Open: A Group Program For Avoidants (and all other insecurely attached)
Calling all Avoidants, Anxious Avoidants and Anxious peeps!
Ready for some serious ass kicking to change how you feel and quite possibly change your life too? I have a 10-week group program (picture BOOT CAMP style) which is the closest thing to a miracle, in getting through this shit!
It is more intense than anything else I offer. (You have to work super hard for the miracle–but what you put in, you get out) Check out the below testimonials from people who have participated, then I’ll get into the nitty gritty of it all.
I am talking Insecure Attachment and being an avoidant, anxious avoidant or disorganized fearful (same basically as anxious avoidant). If you do not know what these labels are, then let me explain.
How does insecure attachment (mainly avoidant/anxious and avoidant) impact kids?
When parents are largely dysfunctional, distant, or intrusive, they cause their children considerable distress. Children who become avoidant of their emotions adapt to this rejecting environment by building defensive attachment strategies in an attempt to feel safe, to modulate or tone down intense emotional states, and to relieve frustration and pain.
As children, they usually became self-contained little adults, or in my case, my mom called me her “little soldier.” The main strategy to protect themselves as kids was to never do something so dangerous as to show outwardly a desire for closeness, warmth, affection, or love. Crying in movie theaters or in front of others was also too scary, it may have attracted the wrong attention. These children may have wanted to remain physically close to the parent, but emotionally detached. Even as very young children these avoidants “intuitively picked up the feeling their parents have no intention of getting to really know them, which left them with a deep sense of emptiness.”
Relationships in adulthood…
These feelings and strategies have carried them forward to adulthood and the reality of getting emotionally close to others can have them break out in a cold sweat–whether they want to run or cling on and not let go. The emptiness is pervasive for these adults who find a multitude of strategies to try and fill it. The idea of getting close to others emotionally would be inside a fantasy–they work toward “fantastical results.” Fantasy is the desired outcome because no one gets hurt or left or anything which signifies disappointment. Designing a story with a happy ending on fluffy white clouds to keep disappointment in the drawer.
However, there are many of you who end-up single your entire life because the fear of an unhappy ending is too great! And still, others stick to unfulfilling relationships, always questioning if you should stay or go.
Is this you?
Not all characteristics may apply to you, but you will possess many of these traits, not just one or two.
- Use your intellect rather than your heart (emotional repression).
- Core Belief: I am alone.
- Unable to deal with the disappointment of rejection.
- The lone wolf.
- Very independent/self-sufficient.
- May have an overly positive view of yourself and a negative attitude toward other people (hides a fragile self: low self-esteem and possibly hatred inside).
- Single and always scratching your head as to why.
- Usually, avoid relationships but meets another avoidant and becomes anxiously attached.
- Finds relief in the distance, as much as you say you want the relationship, deep down inside you need the distance.
- Married and has a lover or is the lover of a married person.
- Cannot allow someone to value you more than you value yourself, so you stay single forever or believe something is wrong with others who value you more.
- Married to someone on sexual chemistry and no emotional intimacy.
- Married living a separate life than your spouse, emotionally (possibly physically).
- Craves alone time. May feel they recharge by escaping to your home.
- Feels misunderstood.
- Always distracted: either ultra busy or nothing at all time making you anxious
- Anxious and depressed and may think this is a normal feeling
- Have numbing out behaviors.
- Big emotional barriers–not emotionally available
- Highly intelligent.
- Deeply lonely, but may not look it because you are busy or seem socially adept.
- Feels disconnected almost all the time, unless in a creative pursuit.
- May have a lot of superficial interests and/or friends.
- Hard time being in a group.
- Can entertain oneself for hours–no need for other people.
- Has many yo-yo relationships, come close, go away.
- Deep-seated lack of value, you are a high achiever.
- Overdoes: overperforms, perfectionist, people pleaser, etc something shows the lack inside and need for validation.
- Fixing others while “seeming” to remain problem-free to others (most of the time, unless the shit really hits the fan).
- Fear of getting too close because you feel no good, worthless, etc.
- Control freaks.
