If you want to preserve relationships, then you must learn to respond instead of react to fear and pain. Responding does not come naturally. You can react without thinking, but you cannot respond without training your mind to think, your will to choose, and your body to obey. It is precisely this training that brings the best qualities in human beings - like courage, empathy, reason, compassion, justice, and generosity - to the surface. The ability to exercise these qualities and respond gives you other options besides disconnection in the face of relational pain.