AVOIDING PAIN

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin –

“I’d also noticed that the more upset I felt, the less Jamie seemed to want to talk about it. “You know ,” I said to him one night, “I’m feeling anxious . I wish you’d try to help me feel better. The worse I feel , the less you seem to want to talk to me.”“I just can’t stand to see you unhappy,” he answered. Light again dawned. It wasn’t perversity that kept Jamie from being a sympathetic listener; not only was he constitutionally less oriented to having long heart-to-heart conversations, he also tried to avoid any topic that got me upset, because he found it so painful to see me feeling blue. Now, that didn’t let him off the hook altogether— sometimes I needed a sympathetic listener, even if he didn’t feel like playing that role— but at least I understood his perspective.”

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