You can learn how to deal with someone who is emotionally unavailable by changing your expectations and becoming more detached. When someone is emotionally unavailable, you can spot them by looking for certain traits. Once you realize that they are emotionally unavailable, you can change the way you deal with them, instead of expecting them to change.
What Does Being Emotionally Unavailable Look Like?
When someone is emotionally unavailable, they tend to not be able to self-reflect. This means they will blame others instead of looking at themselves. Therefore, they can’t learn from their mistakes. They don’t grow psychologically, making them emotionally unavailable.
Blame and Denial
Instead, someone like this can turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with how they feel, making them even more emotionally unavailable. They will use denial to deal with problems rather than look inside themselves. Instead of working on themselves and discussing issues, they avoid.
They will blame others for their problems, believing that you should make them feel better. Or they will deny how serious their problems are. This causes others to have to adjust to their emotional limitations.
Not Being Willing to Repair Relationships
Limitations include not wanting to repair relationships. They think that everything would be so much better if only you would get past your feelings about it. Since they can’t face their mistakes, they want you to forgive them immediately. Before you’ve even discussed anything.
Not Making An Effort To Understand Others
Someone who is emotionally unavailable expects you to know and understand them. They want you to empathize with them, but they can’t give you the same thing in return. When you have your own needs, they aren’t that interested. You’re trying harder to understand them than they are trying to understand you.
They don’t try to understand your emotional experiences. So they accuse you of being too sensitive or emotional. It takes work and effort to understand and fulfill emotional needs. It is hard work that the emotionally unavailable person does not want to engage in. They may even dismiss you as ridiculous.
Being sensitive to others is an important quality. It promotes goodwill and creates good relationships.
You Feel Angry and Frustrated With Emotionally Unavailable People
If you find yourself feeling angry with them, their emotional unavailability is probably getting to you. Anger is a normal and understandable reaction to feeling dismissed and emotionally disregarded. Anger is a signal that you need to change an unhealthy emotional situation.
If someone continues to stop listening when they don’t like what is being said, they may be emotionally unavailable. When this happens, you can feel invisible, lonely, exasperated and upset. It is very difficult when someone rarely tries to improve the situation when there is an issue between you.
Focus On Physical Needs But Not Emotional Needs
They might focus on physical needs being met, like the need for food, shelter and clothing. Buying a nice house, going to enjoyable places and buying things is no substitute for emotional needs being met. When someone is oblivious to your emotional needs, there is a real lack of closeness and connection.
Sometimes people grow up in emotionally immature families where they were not taught how to deal with their emotions. They may have been punished for having feelings, so they learned to avoid them. This makes people emotionally unavailable adults who may need a lot of therapy in order to learn a different way. If they can even acknowledge their deficits, they would need to work hard over a period of time in order to change.
You might be an adult child of emotionally immature parents yourself. If so, what you learned from your parents can keep you stuck in unfulfilling relationship patterns. This might mean you need to discover and work through in therapy what you learned growing up that does not serve you now.
How To Deal With Someone Who Is Emotionally Unavailable
You might not be able to change an emotionally unavailable person, but you can learn to appropriately deal with them. You can start with having realistic expectations and learning to detach.
Realistic Expectations and Detachment From Someone Who is Emotionally Unavailable
You might not be able to fulfill your vision of how you want another person to be. You probably don’t have control over someone being emotionally available. So learning to be realistic about who they are by learning to detach will be the key to peace.
Trying to change someone can lead to anxiety, depression and a lot of stress. Stop getting caught up and instead take a step back, detach emotionally, and start to observe the other person. Stay calm and pretend you are a scientist studying the situation. In other words, get into a place where you can think through things, rather than getting emotional.
This will help you see what is going on and notice who the person is. By observing, you can start to be realistic about what you can expect from the person. Observation keeps you from reacting emotionally, feeling upset and helpless. Instead, just notice who they are and detach from them being any different.
When you are realistic, you can move to realizing you are not going to have a satisfying emotional exchange. Stop trying to get emotional understanding from this person. All that does is make you feel unbalanced yourself! Detach and let go.
Releasing the need for the other person to hear you or change will be freeing for you. At first, you might feel frustrated and sad that you aren’t going to get your needs met. But, as you become more realistic about who they are, you can stay calm, express your own thoughts, and detach from how they respond in return. You don’t have to take it personally.
Come up with an achievable goal in your interactions with this person. Stop worrying about the relationship, and just focus on a realistic goal. For example, your goal might be to set a deadline for a project or decide what movie to see.
If you are dealing with an emotionally unavailable person, you cannot talk about your feelings honestly. Trying to have emotionally mature communication just isn’t realistic. Being clear about this with yourself will save you a lot of pain and frustration.
Getting swept up in someone else’s distress does you no good. Better to detach and accept the situation. Let go and get your emotional needs met elsewhere. Don’t try to get water out of a stone.
You might be more emotionally intelligent than someone else. That can make you more emotionally available. You might want to ask yourself what it would be like to be in a more intimate relationship with someone who is emotionally available, like you are. What are you afraid of? Do you feel like you deserve someone more emotionally mature? These are important questions to explore in therapy. You can figure out what your blocks are to having better relationships.
You may have no choice about dealing with an emotionally unavailable person. They might be your boss, a co-worker, or a long time friend. You can learn new skills so you can detach and work on reducing the intensity of your frustration and hurt.
It will feel good to master dealing with an emotionally unavailable person. If you would like to discuss this more, please reach out to me by email email@example.com or phone 310-314-6933.