There is nothing more isolating than the absence or loss of human connection. Humans need connection so that they can feel secure and happy. In fact, connection is one of the most fundamental human needs, before food and shelter. This is why when people experience serious painful times in their life, they avoid eating and do not even feel hunger because the pain of separation and loss is such a deep need to the human race that when we lose it, it is truly heartbreaking.
The hardest thing at times about accepting other peoples’ pain is that it can make us feel very uncomfortable. In fact, the biggest reason people often deny other peoples’ pain is because accepting their painful reality brings up all to many uncomfortable feelings within their own which they are not able to feel due to their own internal disconnection from their own feelings and emotions. This means that the person who is in pain is rejected, and worse, made to feel like their feelings are made up or ‘over reactions’, and the person who is not accepting the feelings of the other pushes the person in pain further and further into isolation and disconnection. This is really sad.
How many times have you been told you are “over reacting” or “being too sensitive”?
There is no such thing as an over reaction. Feelings are real. In fact, feelings are felt first in the nervous system and fascial system and only late are they intellectualised by the brain (if at all). The worse part of this, is that somebody HIGHLY self aware and conscious who communicates very honestly about their feelings, can feel shamed, abandoned and even crazy when someone tells them that what they feel is an over reaction or an inconvenience.
Imagine if you went to therapy now, and the therapist said… ‘To be honest, I think you’re just overreacting about that'. You probably would not go back. I’m not saying everyone is your therapist, but what I am saying is, regardless of our connection to other humans, when we say what they feel is not valid we are essentially being abusive and unkind.
If we cannot understand why someone feels a certain way, it does not mean that what they feel isn’t true for them. If we tell them they’re over reacting their feelings will only get WORSE and the absence of connection will only send you further and further away.
Love is taking somebody as part of yourself, and taking their best interests at heart. Love can only flow when both people are willing to connect and accept one another. Trust can only be built in a place where each person knows that they are safe to express themselves and be open and vulnerable without judgement.
So when we actually open our minds and hearts to accept someone else’s reality, it brings more love and trust. If we fail to do this, we only isolate them, amplify their pain and create an emotional Grand Canyon between us and them which can be very difficult to rebuild if the hurt is big enough.
Even if you are uncomfortable with someone’s feelings, I urge you to wholeheartedly try to accept their feelings instead of skirt around them, walk away, avoid and disconnect. Try some phrases such as, ‘I understand why you might feel that way, given the circumstances’ or ‘I am struggling to understand why you feel this way, but I want to and I want to help you’.
Avoid using their vulnerability as an opportunity to railroad them such as:
PERSON A: I feel pain when you do that. I think that perhaps I need to work on my fear of abandonment and self esteem, because when you fail to communicate, I feel pain and think I am a horrible person who is being punished through silence and that I may be alone forever
PERSON B: Yes, you probably do have a bit too low self esteem, you need to work on that because I’m fine there is nothing wrong, I just wanted to have some peace and quiet.
A more loving, accepting approach would be:
PERSON B I know that’s how you feel and I want you to know that I didn't mean to make you feel that way. Perhaps I can try to communicate better. I was actually just wanting peace and quiet. What can I do to help you feel better right now?
If you are struggling from feelings of intense pain and isolation, it is worth reassessing how the people around you accept you. Who fails to accept your reality, or feels uncomfortable with your emotions?
If you’re feeling like you have over sensitive people in your life, where is it you can be more accepting and open to other people’s needs?
This is NOT easy stuff and takes a great level of self awareness that most people are not willing to undertake. Nonetheless this is something I feel EXTREMELY passionate about and urge you to start to remember that everyone is entitled to their feelings and needs.
Someone who does not accept you and your feelings, does not accept you unconditionally and very likely, they do not accept themselves or their own feelings they are only accepting you when you fit into their box of needs.
You must have the discernment to know when a relationship is too painful to stay in because someone cannot accept your reality or feelings. If they are trying, then that is okay, but remember, that your needs and feelings ARE important.
For the growth of your relationships and for deeper communication, I sincerely hope you start to accept your loved ones more.