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Looking after ourselves requires a rare skill: a capacity to disappoint another person in the name of our own protection.
To remain sane, we may have to decline a friend’s suggestion – and in love, upset someone else substantially.
To someone who doesn’t possess a full tank of inner love, how dare one turn down the love of another, even if it comes wrapped in tricky or poisonous elements?
Children who grow up in the company of difficult adults settle on doing one thing extremely well: hoping against hope that these adults will magically change and learn to be kind.
This kind of 'patience' is then transferred into their adult relationships, with similarly negligible results.
We find nice people instinctively boring and unsexy. This usually has its roots in a troubled past, which makes us unusually unforgiving towards genuine kindness.
If we knew ourselves better, we would find out that some of our potential partners feel wrong because we know they will be unable to deliver the sort of suffering that we’ve grown up to feel is essential to our sense of feeling loved.
Our willingness to quit a bad relationship is to some extent a measure of our confidence that being on our own will be tolerable and that we'll be able to manage it.
How much better to watch our best hopes crash helplessly against the shores of our current partner’s obdurate and quietly or even unconsciously sadistic personality?
When someone lets us down, breaks promises, our first, second and hundredth impulse is never simply to up sticks and leave.
Our tendency is to wonder what we might have done to provoke the problem. Our past gives us a disastrous tendency to think against ourselves – and give an unnatural degree of credit to the other.
What differentiates the emotionally damaged from the more robustly healthy is their tendency for being unable to spot the problems in due time and remove themselves with the requisite ruthlessness and decisiveness.
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"Having someone wonder where you are when you don't come home at night is a very old human need." — Margart Mead
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