Generation to Generation Quotes #1

“Thresholds for both physical and emotional pain are lower when we are functioning dependently, and are higher when we are motivated to accomplish something. But there is also an interrelational aspect to this threshold dimension of pain. Where members of a family are too quick to spare another pain, the resulting dependency tends to make the other’s threshold fall. In addition, he or she will become addicted to having pain relieved through someone else’s functioning. Conversely, where families can begin to increase their threshold to another’s pain, the other person’s threshold is likely to rise, even though he or she may at first go through ‘withdrawal’ symptoms when the ‘addiction’ is taken away. Those who focus only on comfort, on relieving pain, or filling another’s need, tend to forget that another’s need may be not to have their needs fulfilled.”

~from Generation to Generation, by Edwin H. Friedman, page 48

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