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Isolation and Unsociability

One of the causes of social isolation and unsociability is the feeling of resentment towards people which results in a stunted emotional and social personality. The dream of amicable relations is changed into a nightmare of despair and inability to socialise with others.

Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, may Peace be upon him said:

One who is always distrustful of others' motives develops a phobia of everyone. 29

Schachter, the well-known psychologist, writes:

Everyone likes to socialise with others and aspires to receive their attention and love and enjoy their company But when this wish is not satisfied, it seems easier to flee from people than to adjust, whereas the truth is something else If the failure to adjust and avoidance of the company of others provide a temporary relief, it neither satisfies our innate urge and need nor does it offer any solution or remedy

Isolation and fleeing from people may have various degrees, and it may reach the point where, out of despair and a sense of defeat, one distances oneself from his friends, family, and the whole world.

I used to know an engineer who was highly qualified and had complete mastery over his profession But in the factory he behaved with outright dryness and brutality with his subordinates He would eat alone and did not participate in conversation, nor would he take part in their amusements. Laughter or humour never came out of his mouth and he would not allow anyone to be critical of him.

But we knew that in the depth of his heart he underwent a torment on account of his state and conduct, and that he longed to be able to converse with others, laugh and dine with them at the same table, and to be on friendly and fraternal terms with others. When the professor of psychology studied his case, it was known that, without himself knowing it, he was suspicious of the loyalty of his subordinates and imagined that they did not consider him fit to lead them, and therefore he had to impose his authority upon them in a brutal manner. 30

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29. Al-Amidi, Ghurar al-hikam, p. 712.

30. Rushd-e shakhsiyyat; p. 111.

Adapted from: "Ethics and Spiritual Growth" by: "Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari"

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