“Oh, come on! It’s not that big of a deal.” Sometimes it seems like teens just exaggerate their social fears. Educators may want to roll their eyes and say, “Get over it! There’s so many more important things.” It turns out there’s more to it than teens being scared little drama-queens/kings.
I’ve been working with a developmental theory for a while now, but I was recently pleased to discover that it’s true. (It’s always nice when that happens). It goes like this: The fear of social rejection is strongly rooted in our evolutionary development. For tens of thousands of years, humans have survived and thrived by living in communities. It became so important to our development as a species, that survival became impossible outside of our local group. Being ostracised from a community/tribe/clan meant certain death and thus the risk of this was very very scary.