- Scarcity-driven, even though you may have money/success.
- Fear motivates you rather than love, passion or ease.
- Can be introverted or extroverted, but usually a combination of both.
- You hate drama, but find yourself in it (not just romantically).
- Avoid conversations that could be either confrontational, cause pain or criticism of the avoidant. Cannot handle it. It includes communicating through email and text as a way to avoid.
- Avoids all emotions your own and others. Makes you uncomfortable.
- Always in the pursuit of things (as in no balance in your life)
- Dramatic tension to romantic relationships, as healthy ones seem boring.
- Lives in the fantasy: it’s about finding that perfect person and it will all change.
- Any kind of “holic,” or chooses people who are “holics.”
What do these insecurely attached folks do (meaning YOU) to keep themselves stuck?
Avoidants avoid. It’s safe.
Fear makes avoidants avoid.
Emotions make avoidants fearful and they avoid.
Avoiding vulnerability means they will not get hurt. (clearly not true)
It means anything which reeks of touching your own emotions, is something to be avoided, like a hot stove. Some avoidants believe they are emotionally expressive, but what they actually do is verbalize their victimization. They may blame, be angry (tough as Teflon) and feel no one understands them. They may feel unheard or have given up being seen or heard.
Unless of course, they strive to receive validation on auto-pilot. Needing to be known as someone good or bad, their patterns keep them stuck in this position. Most avoidants cannot feel the validation when they receive it. Some think it means to try harder or get upset with the source they are trying to impress. They may work tirelessly, so others have sympathy or somehow elevate them to sainthood. (Though none would ever admit to it)
Being in your head seems safe!
Avoidants almost always strive to intellectually resolve their emotional issues. Whether it is through books, learning tools or burying themselves in work or intellectual pursuit. The way to survive (not thrive) as an avoidant are to mentally strategize emotions, to control reactions to others, to control “if or when” they fall in love, to control how they are seen/perceived, to control everything that could possibly trigger the pain inside of them.
This does not allow for any forward movement, although avoidants can look like they enjoy some change, because they may take physical or financial risks. They may do things others only dream of, but these things have no way of making the avoidant more emotionally mature. Avoidants emotionally stunted out as small children, when they intuitively realized their emotional needs weren’t getting met. They turned toward their intellect to make sure they survived. Staying emotionally immature is something most avoidants have on auto-pilot. They cannot see how this also affects their level of emotional intelligence, because the fear they have of their and others’ emotions is so big. It is difficult for someone who may see themselves as very intelligent–they not only intellectualize their emotions but others as well.
Fears most avoidants have:
- Fear there is no real answer to their pain
- Fear they have no value–insignificant
- Afraid of being found out
- Don’t want to appear weak or needy (yet may be victim/martyrs)
- Do not want to be abandoned, they like to leave first or be in control of the situation
- Fear of being engulfed by someone else’s emotions
- Fear of their own negative emotions
- Fear of choosing wrong
- Fear of losing themselves—being swallowed up
- Being alone the rest of their lives
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of failing
- Fear they are deeply unlovable
- Fear they can never let go of an attachment
- Not knowing who they would be without these patterns running their lives.
The reason for this program for the fearful avoidant and anxious avoidant.
Almost every avoidant I have ever known including myself has an image issue. Many of us are so used to looking like we have our shit together and helping others who appear to be struggling, that the last thing an avoidant may want to do is expose him or herself. Expose themselves to scrutiny or doing anything perceived as a “wrong.” Avoidants like to keep tight control over their image. Avoidants are not fans of criticism, as it brings up deep feelings of shame and guilt. Many may have the martyr complex in believing they work tirelessly for everyone and yet, also believe on the other hand they deserve to be where they are, they are broken and can’t be fixed, etc. They may feel they just need to work harder.
Many avoidants do NOT join group programs, though some do, depending on the content (as long as it is not going to require them to be vulnerable). Many tend to be lurkers, but not all. Most who are in anxious-avoidant phase will tend to speak to their situations. When it comes to the level of depth in this program, most avoidants who are not ready to be vulnerable, happier and healthier will run for the hills.
