The best way to avoid being hurt by others, is to avoid others. For a child, it is intrinsically understood that to avoid being hurt by the bully, you avoid the bully. If you stay away from the bully, the bully cannot hurt you. This is part one of the equation that explains how to avoid pain that comes from others.
In part one, you avoid the pain that comes from others by simply avoiding others. However, it is not that simple. We live in societies. We have always lived in families and extended families or “tribes.” The social nature of mankind, is unavoidable. It is desired and not a negative to be avoided. Absolute proof of this is the popularity and extensive use of social media. Seeking social interaction is natural, universal and the normal way. If it were not so, the many languages of the world would not all contain a word which translates in English to “lonely.”
Pain not only comes from others but the amount of pain that is able to be inflicted by others is not equal. Those we love the most, can hurt us the most and this is the second half of the equation. If a total stranger stops you on the street and tells you that you are a horrible human being, it will probably simply leave you with the thought “how strange.” However, if someone that you love tells you that you are a horrible human being, it is likely to leave you with strong negative feelings, perhaps more commonly described as “feeling hurt.” It is natural for people who are readily vulnerable to being hurt, to avoid those who are capable of hurting them. That being said, it is generally speaking, not natural or desirable to avoid social interaction.
This issue has bothered you enough, that you have written to a psychology website in an attempt to gain insight into the issue. You have expressed worries and concerns in the letter that you have written. Without question, it would be comforting and informative to meet with a qualified professional who can examine this issue in more detail. Good luck.
Dr. Kristina Randle