“Under almost all circumstances, it would be plain stupid to walk into a situation where you are likely to be permanently damaged. But it might be very smart to open yourself up — within limits — to situations in which you would be likely to experience some emotional pain, such as in taking a risk to enter a relationship that has the potential to lead to commitment.
So it is necessary for our own emotional health and learning that we retain the capacity to choose to be open to being a vulnerable person.
Again it is necessary to distinguish between the path of smart selfishness and the path of stupid selfishness. Stupid selfishness, you will remember, is trying to avoid all emotional, existential suffering, whereas smart selfishness is distinguishing between suffering that is neurotic, unnecessary, and unproductive, and suffering that is inherent in life and productive of learning.”
The Road Less Traveled And Beyond, M. Scott Peck, M.D., p. 191.