However, there is another kind of proximity that is just as or more harmful. I’m speaking about of the closeness with people who are so different from us that they bring us enormous emotional malaise. These are not good or bad people, right or wrong, they are simply very different from us. They are differences in the values that guide life, family values inherited from our parents, concepts of life, religious orientation, etc.
It is emotionally healthy to maintain a relative distancing from these people, before such differences generate enmities and bad feelings, such as resentments and grudges. Such selectivity will surely save us from emotional distress and stress, the primary cause of many psychosomatic illnesses and even the compromise of our immunity, which opens wide doors for diseases. We don’t need to break friendships, let alone create enmities. Just keep a safe distance that keeps you free from conflicts and wear and tear from the constant conflicts that such differences bring to you. It is absolutely natural that our closest friendships are people who have values, concepts and standards of living more in tune with ours. We don’t need to feel guilty about it. People very different from us, will always be frustrating our expectations about them. This is because we expect them to take actions and reactions that harmonize with our concepts, values and behavioral patterns. And, of course, they will act and react according to the standards and concepts of life they have. The prophet Amos wisely warns: Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? (Amos 3: 3-NIV). In times of emotional epidemics such as stress and depression, choose the people you want to share your life journey with. Keep a safe distance from people who bring you discomfort and malaise. Your emotional health appreciates it. And, you will be happier and healthier.