Identifying Emotionally Unavailable People in Relationships

Identifying Emotionally Unavailable People in Relationships

“Most people in the psychology field believe that if we do not get a child to bond at a deep level with someone by age eight, we have lost them. We can never recover them and teach them empathy. Never.” ~Patti Henry, Author of The Emotionally Unavailable Man

Emotionally unavailable people in relationships can often be appealing to people – especially those of us who like to help “fix” people’s problems, those of us who enjoy solving a good mystery, and those of us who may have experienced an overly emotional person in a toxic relationship. In some cases, you can potentially take steps to connect with an emotionally unavailable person and actually create some positive change in both of your lives. But in the case of the emotional unavailability being a side effect of NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) or otherwise on the cluster B spectrum – or even with someone who just has strong narcissistic tendencies but who hasn’t been officially diagnosed with the personality disorder – you’re going to be fighting a losing battle if you try to create genuine connection.

What does it mean to be emotionally unavailable?

Someone who is emotionally unavailable refuses to let his or her guard down. People who have been hurt or rejected often in their past may take this position without realizing it. They may find it difficult to trust new people or anyone at all if there has been significant trauma in their lives. In many cases, these people can be helped with counseling, coaching or even simple discussions with their loved ones. Toxic people, such as narcissists, who are emotionally unavailable might also be helped through counseling or therapy, but usually refuse to get or accept help as they don’t see anything wrong with their behavior.

How does it feel to be in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable?

Whether the emotionally available person is your partner, your parent or your best friend, you might find yourself feeling very lonely and even rejected by this person. You might feel unloved, and you might feel like their repeated rejection of your attempts to connect are related to a big wall this person puts up around him or herself. You feel like this person isn’t there for you in the way that a normal parent, partner or best friend would be. It’s a one-sided kind of relationship.

If this person is a narcissist or other kind of toxic person, it gets even more complicated. This video playlist offers a powerful compilation of red flags to look for in toxic relationships. 

Can an emotionally unavailable person change or heal so they can become more emotionally available?

This depends on whether you’re dealing with a toxic narcissist or a “regular” person. In both cases, the behavior is most likely a subconscious way to self-protect themselves. They refuse to allow themselves to be vulnerable to you in order to reduce the chances that they might be hurt or rejected again – or to manage their own emotional response if it (inevitably, in their minds) happens to them again.

However, with narcissists, we need to consider the fact that they have impaired empathy, which could also appear to be emotional unavailability. And we must remember that while it’s theoretically possible that a narcissist could create true change in their lives, it’s also highly unlikely that they will. That’s because most narcissists are unable or unwilling to take any sort of responsibility for things that go wrong in their lives and their relationships – so they generally look to blame someone else (with deflection and projection) and see themselves as victims or at least innocent bystanders.

How do you deal with an emotionally unavailable person?

If you’re dealing with someone who is capable of change, it could just take some time and some talking to work the situation out. You could sit down and have a conversation with this person and ask thoughtful questions about how they feel and why. Do your best to make that person feel safe and comfortable with you and like they can trust you, and then show them this in your own actions and behavior.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist or another kind of toxic person, the game changes. In this case, it’s unlikely that the person will change at all, nor will they be willing to admit they have a problem, to begin with.

That means the first step to dealing with an emotionally unavailable person is to determine whether they are a toxic person, or not. Take this quiz to find out if you’re dealing with a toxic narcissist. 

Once you submit your answers, you’ll be given resources to help in your situation.

 

 

 

Save 35% On Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching with Lise Through Jan. 1, 2020

Save 35% On Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching with Lise Through Jan. 1, 2020

Special Holiday Rate for One-Hour Coaching Sessions With Lise Colucci

As the holidays approach, we want to make narcissistic abuse recovery support coaching as accessible as possible without breaking your budget. We know firsthand how tough the holidays can be for survivors of narcissistic abuse. That’s why we’ve decided to offer extremely discounted, personal one-on-one coaching starting today.

From now through January 1, 2020 coaching is available with Lise at 35% off the regular one hour session rate. Click here to book your appointment right now!

Learn more about Lise here, read her narcissistic abuse recovery survivor story here – and for free video coaching on YouTube, you can find Lise at Narcissistic Abuse Recovery by QueenBeeing.

 

 

Update: Your Love is My Drug (2nd Edition)

Update: Your Love is My Drug (2nd Edition)

**Second Edition, Updated 2019**Includes new chapters and information as well as an updated, more robust section on overcoming trauma bonding featuring Lise Colucci
Are you tired of feeling like you’re not good enough? Do you wish that someone in your life would just put your feelings first, for once? Or maybe just to consider you at all? Tired of being told you’re the crazy one as you deal with mind games at home or work? You might just be involved with a narcissist.

