At a time when our ancestors shared the planet with woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, no one wanted to get left behind. Group inclusion was necessary for survival. Today, our greatest predatory threat is our own species, both physically and socially.
Regardless of this threat shift, the need for acceptance—and the fear that we won't be accepted—remain powerful influences on our thoughts and feelings. In fact, this in large measure fuels the existential anxiety that has become the hallmark of a generation, driving everything from people-pleasing to co-dependence to over-sharing on social media.
In other words, while our brains have evolved, that part of it that believes we must ensure we are included in our tribe, no matter the cost, is alive and well. It’s commonly referred to as our lizard brain.
The lizard brain is a physical location at the base of the brain. It’s called the amygdala, and it’s related to, among other things, our survival...