How to Deal with Being an Outcast: Tips for Social Rejects

It’s hard enough being a teenager, but it feels like the whole world is against you when you’re an outcast. You don’t fit in with any cliques, and you feel alone and rejected.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Millions of people all over the world feel the same way.

But that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

For The Social Rejects

Social rejection occurs when an individual has been intentionally excluded from social interaction. Topics include interpersonal rejection, peer rejection, romantic rejection, and parental rejection.

Rejection psychology

Rejection is usually associated with shame, pain, or grief people experience when other people do not accept them. Some people feel disregarded after someone ends their relationship.

What social rejection looks like

Social rejection is an increasing problem for people who are irritable or anxious, and it can decrease the performance of people attempting complex cognitive tasks.

Rejection and self-esteem

Rejection negatively impacts our moods and confidence in ourselves, generates swarms of rage or aggression, and destabilizes our needs. However, rejection causes the most severe damage in the first place.

Social rejection causes

Some causes of social rejection can include being different from the rest of the group, having a physical deformity, or being from a lower socioeconomic class.

Children and adolescents are likely to be rejected when they display shy, solitary, or anxious behavior.

Also, people considered “nerds” or “geeks” may be rejected by their peers because they are not regarded as cool or popular.

Additionally, those who are overweight or obese may be rejected because our society is obsessed with thinness.

And finally, introverts may be rejected because they are not as outgoing or social as extroverts.

Rejection in childhood

Peer rejection was analyzed using sociometric and other scoring systems. Some studies usually show some children are liked and receive high ratings, and however, most children are middle, with relatively low ratings.

Generally, some of these children are rejected with meager ratings. The other measure is to ask children to describe friends they love or dislike.

Rejected nominees receive very little “like” and many “disagreements” The number of neglected young people receives little of any category.

According to Karen Bierman at Pennsylvania State University, many children reject the peers of their behavior.

Parental Rejection

Parental rejection is when a parent doesn’t want their child and often results in the child feeling unwanted or abandoned. This can cause long-term psychological damage to the child and impact their relationships with other people for the rest of their lives.

Romantic rejection

Rather than studying childhood rejection, primarily by examining rejection among peers, some scientists examine the phenomenon in which one individual rejects another as part of an intimate relationship.

Romantically rejecting someone happens as young as 18 when they refuse to accept their partner and their romantic advances or unilaterally end their relationship.

The feeling of unrequited love is often experienced at a young age. However, the sense of love becomes more common as the person gets older.

Need for acceptance

The feeling of rejection is emotionally painful, given the social nature of humans. Abraham Maslow has suggested love and belonging are fundamental motivational beliefs among humankind.

According to Maslow, every human – even introverted – needs to have the ability to show and receive affection to maintain psychologically healthy.

Psychological specialists say simple contact with others isn’t enough for this purpose, and it’d be more difficult for them. People instead have strong motivational drives for creating caring intercultural relations.

Rejection in the laboratory

Laboratory studies show that even short-lived rejection of strangers can have significant effects. People selected randomly to receive messages of exclusion become more aggressive, more likely to cheat, and less willing to help others.

  • Rejection can easily lead to self-destructive or antisocial behavior.

Kip Williams and his colleagues invented the standard experimentation paradigm at Purdue University. It consists of throwing a ball between three persons.

Rejection sensitivity

Rejection sensitivity is a personality trait characterized by the tendency to fear and avoid rejection at all costs.

People with high levels of rejection sensitivity often feel as though they can’t do anything right, are not good enough, and will be rejected if they try to connect with others.

This leads to social isolation, low self-esteem, and depression.

Future Rejection

Suppose you’re someone who has rejection sensitivity. In that case, you might feel anxious in social situations, holding back from saying what you think or feel and avoiding any situation where you might be rejected.

You might also be overly critical of yourself and others, always assuming the worst and dwelling on your fears of rejection.

Mental Health

While it’s normal to feel anxiety in social situations, if you constantly fear rejection to the point where it’s impacting your mental health, it might be time to seek help from a therapist or counselor.

They can help you understand your anxiety and work on ways to manage it. With treatment, you can learn to cope with your fears and start living a more fulfilling life.

Why social rejection hurts

When a person experiences an attack on their family or friends, the same brain parts activate their emotions in response.

Small rejection hurts more than most of us think and causes physical and mental pain.

Social Ostracism Meaning

Nouns. Exclusion by a shared sense from society, privilege, friends, and other benefits if desired

A permanent ban on citizens is a decision made by the common vote (in Ancient Greece).

Example of social ostracism

Conversely, social ostracism describes instances where people remain invisible to others but still appear physically.

Phrases like silently treating, freezing out, or chilly shoulder mean social ostracism.

How To Deal With Social Rejection

Here are some tips to help you cope with being a social outcast:

– Find your tribe.

Just because you don’t fit in with the mainstream doesn’t mean there isn’t a group of people who will accept you for who you are.

Whether online or in real life, look for like-minded people and form your little community.

– Embrace your quirks.

The things that make you different are what make you unique. Embrace them and use them to your advantage.

– Be confident.

Confidence is critical, no matter what situation you’re in. If you walk into a room feeling like an outcast, people will treat you like one.

But if you carry yourself with confidence, people will be more likely to give you a chance – and you might find yourself fitting in after all.

Social acceptance theory

Social acceptance implies others sign up for theirs. You are invited to the group or the relationships of the other members in the group.

Social acceptance is measured in an infinite continuum extending over time, from tolerance of the presence of someone in a certain way to active participation.

In Summary

Social exclusion and rejection experiences can have a powerful effect on our emotions and behavior. Rejection leads to feeling lonely, left out, and even devalued.

In extreme cases, social rejection can lead to depression or aggression. However, there are intervention strategies we can use to deal with social exclusion and minimize its impact.

  • First, we should identify our “exclusion zones” – the peer groups or situations where we’re most likely to feel excluded.
  • Next, we should be proactive about seeking social relationships in those zones from friends, family members, or others who make us feel included.
  • Finally, we should practice self-compassion and forgiveness when we experience feelings of chronic rejection.

We can reduce the negative impact that social exclusion has on our lives and improve our mental health by doing these things.


Social rejection is something that we all experience at some point, and it can be challenging to deal with, especially if the person who rejected us is someone important to us.

Rejection hurts because it feels like a personal attack – after all if someone doesn’t want us around, what does that say about us? We’ve explored how social rejection affects people and offers some tips for dealing with it in this post. We hope you find these helpful.


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