March 17, 2023

Natur family

Health Care

Emotionally Unavailable: Signs of Emotional Unavailability

Emotionally Unavailable

Emotionally Unavailable: Signs of Emotional Unavailability. Emotionally unavailable people can have difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships with others, though therapy and trust can help increase emotional availability. Learn how to identify emotional unavailability.

What Does Emotionally Unavailable Mean?

An emotionally unavailable person has difficulty building and maintaining emotional connections with other people, primarily romantic partners. Emotional intimacy is vital to the success of a long-term relationship; emotional unavailability makes it challenging to practice empathy and show emotional vulnerability. An emotionally unavailable person can make others feel unloved, unappreciated, and insecure.

4 Signs of Emotionally Unavailable People

Consider the following warning signs of an emotionally unavailable partner:

  1. Avoidance of therapy: An emotionally unavailable person might resist meeting with a clinical psychologist or engaging in therapy. Emotionally unavailable people are often not emotionally mature or vulnerable enough to enter a committed relationship.
  2. Difficulty expressing emotions: Having difficulty showing feelings can lead to a more profound fear of intimacy. If your partner does not show feelings during arguments or moments of joy—or even while watching a moving TV show or discussing emotional topics—they might be emotionally unavailable.
  3. Fear of commitment: If a partner only wants to keep things casual, they might fear getting closer to someone, which would necessitate more intimate conversations, physicality, and a lifestyle change.
  4. Gaslighting: If a partner is gaslighting the other, they might try to control every situation to avoid exposing their own feelings.

4 Causes of Emotional Unavailability

There are several reasons someone might be emotionally unavailable. Consider the following emotional experiences and conditions that can lead to emotional unavailability:

  1. Abandonment: A difficult upbringing might lead a person to have an avoidant attachment style. Negative emotional experiences, particularly in childhood, can affect a person’s reliance on others.
  2. Narcissism: A person might be a narcissist, in which case they only care about themselves and disregard other people’s feelings or needs.
  3. Relationship history: A person might have had an unfortunate past relationship history that has left them with insecurities about commitment.
  4. Self-esteem: An emotionally unavailable person might have low self-esteem in their personal, romantic, or professional life, making it hard for them to be themselves.

How to Talk to Your Partner About Emotional Unavailability

Instead of asking your partner to be more emotionally available, tell them how their emotional unavailability affects you. In sharing your own experience and how a lack of communication about emotions impacts your life, your partner might feel free to open up. Sometimes people do not respond to requests for emotional availability but will feel comfortable showing openness when others show it to them first.

If emotional unavailability is something you have dealt with yourself, you can also discuss your experience. If you find the relationship is not meeting your emotional needs, however, communicate you need to be with someone who can show vulnerability.

How to Overcome Emotional Unavailability

Whether you or your partner are emotionally unavailable can be challenging for a relationship. Consider the following methods to overcome emotional unavailability:

  • Evaluate your relationship. Emotional availability often hinges on trust, so evaluate whether you trust the person you are with and ask why or why not. If you trust them, you should try sharing your feelings more openly in increasing amounts over time.
  • Talk to someone. Open up to a therapist, loved one, or partner and see how it feels. A therapy session can give you the tools to engage more intentionally with others on a deeper level.
  • Write about your feelings. You can also be more open with yourself. Try journaling at least once a week, noting what happened in your life and how it made you feel. Writing this down can be a gateway to sharing your feelings more candidly with others in a healthy way.