What is the benefit of being in a relationship with someone if you do not feel that someone is present when you experience both good and bad times? Your partner can be physically near but is emotionally far away.
One essential component of a healthy emotional relationship is called emotional availability, the ability to be emotionally present for someone. It involves empathy especially in tough or challenging moments while selflessly and unselfishly providing unconditional support, encouragement, and genuine care.
The same is true in the opposite, which is called emotional unavailability. A person who is emotionally unavailable does not respond emotionally, resulting in feelings of loneliness, confusion, abandonment, and even isolation even when the partner is physically present. It is not limited to intimate relationships; this extends to familial, parental relationships as well, with the spouse feeling like a single parent even when the partner is physically there.
Emotionally unavailable people often are cold, distant, or aloof, too focused on their own goals, and never considering that their drive to achieve them creates feelings of loss, lack of self-esteem, and frustration.
Of course, there are various reasons why some people are emotionally unavailable. They may be self-critical, perfectionists, or even have emotional trauma or relationship issues. In some cases, that may be a result of a traumatic childhood or being raised by either emotionally abusive families or families that discourage the open display of emotions.
If you know someone who is unable to respond emotionally or incapable of providing emotional support or empathy, then that person is emotionally unavailable, with telltale signs to prove it. Here are some of the signs:
Those who could focus only on the factual aspects of the analysis of a certain issue but never talk about how they feel or express their feelings openly are not emotionally available.
Avoid affection and emotional situations
People who feel uncomfortable showing their emotions do their best to avoid any type of emotional situation. They may be reluctant to be present for goodbyes, might cause conflict to intensify or exacerbate a potentially emotional discussion, or might not respond to any of your attempts to display love, affection, recognition, or appreciation.
Limit friends and interactions
People who are emotionally unavailable may relate well with work colleagues in work settings but are either unwilling or reluctant to face social situations where emotions are likely to erupt and interpersonal relationships are the subject of conversations.
Dismiss or discourage emotional states
Emotionally unavailable people tend to dismiss or discourage your emotional states and may also make fun of your emotional states. Of course, this is fairly common. As a common mechanism in controlling the discussion, they even make a joke or tell you not to feel emotional about a topic.
Support from loved ones helps a person not just during stressful times but also provides one with an opportunity to grow, explore, achieve goals, and cultivate new talents. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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