People who are ‘avoidant’ often have a habit of pulling away when things get too close or intense. It’s not that they don’t care or don’t have feelings.
In fact, they might feel things very deeply. But for some reason, they find it hard to show their emotions or let people get too close.
Now, if you’re on the receiving end, it can be really tough. You might feel rejected or think you’ve done something wrong.
But often, it’s not about you at all. It’s about them and the way they handle emotions and closeness.
The aim of writing this article is to help you understand this behavior.
We’ll explore why some people might act this way, and most importantly, we’ll give you some tips on what to do when someone you care about starts to push you away.
Here are seven helpful things to do with an avoidant that pushes you away.
1. Understand Their Behavior
Avoidant attachment isn’t about you; it’s about them and their past experiences. They might have faced situations that made them feel unsafe expressing their emotions or relying on others.
This can later manifest as a protective mechanism, pushing people away before they get too close.
Some people might be naturally inclined towards independence and self-reliance. This means they’re not pushing you away because they dislike you, but rather because it feels safer for them.
Accepting and acknowledging this can help you not to take their behavior personally.
Now, understanding doesn’t mean excusing. It’s just the first step in navigating the relationship. Having empathy can make the journey a bit smoother for both of you.
2. Talk About the Issue, But Gently
The key to addressing any interpersonal challenge is communication. If you’ve noticed that the avoidant person in your life is pushing you away, it might be helpful to approach them with genuine curiosity.
Choose a good time and place, ensuring that they feel safe and comfortable.
Remember, it’s not about what you say, but how you say it. Gentle words, an understanding tone, and open-ended questions can work wonders.
It’s important to be patient and not push them further away by demanding instant answers.
3. Respect Their Boundaries
It might sound counterintuitive, but if an avoidant person pushes you away, sometimes the best course of action is to respect that boundary.
It doesn’t mean abandoning them or cutting ties, but rather giving them the space they might need to process their emotions.
This can be vital in building trust with someone who struggles with attachment. After all, understanding is one thing, but showing it through actions is quite another.
As trust builds progressively, they might become more comfortable letting you in during their vulnerable moments.
4. Find Common Interests
One unconventional way to bond with someone displaying avoidant behavior is through shared activities.Why?
Common interests provide a way to bond without the pressure of going deep into emotional territories. Maybe you both love movies, hiking, or even cooking. Whatever it is, do it together!
When engaging in these activities, the goal isn’t to pry or initiate deep conversations. Instead, let moments of connection happen organically.
These shared experiences can pave the way for deeper trust and understanding between both of you.
And focusing on activities can sometimes lessen the pressure an avoidant person might feel in more direct conversational settings. It’s a relaxed environment, making it easier for them to open up.
5. Avoid Blame Games
It’s easy to point fingers, especially when emotions are running high. But blame can be counterproductive, especially with someone who already tends to retreat from confrontation.
Understand that both parties play a role in the dynamics of a relationship. Instead of focusing on who’s at fault, try to approach situations with an open heart, seeking solutions rather than culprits.
When you feel frustrated or misunderstood, take a step back. Reflect on your emotions and the root cause of the conflict.
Then approaching challenges with a problem-solving mindset, rather than an adversarial one, can lead to more constructive conversations.
[Also read: 10 Psychological Tricks to Make Someone Miss You]
6. You Could Also Educate Yourself on Attachment Styles
While you might have an idea about avoidant behavior, taking a deep dive into understanding attachment styles can be eye-opening.
By comprehending the nuances and origins of different attachment patterns, you can better navigate the dynamics of your relationship.
There are numerous resources, from books to online courses, that delve into the world of attachment theories.
Not only will this equip you with tools to handle challenges, but it can also lead to having more empathetic conversations with your avoidant partner or friend.
Embracing this knowledge doesn’t mean you’ll have all the answers, but it provides a foundation.
It allows you to approach situations with understanding and patience, fostering an environment where both of you feel validated and heard.
7. Step into Their Shoes
Imagine for a moment what life might be like from their perspective. What fears and anxieties might they have?
How would you feel if, for some reason, getting close to someone triggered a sense of danger or discomfort? Picturing their world can help create a bridge of understanding between you both.
In relationships, it’s not about agreeing all the time, but rather about understanding where the other person is coming from.
This sense of understanding can be comforting to an avoidant person, showing them that they’re seen and not judged. It’s a gentle nudge that lets them know they’re safe.
Do Avoidants push away people they like?
People with avoidant attachment styles often push away people they genuinely like or care about.
This behavior stems from a deep-rooted fear of becoming too close or dependent on someone else.
For many avoidants, past experiences might have taught them that relying on others can lead to pain or disappointment.
As a protective mechanism, they might distance themselves from those they are starting to develop strong feelings for, even if this distancing contradicts their true desires or emotions.
Why do Avoidants push away love?
Avoidants often associate intimacy with vulnerability. Their past experiences, perhaps from childhood or previous relationships, might have conditioned them to equate love with potential hurt or loss.
When they push loved ones away, they believe they’re protecting themselves from the risk of getting hurt again.
It’s not that they don’t desire love or connection; it’s just that their coping mechanism to deal with those fears might manifest in distancing themselves from potential sources of emotional pain.
How do you know an avoidant truly loves you?
Avoidant individuals might not always express love in overtly affectionate or traditional ways, but there are signs.
They may choose to show their love through actions rather than words, like doing thoughtful things for you or spending quality time together.
If an avoidant person starts to slowly let you into their world, shares personal stories, or begins to address and work on their attachment issues with you, these can be indicators of their deep feelings.
How do you make a relationship with an avoidant work?
Making a relationship work with someone who has an avoidant attachment style requires patience, understanding, and constant communication.
Respect their need for space and independence, while also expressing your own needs and boundaries.
Engaging in activities that create positive memories, seeking couples therapy, and educating oneself about attachment styles can also be beneficial.
Avoidants might need more time and encouragement to open up, they, too, desire connection and intimacy. A foundation of trust, patience, and mutual understanding can pave the way for a successful relationship.
- All photos from freepik.com