Is Your Partner Avoidant? Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo Reveals Ways to Increase Communication and Intimacy with an Avoidant Partner
Avoidant partners create distance, restrict communication and fly below the radar in romantic relationships. These things can leave partners feeling confused, unimportant, frustrated, and abandoned.
Avoidant partner’s distancing strategies mostly have deep historical roots. Some avoidant partners might have grown up repeatedly feeling overwhelmed by sheer pressure from parents to be a certain way. Others might have gotten messages that it was not good to say no to a parent or authority figure.
Oftentimes as child avoidant partners’ emotions were discouraged or not reflected by a parent. This child may have felt he/she is a disappointment to a parent.
Counselor Shivani says after repeatedly attempting unsuccessfully to win a parent’s approval, some kids tend to hedge their bets or finally give up. As adults, they can unwittingly carry that template of disappointment to their relationships in a manner they may not fully realize.
Though avoidant partners might seem cool or unfeeling, studies have shown that people with an avoidant style are simply as emotionally anxious as those on the opposite end of the horizon who have an anxious attachment style.
Partners having an anxious style worry they will not meet their own needs and seek another person to do so. Avoidant partners have the opposite fear that no one else will ever meet their expectations so they conclude they can simply depend on themselves. Feeling on their own, they keep their distance in hopes of minimizing the inevitable disappointments they fear.
Despite their fears, individuals who take an avoidant stance in relationships, if properly motivated and with their partner’s help, can become more open to greater intimacy, communication besides closeness.
If you opt to be with a partner having an avoidant style, here are some approaches shared by India’s Top Marriage Counselor and Psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo which stresses on how you can increase communication and intimacy with an avoidant partner.
If you go after people who need space, they will possibly run even faster or turn and fight. When avoidant partners withdraw, allow them. It could be painful to let them go temporarily but chasing them is likely to make it take much longer before they come back around.
Ask Them What You Need Rather Than Saying What You Don’t
Complaints are usually, desires and longings in disguise. Few of you like it when someone complains about you. Most of you are more responsive when someone you care about voices what they desire.
Don’t Take it Personally
Avoidant partners look for distance out of self-protection. They are afraid of the loss of self. It is not about you. If an avoidant partner appears overly critical of you, you do not have to take it on. Remember, your partner is possibly self-critical too.
One quality mostly in short supply in relationships is listening. Be open to listening about your partner’s feelings and issues, whichever way they are expressed. Be kind and compassionate. Listen to understand, not to fix an issue.
Strengthen Positive Actions
When an avoidant partner does something you love or like, let them know. Let them know what you value in the relationship and what is working. This can balance an avoidant partner’s tendency to focus just on the negative only.
Understand that your partner’s speed may be slower than yours but that does not actually mean your partner does not want to be with you.
Be Reliable and Trustworthy
Avoidant partners generally, expect to be disappointed. That makes it all the more vital that you do what you say. Never make promises you cannot keep.
Accept that Both of You Have Unrealistic Fantasies
An avoidant partner might have a fantasy of a perfect partner who meets all of his/her needs. You could have a fantasy of a perfect relationship in which you never feel lonely or sad. None of those are realistic.
Develop Your Own Interests
Please understand that no partner can fulfill all your needs. Have your own friends and hobbies. When avoidant partners observe that you are self-sufficient and doing things without them, it possibly paradoxically draws them to you since they can have less fear that you will become overly dependent on them.
When things are going smooth and you feel your partner is coming closer, it could be tempting to open the floodgates and voice all your desires for closeness. You might worry that the open gateway could close at any time and seek to say all the things you have stored up while you can. However, this is mostly counterproductive. Rather, enjoy your partner’s sincere efforts to get close without overwhelming the moment. Doing so could make it feel safer for an avoidant partner to move closer and stay closer longer.
Be Mindful While Expressing Strong Emotions
You need to be capable to express your feelings and needs to your partner. But emotional expressions delivered intensely mostly overwhelm avoidant persons who can’t hear your message since they withdraw or shut down. You are more likely to be heard if you communicate your feelings sincerely, and openly but having a moderate tone.
Never Try to Change or Protect Your Partner
Trying to change a person’s basic attachment style is fruitless. It wastes all your time and it annoys the partner. However, it might be that in a secure relationship an avoidant partner may become more willing to risk intimacy and closeness over time.
Be Honest with Your Partner with Regards to Your Needs
If you need or desire more than your partner can give, the relationship is possibly not going to work. Be certain to communicate clearly, calmly, and using examples for your needs and desires. Your partner could then decide how to respond based on a proper knowledge of what you need rather than simply assuming or guessing.
Recognize Their Limitations
Avoidant partners might require more personal time and take more distance than you possibly like. That might never change. You need to accept that no partner is perfect.
During the current challenging time, it’s common to experience anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and relationship challenges at home. While you are under lockdown and maintaining social distancing norms to help the country to control COVID-19 spread, your very own counsellor Shivani is now just a call and Skype video call away from you.
However, in this age of coronavirus, we hope to offer our therapeutic help. Change is difficult for all of us and changing the way you meet with your therapist is no exception. But try it before you disregard this option. This is a challenging moment in time, and fears and anxieties are running high.
You may find, telepsychology isn’t a second-rate option. Instead, it’s an effective and efficient upgrade to a valuable service!
Feel free to call Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo at +91-8860875040 for telephonic or video support and to book an online counselling session to address any relationship issues, emotional and psychological challenges.
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