Delusional Self-Esteem vs. Social Isolation
People who feel isolated seek out existing allies and increase their criticism of non-allies (hello, Internet!). Apparently these routines (and so probably the feeling of isolation) can be suppressed by imagining yourself invulnerable to physical injury. Previous studies have shown that ibuprofen reduces the pain of social rejection.
Simulating physical invulnerability lessened exclusion-triggered negative attitudes toward stigmatized groups, and
simulating physical invulnerability lessened the desire for social connection.
[They fantasized] “It will be an amazing ability, but you must keep it absolutely secret. If you purposely tell anyone or show off your power, you will lose it forever.’”
Compared to people who imagined gaining the ability to fly (secretly), people who imagined (secret) physical invulnerability executed less of the anti-isolation routines like putting down outsiders or socializing positively with allies.