Clear thinking is crucial for carrying on a conversation, making decisions,
and practically everything we do. Thinking can be clouded by a host of
conditions including stress, dehydration, and poor nutrition. Now, studies
reveal that rejection and criticism have a significant influence on how well a
In a series of experiments at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland,
participants were exposed to a series of situations that resulted in
manufactured rejections. They were given before and after intelligence and
analytical skill tests. The researchers were amazed to learn that the
intelligence scores plummeted by 25% on average. Their analytical reasoning
skills declined an average of 30%.
Dr. Brian Walsh describes it this way: "We are born with the fear of
abandonment. As humans, one of the most powerful drives we have is to connect,
and be accepted. When rejected, some people's self-esteem tends to become
unstable." In his book, Unleashing Your Brilliance, Walsh explains that a
person's self-esteem is forged in the first seven or eight years of life. He
explains: "Low self-esteem is fostered in an atmosphere of
conditional love. It
robs an individual of the psychological defenses needed to ward off the slings
and arrows of life."
Dr. Walsh believes that one of the most vital responsibilities of a parent is to
cultivate a robust self-esteem in their children. It is unconditional love that
nurtures healthy self-esteem. So equipped, an individual can brush aside the
occasional rejection that is bound to occur.
During research at Montreal's McGill University, social psychologists found that
people under stress tend to pay more attention to frowning faces than smiling
faces. Like the Law of Attraction suggests, whatever you put your energy, focus,
and attention on, you will attract more of. A person's depressed mood will
filter out (remove the evidence of) positive situations, and cause more focus on social threats like
rejections and criticisms. These in turn will feed muddled thinking. This
downward spiral can be reversed through intervention.
The McGill researchers tested telemarketers, a group that experiences a fair
amount of rejection. Participants were exposed to a series of video games that
exposed them to either smiling faces or flowers. After just one week, those who
played the smile game had 17 percent less of the stress hormone Cortisol in
their system, and a 68 percent increase in sales!
Dr. Walsh advises: "Since emotions are linked to survival, they have
neurological message priority." Simply stated, negative emotions can inhibit
cognition, memory, and generally fracture human wholeness. In his book, Walsh
outlines several methods people can employ to change their destructive patterns
so that they focus more on positive stimuli.