This group format is to expedite the work I usually do with clients one on one.
In my own journey, there was no way in hell I would ever admit to having an issue, let alone one where others might see the emptiness inside of me. They may see I wasn’t perfect or they might judge me. This keeps avoidants hiding out. Hiding changes nothing. The more I looked at how I attract so many avoidants the more I looked into what would really change them? The anxiously attached peeps are more open to people seeing their struggle (sometimes), the avoidant is not. And that is where some of the change happens. It happens by being accountable to a group of peers, to coming out of the dark into the light, to doing what is extremely uncomfortable to create change and to finally start to feel more normal in the process. The group situation is what will expedite the emotional work to do. Just sharing your “stuff” in front of these people (it’s a requirement) will be difficult, because there will not be the ability to tell stories to others in which you emotionally distant yourself, nope! I will be there making you dig deeper and feel the stories you tell, so they are real and not intellectualized versions of memories.
The role-playing calls will provide a context of real-life scenarios (since they will be scenarios of the participants). It is amazing how when either participating or observing the dynamic which happens with avoidants that epiphanies can happen quickly.
I attract over-doers of all types, and I find the people best suited for the program are sick and fucking tired of being lonely (in or out of a relationship), are sick of feeling misunderstood, not aligned with themselves and the world. Basically, YOU ARE SICK OF BEING IN THE PAIN OF YOUR SITUATION.
You may even be in an occupation which looks good but feels crappy. Even though you can talk yourself in and out of getting help (usually in the privacy of a therapist’s office), you also have a “do it yourself” attitude. You can feel you need help one minute and the next the belief kicks in that you can figure it out alone.
Remember over-doers put it all on their back and continue to intellectualize through their lives. It happens because fear kicks in from their negative belief because change is the last thing their belief system wants. The unknown is scary and unsafe, so to take a leap off the deep end emotionally is what many of these daredevils cannot do. It is easy to distract or hold off on this change, it is easier to buy another book or a beer or skydive. It is easier to go shopping or get sucked into others’ problems or be the workaholic. Avoidance is a behavior these people have perfected over the years. No one may be the wiser, just the avoidant whose low-level anxiety or feeling like things aren’t quite right, is what they are used to and so they may stay there the rest of their lives.
What’s included in the 10-Week Program:
- Six (6) one-hour group coaching calls on Zoom with 2-3 hot-seats* per call
- Four (4) moderated role-playing calls on Zoom
- Weekly assignments that require writing, action or both
- Facebook group for accountability, sharing discoveries and questions with mandatory postings three times per week
- Marco Polo access to the group ongoing video chat
- Weekly non-moderated calls with your pod (2 groups inside of larger group)
- Group interaction to posted questions on FB (ongoing access to the group after the program ends for 12 mos.)
- Discount on ongoing Inner Circle Mastermind Group after the group is complete.
The next group starts June 17, 2019. Six people maximum. This may be the last time it is offered this year.
Excuses to not join the group
- This is NOT me—others are the issue (I like being a victim)
- I’d rather be alone, that way things are under my control
- I like repeating the same patterns over and over
- I will find new strategies, so I do not have to feel any pain
- Too expensive
- Too uncomfortable
- Would rather take things into my own hands–I’m pretty self-aware.
- Too structured—no escape!
- There must be another way for me to have successful emotional relationships
- I can find peace, love, and happiness on my own–I always figure it out.
- Totally NOT a group person
- The other people will be losers–they are different than me
- Fear of being seen for who I am—again being found out
- Not wanting to show up–hide out more and perpetuate the same ALONE story
- It’s not long enough or its too long
- I CAN’T DO IT–I believe that I will fail
Seriously, avoidants just avoid. Listen to the story in your head right now. What is it saying? I guarantee unless you get that no one is coming along to grant you peace, love and happiness–you have an excuse brewing. A million excuses to stay stuck, perhaps this is why there are not many avoidant programs out there?