Narcissists are abusers – but they don’t usually beat their victims physically. No, narcissists are sneaky – they’re much more insidious in their form of abuse. When you think of someone in an abusive relationship, you think of someone who is getting beaten and battered on a regular basis, right? But while domestic violence is heartbreaking and unacceptable, there’s another form of abuse that might be even more dangerous. But even though you can’t always see physical evidence of abuse, the kind of overwhelming, all-consuming emotional abuse inflicted on the victims of narcissists is a form of aggression that should also be recognized.

The soul-crushing kind of abuse that is inflicted on the people who love a narcissist might not be visible to the naked eye, but it can leave devastating emotional scars that never go away. Most people have no idea how much the “sources” of narcissistic supply suffer in their relationships – and yet when these victims speak up, people often mistake them for whiners and dismiss their pain. This, of course, leaves them confused and blaming themselves for everything that is wrong in their lives.

This book offers an in-depth guide to surviving and thriving during and after life with a narcissist, in whatever degree necessary for your life. You’ll learn to recognize narcissism in those around you, plus how to identify and stop typical manipulation techniques, such as gaslighting, in their tracks. (Read More)

Get your copy free when you have Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime – or pay $2.99 and keep it forever. 

How to Talk to a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coach FREE

How to Talk to a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coach FREE

Get Free Video Coaching for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

Speak to one of our narcissistic abuse recovery coaches during a live-streaming video coaching session on YouTube.

Angie Atkinson and Lise Colucci each offer free online video coaching sessions through the QueenBeeing YouTube Channels. Subscribe here for Angie’s sessions and subscribe here for Lise’s sessions.

When are the free video coaching sessions?

Angie’s live sessions are on Tuesdays around 12:30 P.M. CST. Lise’s sessions are on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays later mornings or early afternoons.

How can I get a reminder for each session?

In addition to subscribing to each channel and hitting the “bell” notification, you can text us your number. This will allow us to text you a few minutes before each live session. To be notified 5 minutes before each coach goes live each time, you can text ANGIELIVE for Angie or LISELIVE for Lise to 33222. Want to sign up for both? No problem. Just send two texts as follows.

  1. Text to the number 33222. In the body of the text, write the following word, no spaces: ANGIELIVE
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This will only take a few seconds and it will allow us to let you know each time we go live. We charge nothing for this service and you may unsubscribe at any time.

Need more? If you’re looking for support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, QueenBeeing.com has you covered. Be sure to check out our services page for a full overview of our offerings. In addition to our one-on-one coaching options, we have both free and inexpensive options. These currently include the following.

Want more personal support? Check out our one-on-one coaching options, right here. 

How long does it take to recover from narcissistic abuse?

How long does it take to recover from narcissistic abuse?

Am I always going to be miserable? Will I ever feel normal again? When will the pain end? When can I expect to start feeling like myself again after the end of a toxic relationship? Will I ever stop missing my ex? Am I ever going to stop crying?

How long does it take to recover from narcissistic abuse?

This is a complicated question, and unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer here. It varies depending on the nature and duration of the relationship, as well as the depth of the abuse and whether or not you’re intentionally choosing to focus on healing yourself. In general, you could be looking at anywhere from a few weeks to a few years.

Personally, I’ve seen some people manage to recover completely in less than one year, while others find themselves still struggling decades later. It also depends, of course, on your definition of recovery. For example, some people might consider going no contact the final step in healing, while others choose to go on to evolve into a better version of themselves.

Stages of Grief in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

It’s important to recognize that you might also need to go through the grief process after getting out of a toxic relationship with a narcissist. I know it seems wrong – especially when you’ve dealt with narcissistic abuse. But even if you feel like you won’t need to do it, you might want to be aware of the stages of grief as they apply to narcissistic abuse recovery. Most people do not expect this, but nearly all survivors will go through it. This video offers you an explanation of what to expect in each grieving stage.

Helpful: How to Deal with Breaking Up When You’re Still in Love with the Narcissist

Complications of Trauma Bonding: Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse

There are so many complications when it comes to recovering from narcissistic abuse – family connections, shared children, business and legal issues that make no contact impossible, for example. But for most survivors of abuse, trauma bonding makes recovery feel really hard.

What is trauma bonding?

Similar to Stockholm Syndrome, this is a condition that causes abuse victims to develop a psychological dependence on the narcissist as a survival strategy during abuse. Also makes recovering from a toxic relationship significantly more difficult.

This video explains how abuse affects our brains and how trauma bonds are formed.

This video offers information about how you can work on healing the trauma bonds on your own.

Think you might be dealing with trauma bonding? Take this trauma bonding test and find out now. 

