Beth Fisher-Yoshida Explores the Need for – and the Path to – Social Acceptance

“Our emotional pain is both psychological and physical,” writes Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program director Beth Fisher-Yoshida in her column for Psychology Today. She references the agony we feel any time we get rejected.

“We are social beings and want to belong,” she says. We never grow out of not wanting to be picked last for a sports team. Instead, these insecurities develop into the desire to be recognized for one’s work or lauded for one’s ideas.

She offers self-reflective questions that can help shape and improve upon our relationships with friends and colleagues:

  • What is it I want to have recognized, to be recognized for, so I feel accepted?
  • Why is this important to me?
  • How would I like to be recognized?
  • How can I get myself recognized?

Yoshida cautions, “In building relationships, it needs to be mutual.” As we keep in mind how we would like to be acknowledged and rewarded, we must think of how we can recognize the value we find in others.