The benefit to not joining
Your subconscious beliefs are alive and well, you can stay stuck in your old patterns of control. You can make more excuses and tell more stories, continue to build resentment and distance yourself from people. You can keep thinking–intellectualize it all, while believing you’re making progress, then a crisis hits and you’re right back to square one.
Ya know, Scrooge was an avoidant (a rather unhappy and lonely one), and so were all the “old maids” in fairy tales–you know the unhappy old witches, queens, lady who lived in a shoe and so on. (Is it any wonder we struggle with getting close to others)
I know from my own experience, the path will not change and you will meet more avoidants to attach to, or anxious people to avoid committing to or get into a breadcrumb situation with them. It can keep you self-righteous. You’ll remain the anomaly, you’ll feel different than others who “appear” to have it all. You’ll still have others to blame and won’t have to take responsibility for yourself. Most of it will remain subconscious, rather than conscious. Mainly though, it can keep you feeling the pain you have been holding onto. Whether it is something you have recently felt is unbearable or you know it is a heaviness that has been there your entire life—it will remain.
Main outcome for the group
- Improvement of satisfaction in all relationships.
- Become vulnerable and emotionally present
- Be connected to yourself, which makes you relax, emotionally present and abundant
- Ability to ask for what you want from an authentic place
- A release of many anger issues
- Find no social situations to be really uncomfortable.
- If single, can now date–ready to be in a relationship
- In a relationship, will know if you want to stay or go
- Feel lighter, happier more emotional freedom.
- Ability to get emotionally close to others without fear of engulfment.
- Express love
- Will stop hiding out
- Loneliness will not rule your world
- More successful in all parts of their lives.
- Feels connected and happy
- Less or no anxiety
- Outgrow victim mentality and be responsible for all your words/actions
- Out of the pain you are now in
- More able to receive love
- Less attachment
- Emotionally available
- Makes choices which actually feel good
- More energy
- Being assertive from a place of self-truth
- Feel more confident in exploring emotional intimacy
- More able to handle secure attachment.
- Will expand the individual’s emotional intelligence through the ability to emotionally regulate their own emotions (see below for more on EQ)
- Be more empathic (rather than a fixer)
- Self-compassionate and caring.
- Control issues will resolve to varying degrees.
- Ability to come from more of an internal locus of control rather than being controlled by the external.
- Anxiety is no longer the driver
- Not fixating on problems.
Emotional Intelligence [EQ]
“Emotional Intelligence includes the ability to engage in sophisticated information processing about one’s own and others’ emotions and the ability to use this information as a guide to thinking and behavior. That is, individuals high in emotional intelligence pay attention to, use, understand, and manage emotions, and these skills serve adaptive functions that potentially beneﬁt themselves and others”. [Salovey, Mayer and Caruso]
This program will offer improvement in all 4 areas of EQ:
- The ability to perceive emotions in oneself and others accurately.
- The ability to use emotions to facilitate thinking.
- The ability to understand emotions, emotional language, and the signals conveyed by emotions.
- The ability to manage emotions so as to attain specific goals.
$1,997 or 3 payments of $797 (every 20 days)
I do not offer refunds. This is an investment in changing your life and it requires a commitment. If you’re in, you’re in.
Add on two 20-minute one-on-one laser coaching sessions to help push through obstacles for $397
Due to the intense nature of this group and the work required, I have a screening process to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
1. Fill out this form
2. Once submitted, you will receive an email (within 1-2 business days) to set up a Discovery Session, which is a 15 minute call where I’ll ask you some questions to determine your readiness. If I don’t think it’s right for you at this time, I’ll let you know and suggest other options.
If you’re an Avoidant who is tired of sitting in the passenger seat, this group will kick your ass and push you out of your comfort zone… which of course is where change happens! You need to be willing, though, so if this feels like too big of a leap, check out my 30-Day Emotional Cleanse for Healthier Relationships which is an excellent primer for the deeper work of the group.
If you’re on the fence (fear is probably listing off a bunch of excuses!), fill out the form and schedule the Discovery Session. You’ll likely have more clarity after we talk.
* A hotseat is where I coach someone from the group for the benefit of everyone, based on a particular issue.