I’ve noticed that people generally have a strong aversion to the hurt, grief, loss, and helplessness of others. Being in the presence of emotional pain is uncomfortable and awkward. In response, society tends to separate itself from people who are not emotionally stable in order to maintain its own illusions of strength.
Hurting people are inadvertently placed in social isolation for the same reason that those who are overweight or unattractive are often excluded from the popular crowd: ugly people are not welcomed in the fellowship of the beautiful.
Many times an intense need for social connection will cause hurting people to subdue their pain in order to gain acceptance from their community. This is especially true in environments where dysfunction of any kind is viewed as a character flaw – or worse, an indication of personal sin. The result is deeply wounded people hiding behind fake smiles, contributing to society’s illusions, fearful that their pain will be revealed, who are slowly dying on the inside. (more…)