Misery always wants company because it is a way of projecting the pain suffered onto another person to make one feel better about themselves. Just as people want to party together, they also want others to suffer with them when they are in pain. They don’t want you to cheer them up, they want you to be miserable like they are in order to validate their pain. Any glimpse of joy you demonstrate, whether in their presence or not, is taken as your negligence in acknowledging their pain because their ego is fiercely defending their right to be a victim. They want you to be fully vested in their pain because they seek either nurturing and/or vengeance, and you are supposed to magically take the pain away.
By forcing you into the misery party they don’t have to look into their own shadows to overcome deeply buried resentments to forgive themselves and others. They believe that they will feel better about themselves if you are miserable too. They will do anything to keep you miserable, from enraged outburst filled with malicious hurtful words and accusations designed to tear you emotionally apart to becoming withdrawn and unreachable. You may be accused of not caring or sympathizing with them for sharing positive words in an attempt to cheer them up. They don’t want to be cheered up, they want to be miserable and they want you to be miserable with them.
People that are miserable are trapped by submerged shame, which is working its way to the surface so that it can be dealt with. It is so powerful that it can keep one held hostage by their emotions, suffering through endless cycles of depression, resulting in victim consciousness.
Shame is driven by the ego, which wants the whole world to honor its pain to save face in its attempt to be vindicated. Until shame is dealt with, one will remain miserable and desperately work to pull those around them into their cesspool of misery because they are not mentally prepared to do the necessary mental and emotional cleansing to begin their own healing process.
You do not have to choose to be victimized by a person that is miserable in their own shame. By setting your boundaries you are not saying you do not care, empathize or have compassion and/or love the person that is miserable. It does not mean you don’t want to see them heal and move through their pain either. It means that you realize that you do not have the power to fix them, that they do. It means you have declared you do not want to engage in victim consciousness and co-dependency by allowing them to force you into being their baggage carrier. To hold your own boundaries is healthy for YOU and forces them to get stronger in dealing with their own emotions to process the specific hidden message/lesson in their own pain.
By setting boundaries for yourself and standing by them you must be prepared to shoulder the blame and accusations that you don’t care because you refuse to be misery’s date to the pity party. You are not obliged to be misery’s company.