Steps to Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse

The process of healing and recovering from narcissistic abuse is slightly different for each person, and it must be customized to fit the needs of the individual. In most cases, it loosely fits in with my DUO Method of narcissistic abuse recovery and it looks like this:

  • Discovery Phase: Where you begin to recognize there’s a problem in your relationship and you start doing the research to figure out what it is. You find a video or an article that perfectly describes your situation, and before you know it, you’ve gone down the rabbit hole, reading, listening and watching everything you can find on narcissism and narcissistic abuse. This is where you’re beginning to wrap your head around the fact that you might be dealing with a toxic person.
  • Understanding Phase: You continue to gather information and you are starting to recognize narcissistic behaviors in someone in your life. You are nearly certain this is what you’re dealing with, and you’re studying everything you can in order to figure out how it correlates to your life. You are drawing parallels all over the place and you might be talking with a coach, therapist or fellow narcissistic abuse survivors in a support group, as well as to people in your own life. You get it, and you’re getting the idea that you’re going to have to create any changes yourself, if you’re ever going to be happy. You’re digging into your own past and your own psychology as well, making sense of it all and figuring out why this happened to you.
  • Overcoming Phase: You’ve left or have decided you’re leaving, or you’ve been discarded and have decided you’re not going back. You KNOW logically that you’re doing the right thing and that you deserve better. You’re working on getting there emotionally and you’re working on taking the next steps to embrace your power and make your life your own again, or maybe for the first time. You’re making connections between your childhood and your adult relationships and you’re beginning to see what you can do to change yourself for the better – and to be more aware of toxic people so you can avoid them in the future.
  • Evolution Phase: The narcissist is no longer a part of your daily life, and if you’re in contact at all, it’s only because you share a child or because you have some business you can’t avoid with them. You’re starting to really live now. You embrace your truth. You follow your passions without shame, and you’re now enforcing your boundaries like a pro. Your standards are high, right along with your self-esteem. You have learned to unconditionally love and accept yourself, and for the first time in a long time, you can honestly say you are truly happy and fulfilled in your life – or at least you’re getting there.

Signs You’re Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

So how do you know if you’re really “getting there” when it comes to healing and recovering from narcissistic abuse? What kinds of signs would you watch for – and how will it feel? This video offers you a comprehensive overview of how to tell if you’re recovering from narcissistic abuse.

What comes next is up to you. I personally needed to sort of redefine myself (once I’d figured out exactly what I believed and what I understood to be true without the influence of the toxic people in my life). I highly recommend that you focus on something that makes you feel passionate as often as possible, and I suggest that you learn how to let go of limiting beliefs that may be stopping you from reaching your personal best.

Need additional resources? Want to find out which stage of narcissistic abuse recovery best fits your current situation? Click here to take a quiz to learn which stage of recovery you’re in and to be directed to resources specifically for your particular stage. 

 

When Self-Help Tips Hurt: Stay Safe in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

When Self-Help Tips Hurt: Stay Safe in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

“There are as many forms of advice as there are colors of the rainbow. Remember that good advice can come from bad people and bad advice from good people. The important thing about advice is that it is simply that. Advice.” ~Al Franken

As a survivor of narcissistic abuse (who may also be an empath), it makes sense that you’re all about improving yourself and growing forward in all kinds of ways. Most likely, you listen to, watch and read the work of several different self-help experts and various other guru-types. And for the most part, you get advice that serves you well, right?

But be careful, my friend. Take the good bits and use what you can, and leave the rest behind. Because the truth is that not all self-help advice is great advice. All of those gurus are just human, and not all advice works for everyone. Just as doctors and lawyers are wrong from time to time, your favorite self-help guru may have spread some poor advice, too.

Plus, while there are certainly many well-meaning coaches and gurus out there, there are a few who are actually dangerous and even predatory. And for survivors of narcissistic abuse, some self-help tips can actually be kind of triggering or produce the opposite effect. Some of the most common self-help tips have been shown to be ineffective or even detrimental.

A few important things to remember:

  • If something doesn’t feel right to you, you don’t have to do it.
  • If you aren’t sure, ask your doctor, or an appropriate professional, whether the tips are safe to try.
  • If you are trying something new, try it for a while, and then evaluate how it is working for you before you continue.

Follow your intuition! How do you do that? You start by listening and paying attention to your SELF.

Your body and your intuition are constantly sending signals about what’s right and what’s not right in your environment. Going with your instinct, your gut reaction to a request is often the best response. When you’re asked to do something, before you answer, take a moment to check in with your body’s reaction.

Learn to read your body’s responses so you can make the right decision for you. Think about it. How does it feel when you’re asked to work on the weekend? When your kid wants a puppy for Christmas? I’m sure you know very well.

The same goes for self-help advice. When you hear it, listen to it, consider it and then pay close attention to your body and your thoughts. If your stomach clenches, your toes curl or you break out in a cold sweat, steering clear is probably the best response. You feel me?

Here’s a recent video I did with Dana Morningstar from Thrive After Abuse where we discuss some of the “bad life coaches” that we’ve encountered in the narcissistic abuse recovery field.

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