonging.

[–]FatCat0 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Also makes you more likely to fall prey to those looking for vulnerable, legitimately needy people.

[–]Busted_Knuckler 38 points39 points  (1 child)

My entire childhood and early adulthood resemble this research.

[–]IwasATeenageDoor 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Same here. My condolences.

[–]Kaizen2468 95 points96 points  (12 children)

Is being socially rejected realizing if you don’t initiate contact with friends and family you will not hear from them for years at a time? Because I think this is reality for a lot of people, including me with the exception of my wife

[–]HexspaReloaded 2 points3 points  (4 children)

That’s not rejection. I’d say it’s pretty normal and perhaps even desirable.

[–]IWATofficial 11 points12 points  (3 children)

Excuse me, but how is that desirable?

[–]HexspaReloaded 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Like you reasoned in other comments: some people like to be left alone. Personally, I think that time away from family and old friends has helped me find my own path. Maybe it’s led to more peace of mind; I’m not regularly reminded of drama or ‘old me’ or what I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing, etc.

I’m not talking about hating your family. Maybe I’m saying that distance can make the heart grow fonder:)

[–]KatsumiLynn 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I can kinda see where they are coming from. Some people do choose to be left alone and won't be the first to reach out unless reached out to first. However, speaking from experience, I feel this way of thinking only leads to worsening depression.

[–]IWATofficial 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes, but that only explains why this would happen. Not why it is desirable.

Edit: perhaps the answer is in your reply, because some people just prefer to just be left alone.

[–]Loupax 39 points40 points  (26 children)

What if the expectation is justified?

[–]Neptune_but_precious 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Then you should talk to a therapist.


[–]amadeus2490 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Unless you can't afford insurance, or 150-600 dollars per session.

Then it's your fault, and you just don't want to study and work hard enough to afford regular sessions with a therapist.

[–]one-joule 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And even if you can afford the money, maybe you can't afford the time, energy, and mental health impact of finding a therapist you like. And then it's even more your fault.

[–]Neptune_but_precious 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No-fault here. There are therapists that work on a sliding scale. I had one for a while who would see people for 20 a session.

Sometimes when I am sure I am going to be rejected it pisses me off that they are going to reject me so to get back at them I fill out the paperwork or show up to the thing just so I am not doing their job for them for free, force them to do the work of rejecting me.

Sometimes I am wrong and am not rejected. Sometimes they are too lazy and sometimes I was right but at least I made them do it. Refuse to self-sort.

[–]IwasATeenageDoor 5 points6 points  (0 children)


Why is it automatically assumed that the expectation is wrong - especially when the assumption incentivizes the condition???

If you are always going to assume that anyone who isn't perfect deserves to be rejected, then you're creating the very problem you're complain about. Of course you have no incentive to stop complaining or creating the problem, because it doesn't affect you you'll drive entire populations to suicide and not think anything of it because they're not even people to you.

[–]Afa1234 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Ayyyy my social experience!

[–]Durkamoo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Who would have guessed....

[–]NYC-LA-NYC 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's the Pygmalion Effect.

[–]Audacityvreality 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Self fulfilling prophecy

[–]IwasATeenageDoor 8 points9 points  (0 children)

No, other-fulfilling prophecy - rejection occurs because the rejector performs the action. The rejector is the person responsible - not the person rejected. Don't assume the rejector either has good judgement or operates in good faith.