Ostracism also results in death.

Syed A. Idrees
Aug 2, 2018 · 6 min read

Do you fear going in all solo?

Me too.

Kip Williams, a professor of psychological studies at Purdue University, explains this notion to Psychology Today: “Ostracism is not only a form of social death, it also results in death. The animal is unable to protect itself against predators, cannot garner enough food, etc., and usually dies within a short period of time.”

I was reading about social anxiety and why we humans prefer being in groups?

Why is it that we do not speak up in front of an audience?

Why do we have social anxiety?

Why stage fear?

Turns out the answer lies in the history.

Early Men Hunt Together

Humans have been here since the early age. We were here when there was no language. It was a time when humanity was on rise and we lived among each other in peace and harmony.

But we were not alone. We had wild animals too. There were natural phenomena like earthquakes, and volcanoes, and so on. So, the bottom line is we had a lot of stuff to deal with.

Out of all these, only one was our concern. It still is. That is, survival. We needed to survive. We needed food to eat. Water to drink. The problem was we were not alone.

We had a competition. The wild animals of the jungle. There were no buildings around. It was still all trees and caves. No technology. Just pure human rationality and physical strength. Whether we lived in caves or on trees, we had to compete with the other contestants in the jungle.

This is not an easy game.

Photo by Tom Pottiger on Unsplash

Tell me this. How do wolves hunt? Exactly. They hunt in packs. Wolves never hunt alone. So, if you see one wolf, I am pretty sure you will see a dozen more. Not a good place to be without a proper defense, right?

Humans have evolving brains. We realized the same when we were cavemen. To survive, to live, we must stay together. If you stay alone, you will be eaten by a wild animal or you will probably die of loneliness and depression.

Thus, we started to stay in groups. Groups of people living together to protect each other, and at the same time hunt for food. It had many benefits to stay together in a group rather than staying alone.

This is how we started living in groups. What makes us want to be part of a community? Why we fear the society? This sense of belonging has been embedded in us from the beginning of humanity and to lose that support and place is almost devastating for us.

Being banished from a group had dire ramifications.

We feel outliers. We are made to feel like there is something wrong with us. Society has set some rules and if we do not follow them, there is probable chance of us living a life of hell.

You may have seen movies or read stories of people being exiled from tribes and states. For a mind who hasn’t had the privilege to understand the importance of being in a group, it may seem everyday. You have been neglecting the obvious for so long. You are already part of a community. Your ancestors have done the hard work. Lose the community and go live in another part of the world and see the horror unraveling on you.

Ask a teenage kid to introduce himself to a class. He will not. Until and unless he gets comfortable with the class, forms his own group, only then he will stand up in front of the class and sing his heart out. Ask him to leave the group? Well, we have a problem Houston.

Public Speaking

Did you know that some people fear public speaking more than death itself?

That is as true as the color blue.

Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself:

When I first read this, the title of this post, I was shocked. I kid you not, my eyes opened wide. I was incredulous. How can someone fear something or anything more than death itself?

I read the article. You should too.

I will quote the above dialogue again.

Kip Williams, a professor of psychological studies at Purdue University, explains this notion to Psychology Today: “Ostracism is not only a form of social death, it also results in death. The animal is unable to protect itself against predators, cannot garner enough food, etc., and usually dies within a short period of time.”

Ostracism is not only a form of social death, it also results in death.

Why do you think a solitary confinement is considered the most brutal of punishments in a prison?

Why is it only for one day, or at the maximum a week?

Because solitary confinement IS death.

I have never been in a solitary confinement and I never intend to be. It is too much to risk for. I am not ready to take the risk to mess with my mind.

To Set Free

Maybe to set free ourselves of such fear, we need to first understand the fundamentals properly. If you cannot solve a problem, break it down in to its parts and start with the fundamental blocks.

Start by building up from the small and then make up the whole. Here this analogy fits perfectly. You need to change your idea of survival. You are not just trying to change a habit here. You are trying to change your base, your foundation.

There is no secret to it. No tips and tricks either. You have been raised in a society where these ideas were inscribed in you. Now, to erase that and write a new inscription will take time and efforts.

Will it be worth it? Hell yes.

All you need now is the belief of doing it. Believe in yourself. That is the first step.

You don’t have to live in the mountains to escape ostracism death. You need to understand the fact that it is okay to be on your own.

You were born as equally amazing as them.

If they can do it, you most definitely can do it too.

They will sell you lies that you cannot. Believe in you.

You can.

You will.

Don’t fear the climax…

In the end,

  • Learn public speaking.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Be the first to ask a question.
  • Raise a hand.
  • Disagree with them.
  • Put your opinion.
  • Be the first to help.
  • Give love.

Thank you for reading the article. I hope you liked it. I will see you tomorrow.

I love you. Bye. :)


This story is published in The Post-Grad Survival Guide, a publication for recent grads followed by 8,000+ people.

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The Post-Grad Survival Guide

We're confused twenty-somethings. We dish on our post-grad blues, successes, failures, and everyday life right here. Featuring topics related to work, relationships, travel, finances, and so much more.

Syed A. Idrees

Written by

in love with #Learning. I love breaking Stereotypes. Looking for a book idea. Editor of poem_word.

The Post-Grad Survival Guide

We're confused twenty-somethings. We dish on our post-grad blues, successes, failures, and everyday life right here. Featuring topics related to work, relationships, travel, finances, and so much more.

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