Avoiders come from homes that value performance, responsibility, independence and self-reliance and discourage the expression of feelings or needs. These homes lack nurture, tenderness or personal discussions. They focus is on tasks, achievement, and responsibility. Kids respond to the anxiety of having little to no comfort and nurturing by learning to take care of themselves. They restrict their feelings and needs and become self-reliant and independent. As adults, avoiders dismiss emotions and neediness in themselves and others because that’s what they learned to do as kids. They don’t have memories of comfort growing up, so they lack empathy and don’t know how to emotionally connect. The spouses of avoiders have similar complaints. I don’t get any affection and my spouse doesn’t seem to really need much. I can’t get close.

The Avoider

The Avoider

From Parents

Little or no comfort, affection or nurturing. Parents value tasks, independence, and performance. Message to child: “You’re fine, hurry up and grow up.” No personal conversation below the surface. 

Avoider Adult Intimacy

“Don’t want, don’t need.” Didn’t receive enough bonding and connection to know what they are missing. Often confused. Rarely asks for help and is self-sufficient. When pushed for engagement, asks “What do you want from me?” Low levels of empathy for others.

Expectations

“I’ll take care of myself and wish others would do the same.” Doesn’t easily ask for help and needs little from others.

Goals

Independence, mastery, self-sufficiency. Shows love by doing tasks. With no childhood experiences of emotional awareness, they do not seek or need emotional connection.

Prominent Feeling

Feels anxious if others are emotional or needy. Feelings are restricted. Can get angry if pushed to connect or deal with uncomfortable emotions. Most all feelings are underdeveloped.

Triggers

Relational criticism from others. Feels inadequate when confronted with emotions, needs, or complaints. Neediness in others is viewed with disdain. Because they dismiss their own feelings and needs, it is hard to tolerate feelings and needs in others.

Response to Stress

Wants to flee and move away. Detaches, minimizes, and withdraws. Avoids eye contact.

The Avoider – Awareness and Reflection Skills

What is Self-Awareness?

The ability to internally reflect, understand and evaluate inner responses and outward behaviors. Can communicate this awareness to others.

Avoiders Self Awareness
No practice as a child. Never asked to talk about feelings. No opportunity for self- reflection, so feelings are minimized, restricted, and devalued. 

What is Others-Awareness?

The ability to reflect on, ask about and describe internal feelings, thoughts, and reactions of others. Able to put self in another’s shoes and see from their perspective.

Avoider’s Others-Awareness
Does not occur to Avoider to ask about internal feelings and thoughts of others. Assumes they are “fine” or will solve problems on their own.

Comfort Level in Dealing with Negative/ Painful Emotions

The ability to control reactivity when recognizing and responding to negative emotions in self and others.

How Avoider Deals with Negative Emotions
Unaware of, minimizes or avoids negative emotions of self and others. Self-reliant and expects others to be the same. No empathy.

For Your Love Style

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Still Have Some Questions?

Most people have similar questions about the results of their quiz. Here are some questions we are asked most often about love styles and quiz results.