#191- Journey of Attachment: Avoidants Get a Bad Rap
Avoidants tend to be labeled as the bad guy, and because we don’t know we are part of the dynamic, we accuse our partner of being the avoidant one. But when we don’t look at our own avoidant patterns, we stay stuck. Avoidants (whether it is you or someone else) are not doing what they do on purpose. It is on autopilot—the need for distance, fear of engulfment, fear of intimacy and so on. Most of us are not necessarily out to screw someone over. It is byproduct of what goes on inside. Perhaps some avoidants are proud of their distancing techniques, and if they were to stop for a moment and allow themselves to get close, it might seem like they are sticking their hand in the fire.
Insecure attachment issues, whether anxious, avoidant or a combo of both, can leave all parties feeling they want one thing and lack the wherewithal to feel emotionally confident or deserving. Did you ever have a crush when you were young and didn’t know why you couldn’t have him/her? You wanted love (we all do!), but you didn’t know what that meant so you mistook those feelings of attachment for love. They were related to an old pattern, not based in reality.
I used to believe the one who cared less in a relationship had the control. Now that sounds horrible. I want an equal partnership. But my desire for happiness clashes with my old patterns which drive me to avoid by shutting down or putting up emotional walls. When it happens (and yes, it still does), I have to catch it and feel those awful, uncomfortable feelings that make me want to pull away. It’s about finding the thing you’re avoiding and doing it. When walls go up and you want to run away, connect! Please note it is not about getting the other person to do anything; it is a challenge to bring more awareness to all that holds you back from a happy, healthy relationship. You’ll know it’s the right thing to do because it feels uncomfortable. If you want to break these patterns, you have to look at your avoidant tendencies. We all have them to varying degrees, so if you keep labeling others as the avoidant, thinking THEY are the big, bad wolf, you give your power away. When you keep avoiding, things stay the same.
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