Treatment of the socially anxious humans, in the ancient tribes?

#1
I've always wondered what would have become of us if we lived back when humans lived in little hunter/gathering tribes, consisting of a few dozen different families. :unsure:

Because we were so socially awkward and therefore made the whole tribe uncomfortable, would we simply have been told to go and drown ourselves, or be dragged to and pushed off the nearest cliff?

Would the tribe have become suspicious - like many of the ancient people did - and believe that the "quiet, non-talkative, awkward ones" were so strange, they must have been possessed by demons and must be kicked out of the tribe, so we would not produce "demon-possessed" offspring?

I like simple, repetitive jobs, so If the whole tribe would just leave me alone to do the mind-numbingly tedious jobs, like scraping the animal hides for clothing etc, then I would have been fine.

Just realised I am projecting the "expectations on fellow humans" that societies developed, after large cities were formed.

Maybe all the tribes people would have only been concerned about finding/cooking enough food for the tribe and "mating" with anyone that had working reproductive parts - in order to provide more members (even socially anxious ones) to help sustain the tribe? :unsure:

Has anyone else ever wondered how socially anxious humans would have been treated within the ancient tribes?
 

LoyalXenite

Well-known member
#2
I wonder if we would have developed social anxiety in the same way, maybe we'd just be the quiet ones of the tribe and not the anxious messes we are now (or at least I am). Its an entirely different kind of society, different pressures, I wonder what form social anxiety would take.

(both very tired and had a couple drinks so probably not phrasing this as well as I could be)
 
#3
I wonder if we would have developed social anxiety in the same way, maybe we'd just be the quiet ones of the tribe and not the anxious messes we are now (or at least I am). Its an entirely different kind of society, different pressures, I wonder what form social anxiety would take.

(both very tired and had a couple drinks so probably not phrasing this as well as I could be)

That is a good point, Loyal.
I guess while the ancient humans still would have been competitive (desire to be the best at something) and judging the behaviour of other members of the tribe, I agree with you that here would have been a whole lot of different ways to fear being judged, than we face today.

Those different ways, certainly may have been less severe too, therefore our inherent, anxious nature back then, may have not have been as disabling, as it is in today's western society. :unsure:


( or behavior, for those in countries where it is spelt without a "u" )
 

LoyalXenite

Well-known member
#4
That is a good point, Loyal.
I guess while the ancient humans still would have been competitive (desire to be the best at something) and judging the behaviour of other members of the tribe, I agree with you that here would have been a whole lot of different ways to fear being judged, than we face today.

Those different ways, certainly may have been less severe too, therefore our inherent, anxious nature back then, may have not have been as disabling, as it is in today's western society. :unsure:


( or behavior, for those in countries where it is spelt without a "u" )

Theres also the fact that our fears are meant to be instinctual responses so its possible that social anxiety didnt develop yet because the physical dangers were far more prevalent and the day to day life less social judgement and more survival. The judgement wouldve been more on those who werent keeping up physically as opposed to socially. Well thats my hypothesis anyway, wont really know for sure until we develop those damn time machines
 
#5
Theres also the fact that our fears are meant to be instinctual responses so its possible that social anxiety didnt develop yet because the physical dangers were far more prevalent and the day to day life less social judgement and more survival. The judgement wouldve been more on those who werent keeping up physically as opposed to socially. Well thats my hypothesis anyway, wont really know for sure until we develop those damn time machines
I absolutely agree with your hypothesis, Loyal.
It makes a lot of sense and your two posts have virtually calmed most of my confused thoughts on this topic, which have been annoyingly swirling around in my mind, for quite a while now. I should have posted this query ages ago, thank you Loyal. (y):)

Lol @"develop those damn time machines" . Sadly, I think humanity will all be roasted (nearest to the equator), frozen to death (up North) and drowned (on the coasts), before science achieves some form of time travel. :oops:
 

LoyalXenite

Well-known member
#6
Lol @"develop those damn time machines" . Sadly, I think humanity will all be roasted (nearest to the equator), frozen to death (up North) and drowned (on the coasts), before science achieves some form of time travel. :oops:
Does that mean those on the coasts near the equator are going to be boiled? :unsure:

Unfortunately you are probably right on the time travel front though
 
#7
When this topic comes up I always think of something I learned in an Abnormal Psychology class I took in college, which is along the lines of what Loyal was getting it. While googling to concept to refamilarize myself with it, I came across this joke which also paints the point fairly well also.

"Question: What is the difference between someone who is crazy and someone who is eccentric? Answer: About ten million dollars"

The joke is sort of supposed to show the two things that define behavior as a disorder (or four from the paper I just read, but I was taught the two) which are Deviance and Dysfunction. Deviance basically means it abnormal, and different from the norm. Dysfunction means it disrupts one life in a negative way. So for example, if someone has social anxiety, perhaps specifically with talking on the phone, its deviant because it't not the norm to be uncomfortable and anxious making phone calls and its dysfunctional because phone calls are a staple in our society and getting anxious whenever needing to make one would be disruptive in a negative way.

If that same person never again had to make a phone call though, and in doing so it had no negative effect on their life, their phone anxiety wouldn't be a problem, and wouldn't meet the qualifications for a disorder. So circumstance can have a lot to do with things.

I am not personally that knowledgeable about hunter-gather tribes, but I would ask what behavior is considered normal and what abnormal behavior has a negative and disruptive effect on ones life. Maybe being anxious around others is even beneficial as it could be justified. Most likely a conversation at the bank with a stranger is going to be harmless to us. An interaction with a stranger for a member of a hunter-gather tribesman my literally lead to death. So it may not even be abnormal to be anxious in those situations, or particularly bad. I'm really not sure though, I think it's interesting to think about though!
 
#9
When this topic comes up I always think of something I learned in an Abnormal Psychology class I took in college, which is along the lines of what Loyal was getting it. While googling to concept to refamilarize myself with it, I came across this joke which also paints the point fairly well also.

"Question: What is the difference between someone who is crazy and someone who is eccentric? Answer: About ten million dollars"

The joke is sort of supposed to show the two things that define behavior as a disorder (or four from the paper I just read, but I was taught the two) which are Deviance and Dysfunction. Deviance basically means it abnormal, and different from the norm. Dysfunction means it disrupts one life in a negative way. So for example, if someone has social anxiety, perhaps specifically with talking on the phone, its deviant because it't not the norm to be uncomfortable and anxious making phone calls and its dysfunctional because phone calls are a staple in our society and getting anxious whenever needing to make one would be disruptive in a negative way.

If that same person never again had to make a phone call though, and in doing so it had no negative effect on their life, their phone anxiety wouldn't be a problem, and wouldn't meet the qualifications for a disorder. So circumstance can have a lot to do with things.

I am not personally that knowledgeable about hunter-gather tribes, but I would ask what behavior is considered normal and what abnormal behavior has a negative and disruptive effect on ones life. Maybe being anxious around others is even beneficial as it could be justified. Most likely a conversation at the bank with a stranger is going to be harmless to us. An interaction with a stranger for a member of a hunter-gather tribesman my literally lead to death. So it may not even be abnormal to be anxious in those situations, or particularly bad. I'm really not sure though, I think it's interesting to think about though!
That is very true.
So many variables are involved in the perception of normal vs abnormal.
The older I get the more I've discovered how important it is to get a well rounded
assortment of people's different perceptions on things. Thanks for you input, vj. :)
 
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