[Avoidant Attachment] How Can The Avoidant Partner Communicate More Effectively?
If you struggle with avoidance, and can’t seem to get the words to come out right, or you have a partner that struggles with avoidance and tends to disappear whenever you want to talk about the relationship, this video is for you.
We are going to address the question: How Can a Rolling Stone Communicate Effectively?
When most people say they struggle with communication, it is usually that they struggle to communicate what it is that they actually mean. Or they struggle to understand what their partner actually means.
And typically this results because we are often communicating from a defensive position, or we are communicating with words that mean one thing to us, but something else to our partners.
Either way, we don't want to appear too vulnerable, incompetant or incapable. And if we struggle to understand and express feelings accurately, talking about the relationship and how you feel about it is going to feel like an invitation to go stomping around a minefield!
Most of the miscommunications and resentments that occur in relationships stem from a way of relating to the world and everyone in it, based on the essential fears of being incompetent or unworthy.
For example, a Sally might say, “You don’t care about me,” and John might respond “Of course I care about you. That’s my job. Why do you think I’m trying to fix this problem?”
John reasons that because his preoccupied with solving a problem that will in some way benefit Sally, Sally should know he cares. However, Sally perceives his response as a way to avoid giving her direct attention and caring.
Her comment makes him feel incompetent, and she doesn’t trust him to meet her needs.
Deep structure communications are the “essence” of what someone is trying to communicate. Surface structure communications would be a literal interpretation of the words.
It’s essentially expressing feelings versus expressing information.
For example, Sally says “I feel like you never listen to me.” First of all, it is not really a feeling statement, but a criticism. Most likely, she does not expect the word ‘never’ to be taken literally, what she is trying to express is the frustration she feels in the moment, and the fear that John is losing interest in her.
So, a deep structure way of saying this would be,
“I feel frustrated and hurt, and I am worried you are losing interest in me.”
Now, this is not bad, but it could be improved. I recommend pre framing your statement, and including a repair option with your deep structure communications, so your partner has somewhere to go. So, we might add to this statement,
“I don’t want to make assumptions, but I love you so much, and I am feeling frustrated and hurt, because I am worried you are losing interest in me. I am also wondering how you are feeling, and if together we might be able to sort this out.”
To hear other common surface structure communications and their deeper meanings, you’ll definitely want to check out this 10-minute video!
Checkout your options on my website, here. https://www.brianamacwilliam.com/self-directed-online-courses
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In love and abundance,
Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT
Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist
Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner