Have you ever wondered why feeling as if we don’t belong is one of the most painful things we experience as humans?
Thanks to the functional MRI, we now know that feeling left out actually stimulates the very same parts of our brain that physical pain does, like when we burn our hand on a hot stove.
Researchers have also discovered some of the neurobiological underpinnings of what creates safety, belonging, and mattering for us. They use the acronym SCARF to capture these key elements that are so important to our left hemispheres: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness. When we experience these things, we experience reward and pleasure; when these things are absent, we experience threat and pain.
All of this has enormous implications for what happens in our brains when we’re in groups, especially when we and others form, dissolve, and reform relationships and alliances that sometimes do and sometimes don’t include us.
Join Sarah to explore the interpersonal neurobiology of mattering, belonging, groups, and power, and discover how we can create groups that foster mutual empathy, connection, and understanding.
Click the lesson links below for visuals and recordings