Why do we hurt those we love the most? I think there are two reasons: ‘Just Because We Do‘ and ‘Just Because We Can‘.
When your model airplane flying club receives an email that some Dude says he’s going to come to your next meeting, but that Dude doesn’t show up, no one feels hurt. Even though he wrote “I’m so excited that there’s a model airplane flying club in this area!!!”, when he doesn’t show up, the people in the club just say, “What happened to that Dude who said he was going to come to the meeting?” No one says, “I’m so upset that Dude didn’t come.”
But, when a close friend you haven’t seen in a while writes and says she wants to meet you after work on Friday and say Hi and see how things have been, but doesn’t show up, you’re disappointed. Why does it hurt when your close friend doesn’t show up? Just Because It Does.
It just hurts more when a close friend says, “You’ve got a stupid-looking haircut” or “That t-shirt’s ugly” than when a total stranger says it. It just does.
And why else do we hurt those we love the most? I think the other reason is Just Because We Can. Someone you love would never say “You’ve really put on some weight lately” to their boss, but they can to you, because they know you’ll probably put up with it. Their boss will just tell them to pack up their stuff and leave, but you’ll often just put up with their abuse rather than kick them out over one nasty comment.
I think perhaps if we treated those we love more like bosses, customers, strangers and friends, perhaps we wouldn’t hurt those we love the most so much.