• Supporting those affected by the misery of stigma and exclusion

The loss of control in social exclusion

One of the major characteristics of social exclusion, when it is not chosen but results from deprivation of social contact, is a loss of control over one's circumstances and one's life. When someone chooses to exclude themselves socially it is a matter of choice and generally they already belong to a social group, be it a family, circle of friends or a community. However when someone is deprived of social contact they often no longer have any access or contact to a social group. Social exclusion can lead to a loss of autonomy and independence, such as happens with imprisonment, homelessness or unemployment. This can even be true of someone who works but who doesn't have any friends or contact with their family. They become subject to their environment and other people who determine their circumstances.

It is this loss of control which can also create barriers which effectively prevent someone from lifting themselves out of social exclusion and either becoming part of a social group or creating their own social support network. Negative or unpleasant past social encounters can create feelings of a lack of confidence, distrust in people or lead to anxiety about entering into new social encounters. Many people today suffer with social anxiety as a result of unpleasant or unsuccessful social encounters and this can be a symptom of existing or previous experiences of social exclusion or social stigma. However the loss of control and stress experienced as a result of social exclusion can also quickly develop into depression or issues with sleep or other problems.

This is because a lack of social interaction and being part of healthy social relationships can lead to various impairments of cognitive functioning ability. Getting out of a situation of social exclusion requires effort, increased cognitive functioning ability as well as energy and self-motivation. It's important to understand that social interaction is an important source of energy. As individuals we project out or give off energy and project this out to our environment and to other people. Some people refer to this as 'vibes' or vibrations and it is soemthing we give off constantly in what is known as an energetic signature. This energy is perceived in the right cerebral hemisphere of our brains asnd feeds into our left cerebral hemisphere, which controls cognitive functioning ability and social interaction. When there is insufficient energy from social interaction it can lead to a loss of cognitive functioning ability.

This loss of cognitive functioning ability can manifest in many different ways and is determined by the individual's life experience, personal perception, emotions and feelings and their choice of response. Cognitive functioning ability controls such things as our ability to sleep and relax, our ability to concentrate, feelings of hope and well being, our ability to calculate risks, take chances, get attention, and also our ability to control our emotions and feelings and what we think through conscious thinking. When someone experiences social exclusion all of these things can become impaired and this can result in a loss of control.

This is also important because conscious thinking accounts for only 4% of our total brain activity, the remaining 96% is made up of autonomic or unconscious thinking processes. Very few people are aware of this, but also conscious thinking processes uses up more energy than any other activity, including running and other strenous physical exercises. Indeed, there is a way of losing weight without diet and exercise and this is through creative thinking as long as it is done in sufficient amounts.