Pushing people away.
Apparently, God has created us in such a way that our brains are very protective to us.
I notice that pushing people away in a relationship is very common in the Western culture. I don’t really know about in the Eastern. But I’ve seen some people done that. And I’ve seen relationships are broken because the partner seems doesn’t understand about this issue. Generally, women often do this, because they are emotional creatures (can refer to my previous post men versus women). While western people are very aware of this action, Easterners tend to find it is a very strange behavior. Don’t judge if you find people who do this. There is always a logic explanation behind why do people change in their attitudes. Now I would like to share about the meaning behind that action and how to deal with the people who has tendency to do that.
This post is NOT something that I made up by my own understanding. I did some research, read some psychology books and few articles regarding the same issue, and this is what I can summarize.
Sometimes when people hurt, they push others away while in fact they need others the most. It’s a counter-intuitive reaction. Most of the time, they push away people who care and love them the most. People who push others away are mostly suffer from some kind of depression. Some of the explanations could be they are afraid in getting more hurt, because they are already hurt. Other thing could be they are on denial, thought that they need no one, and they think that being alone is better. Or they could be punishing themselves. And everything occurs is because they experienced trauma from their past. I understand that being pushed away by someone you really care about and love for is unpleasant. And maybe, you also feel hurt because you are trying to make them better, you are trying to support them, but they are pushing you away. But one thing for sure, people who push others away always feel regret after they do that. They actually never meant to pushing you away, because they need someone.
You also may see, is your loved one is depressed? Maybe they don’t know what they need. When someone is depressed, you can notice from the change of habit, for example is loss of enjoyment of doing something that they used to love. Suffering with depression is incredibly difficult and painful. Imagine if you are being pushed away by someone, you are hurt, moreover they who experience the depression, is a lot heavier.
When someone you care and love push you away, you don’t take it personally. Pushing people away can be considered as rejection. Maybe your loved one have ever experienced of being rejected, so whenever they feel rejected by simple issue, the immediately shut themselves and reject others before they are rejected. But when they reject you, it is not personal. Rejection can also be seen as an act of protection. Your loved one tries to protect something within, either consciously or unconsciously. Everything that is said is a reflection of the depression – the fear, the anxiety, the panic, the pain, the sadness, the anger, the disappointment. It’s a very heavy load. Your loved one is trying to send you a “help” message, but maybe they do it in a wrong way.
When someone is experiencing depression, they experience the inability to be themselves and you feel it permanent. You feel that they can’t change. The fact is, people can change when others believe that they can change. Your loved one needs your trust that they can change, by that they will feel supported and cope with the depression. When they can’t be themselves with you (be loving with you) it hurts them more and makes the depression feel worse. Depression is not who they are, they are just an individual who is experiencing depression. They are in a relationship with depression that has them captured or held hostage. It can help your loved one to hear that you know that this is not who they are and that you love them. It is also important for your loved one to know that you love them even though they are not themselves. They might not respond the way you want them to, but deep down beneath all of the numbness, pain, anxiety, fear, your loved one is still there and need to be loved. They need support and empathy.
Sometimes, no matter what you do or say, you find out that you are having difficulties to make your loved ones feel better. Instead of making them better, take the pressure off to fix it by simply being with the person you love, sitting beside them, holding their hand, rubbing their head, validating their feelings, remind them that what they are experiencing is temporary, help them to feel the security that they are not alone in facing the problems, the depression. By being there for them, it will help them get through the suffering.
It is also important that a person who deals with this kind of person must be a person who has spiritual maturity, so they have a strong endurance. I was never believe before that someone whose emotional life is a mess could get in to a relationship. But recently I read some relationship books, that opened up my viewpoint, that it is highly possible. One example is from the book of Joyce Meyer “living beyond feelings”. Joyce Meyer was a very emotional person, and she was helpless. She has tough life in her earlier age. She and her husband had gone through difficult years in their early marriage. But there was one statement that made my heart melt when she was explaining about her waiting regarding for life-partner: “God knew that Dave (the husband) was mature enough to handle the rough years with me, because he was asking to God a woman that need a help by his presence”, and Dave met Joyce, who was a mess.
I can conclude here that, in relationships, we do need equality. We need to be balance. What is the good in being there when good times, but not in bad times. When love combined with respect, mutual trust, support, empathy, communication, sharing, honesty, fairness, intimacy, I believe man and woman can develop together.