Ostracism Awareness -

Information about ostracism, resources for recovery, support, and encouragement

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What is ostracism?

Ostracism is any act of banishing, shunning, ignoring, or excluding. It can be carried out by one individual upon another or by a group. It comes in many forms and levels of severity. Most of us can relate to common examples: feeling left out, giving or receiving the silent treatment, time-outs for misbehavior, locking oneself in a room after an argument, hanging up the phone in mid-conversation, unanswered email, and ending a friendship or relationship. A few of us have experienced other more severe forms of ostracism: peer rejection in schools, excommunication, banishment, or solitary confinement.

Studies have shown that the emotional impact of rejection and ostracism upon an individual can be devastating, especially if the form of ostracism used was severe and prolonged. Although the emotional wounds are not visible to the naked eye, they can be more painful and longer lasting than physical wounds. It is my hope that information provided in this website will help more people understand this pervasive social phenomenon, and provide relief for people suffering from severe ostracism.

Something to note: I am not against all forms of ostracism, although I dislike most forms. Most kinds of ostracism are hurtful and not recommended, as there are usually better ways to set boundaries and resolve conflicts. Occasionally, ostracism is necessary, such as removing oneself from a violent or life threatening situation. It is my hope that this website will help people make informed decisions about ostracism. As people become aware of ostracism's effects and other options available for resolving conflicts, hopefully it will save some friendships and relationships.

Information about ostracism

Great research has been done on ostracism by a number of respected psychologists and social scientists. More research is turning up every year, and that has provided us with a wealth of valuable insights. Below are links to excellent articles, documents, case studies, books, podcasts, and more.