Are you emotionally unavailable? If not, have you ever been in relationship with someone who is? How would you even know? Well, in an attempt to help you gain more awareness around this topic, here are a list of some signs of emotional unavailability written by Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author.
10 Signs of Unavailable People
1. They are married or in a relationship with someone else.
2. They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the brake.
3. They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict.
4. They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually.
5. They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers.
6. They prefer long distant relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family.
7. They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods.
8. They are seductive with you but make empty promises — their behavior and words don’t match.
9. They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs.
10. They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw.
Let me start with saying that if you feel that you might fit the description of “unavailable,” please find some self compassion. Also too, if you have been on the other end of someone who appears to be or was emotionally unavailable, perhaps this is an opportunity to find some forgiveness for their behavior.
Realize that you, nor anyone else for that matter, is born with a closed off and numbed out heart. The reality is that when you find yourself closed off and emotionally unavailable, it’s because you’ve been hurt. Chances are that becoming “emotionally unavailable” is the result of protecting yourself from pain.
My intention is to guide you toward awareness around this topic. With awareness is where change and different results can follow. Here are some tips in order for you to break down the walls that are so commonly built when we are burned, disappointed or in pain.
Are your behaviors of shutting down and closing off serving you? Of course there not! Although, it’s important to understand that when your behavior of shutting down began, you were doing your best in the moment to protect yourself from hurt. Shutting down was your very human reaction and best attempt to cope with exposure to hurt and pain. Realizing that you have always been doing your best with the skills and knowledge that you have had at the time can help you understand why you developed a pattern of being “unavailable.” Once you have more awareness around why you operate the way you do, things can shift and change.
Find Self Compassion
I alluded to this earlier, but it’s so important to be loving and nice to yourself. “Walling up” and closing people off feels cold and lonely. Allowing your heart to feel compassion for your younger self who was hurt, is a step in the right direction toward healing. Opening up the space to practice self compassion is exercising a more comforting and loving way, which will help to melt down the walls you have so solidly built around expressing your emotions and being vulnerable. The relationship with your own self is the core space of where your beliefs, choices, actions and thoughts are born from. Learning to have a more respectful and caring relationship with yourself will improve everything in your life. When your connection with your inner self becomes more loving and positive; everything will change for the better. I've come to believe that the relationship you have with you is the most significant one of all.
If you’re operating from a distrusting place, your life is not as good as it can be. It takes a lot of energy to be distrusting of life and others. In order to live a happy and rich life, there is risk involved. You will have to risk getting hurt if you're going to live fully. Accepting this truth can help you gain a more realistic and positive relationship with the concept of trust. Also, when you're functioning from a place where you trust others, consequently, you tend to attract trust worthy people and relationships into your life. It's the law of attraction at play.
So many doors will begin to open up when you start chipping away at the wall that falsely protects your heart and emotions. Practicing awareness and compassion, along with understanding your current emotional space and learning to trust can lead to a whole new way of healthy functioning. You have everything to gain with becoming more available to others and the world.
* This image was taken by me this summer in Kona, Hawaii.