People who’ve been rejected more likely to know a fake smile when they see one
This study was recently written about in HealthDay News. College students were shown videos to see who was more likely to spot a “fake smile,” students who thought about a recent rejection or students who thought about a recent time being included and accepted. The study found that those who thought about recent rejection were more likely to spot the false emotion.
This just makes sense to me, common sense. Since the end of my relationship, I’ve become a lot more guarded, a lot more cautious. Even with friends, relationships I took for granted have come under increased scrutiny. I don’t think this is a bad thing necessarily. In the past, I was oblivious to the shifts and subtle changes my relationships went through. Such things really didn’t matter to me. I felt like most people were too sensitive anyway, and were too worried about if a friend called or didn’t call, cancelled or showed up. I figured consistency and constancy were what mattered, and day to day fluctuation didn’t matter. I would read about or hear stories about people who’s lives seemed far too tied up in what their friends did or didn’t do.
While I don’t think I’ve become one of those people (if anything I’m becoming even more low-maintenance as I retreat into my winter’s hermitude), I do now have first-hand experience with the type of caution that comes from a big rejection, the biggest rejection of all: “I don’t want to be with you anymore.” It definitely makes me more sensitive to the whims of a new friend. I don’t want to put myself out there quite as easily or quite as freely. It’s not even so much a question of “want to.” It’s like I don’t have the heart for it right now. I hope in time this caution recedes as my natural gregariousness and trusting nature comes back to the fore, but for where I am right now, this article really resonated with me.