I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.– James Baldwin
Yes, if we avoid our own pain we react to it.
And we react to it in a number of ways: Distractions. Entertainment. Work. Spending time in nature. Meditation. Talking with friends. Sex. Drugs. Anger. Fear. Ideologies. Wishful thinking. Fearful thinking. Hate. And much more.
We can use just about anything as a distraction from our own pain. And any time we go into something with compulsion – or defensiveness – it’s an indication we do.