Are you emotionally unavailable?
We form attachments with our primary caregiver as infants and the nature of this attachment influences how we behave in all future relationships. If we had a happy, stable upbringing with consistent love and care, we tend to grow up into adults with stable attachments. If we received unpredictable care or were abused and/or neglected, we learn that the world is unsafe and that others can’t meet our needs and this is where the beginnings of emotional unavailability begins.
As children we have to learn ways to cope with unpredictable parents and we create defense mechanisms to protect ourselves. Children do this in many ways, one is by disconnecting emotionally or they overcompensate by becoming aggressive and unruly. This blog post focuses on emotional disconnection.
Here are signs that you are emotionally unavailable:
- You find it easy to switch off your emotions from certain people.
- You can act in selfish ways without feeling guilt.
- You struggle to understand and empathise with others when they are sad or emotional.
- You struggle to know what to say or how to help others when they are upset with you.
- You find it difficult to interpret other people’s moods
Becoming more emotionally available is possible – it is a skill that can be learned. Start by identifying emotions that you experience. When did you last feel happy or sad? When did you last have a good cry? Get used to dealing with emotions in others rather than running for cover. Emotions aren’t logical or rational and that can scare emotionally unavailable types. Learn to use emotion to give you power to understand the world around you.There is power in knowing and understanding. Being emotionally unavailable can cause major problems in relationships and can leave people lonely and isolated in the long run as they lose the ability to really feel connected with others.
Learn to embrace emotions, they are natural human responses to life. Plug back in to life instead of living ‘safely’. You won’t experience the highs and lows of life as much if you stay ‘unplugged’ (emotionally unavailable) but you will live a life that is bland with many regrets at the end of it.