So, what’s emotional unavailability, anyway?
Emotional unavailability, in its simplest form, is emotional detachment. It’s the term we use to describe those who struggle to connect with others on an emotional level. Sadly, it’s a trait that’s far too common among adults.
But, are you emotionally unavailable?
Emotional unavailability can wear many masks and take different shapes, but at its core, it’s about closing off and resisting the building of deep emotional bonds.
Let’s ponder some questions that might shed light on your own emotional availability:
- Do you tend to dodge conversations that require you to open up about your feelings?
- Have you ever concealed your true feelings about a situation because explaining them to your partner seems daunting?
- Are you known to steer clear of talks that might define a relationship or hint at exclusivity?
- Do you find yourself drawn to individuals who are seemingly distant or emotionally unavailable themselves?
- Have you, at times, opted for the “ghosting” route rather than having the tough conversations about how someone’s actions or words affected you?
- Do you frequently dread making plans with a significant other and sometimes back out at the last minute?
- Does it feel like trusting others is an uphill battle?
- Are you often overly critical of your partner’s words and actions?
If you’re nodding ‘yes’ to most of these questions, well, here’s the tough truth: You might be grappling with emotional unavailability.
But is this a bad thing? YES! It is! You’re not a bad person, but the consequences of emotional unavailability can inflict pain on others and leave you in a stagnant state without personal growth. Emotional unavailability often erects barriers to forming deep, lasting relationships and can impede both the initiation and stability of relationships.
What can you do about it?
Step one is uncovering the origins of your emotional unavailability, which can vary greatly from person to person. It might be rooted in childhood trauma, adult traumatic experiences, past toxic relationships, or simply a choice to keep your emotions under wraps.
Next, practice the art of opening up. It might not come naturally at first, but start by understanding yourself and your feelings. Consider keeping a journal or recording voice notes if journaling isn’t your thing. Take your time with this until you feel ready to involve someone close.
Begin sharing your emotions and feelings with people in your life, like family members or significant others. If this remains a daunting task, consider professional guidance to address emotional unavailability.
Your emotional presence is a cornerstone in relationships; it draws all parties closer, fosters understanding, and fortifies bonds. It’s equally vital in personal growth. Regardless of the challenges, you can opt for emotional availability and commit to the journey.
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