The Pain of Rejection

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The human heart is a fragile thing. It desires unconditional, unlimited love and to be loved for who it is, not what it can be made into. However accompanying the search for this love is a great risk, the risk of rejection. The chance that the one chosen to love and who's love is desired will not reciprocate those feelings. If they do return your affection, there is always the chance they may change their mind later on. A breakup then ensues.

Breakups are common things in our world today. Everyone knows someone who just went through a breakup or divorce and many occur in the not so pleasant way of denial. Most people know that this breakup is hard on the emotions and will respond with the gift of sympathy and maybe some chocolate ice cream but after a while, it's expected that the rejected person will get over it. Little do they know that rejection is not only emotionally painful but it is also physically painful. According to a recent study, it is proven that when rejected, the brain registers physical pain. When socially rejected, especially in a romantic relationship, emotional pain is not the only thing experienced.

Pain, an unpleasant feeling, is prevalent in all aspects of life. The brain is all too familiar with the feeling, especially when a romantic relationship is involved. In a lay article by Christine Dell'Amore of National Geographic, the scientific paper about this hypothesis is reviewed in a short and understandable manner. First she explains how the study of this new hypothesis was done by the operating scientists. “Smith and colleagues recruited 40 participants via flyers posted around Manhattan and through Facebook and Craigslist advertisements.” (Dell'Amore, 2011) The random choice of subjects for this exp...

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...n. Those dropped from a romantic relationship or left out of the popular group experience these feelings all the time. They have enough evidence to prove this hypothesis true. Now there is scientific evidence to back it up what the majority has already experienced. So next time you think of telling your friend to “get over it”, think again and give them another scoop of ice cream.

Works Cited

Dell'Amore, C. (2011). Rejection really hurts, brain scans show. National Geographic News, Retrieved from

Smith, E. (2009, July 14). Variation in the μ-opioid receptor gene (oprm1) is associated with dispositional and neural sensitivity to social rejection. Retrieved from
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