Addiction can stunt our emotional and psychological growth.
I see that in fear. Fear can stunt our maturing.
I have a friend. She had a rough childhood, and her priority is to prevent pain and hurt. That’s the very highest priority.
Everything else is secondary to that. Including people around her and their feelings.
Normal “conversations” and “discussions” are seen as confrontations. Confrontations are seen as a challenge to her being right. Challenge to her being correct is seen as a precursor to abandonment.
Difference in opinion is seen as a threat. It’s seen as challenging her being right. Challenging her being correct is seen as a challenge to her being worthy.
Only way to survive being her friend is to smile and only say nice and harmless things.
So I’m not seen as telling her she’s wrong. So I’m not seen as telling her she’s not worthy.
The most effective way to prevent me from abandoning her is to abandon me first.
She goes for the figurative jugular.
She never says she’s sorry.
It’s worked for her since she was 3. It’s what she relied on to feel safe for three decades. There is no reason to change, is there. What if she tries to change and the new mechanism doesn’t work? It hurt too much.
If her friends don’t like it, they can leave, can’t they. Except they never leave her. She leaves first.
Fear has stunned her growth.