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  • Writer's pictureRachel Brandwene, LCSW

Communicating Your Needs When You Feel Like Pulling Away

Updated: Mar 10

Communication is key in any relationship, but it can hit some bumps when partners have different attachment and communication styles. Take, for example, if you have an avoidant attachment style while your partner has a different style—it can make communication feel like walking through a maze blindfolded.

Understanding how your attachment style shapes your communication style is crucial. For instance, if you tend to lean towards avoidance, you might clam up or back away during tough talks, while your partner might crave more closeness and reassurance. So, it's essential to acknowledge these differences and find a middle ground that works for both of you.

Listening actively is a big part of the puzzle. Give your partner your full attention, let them speak their mind without jumping in, and try to see things from their perspective. And when it's your turn to talk, speak from the heart using "I" statements instead of pointing fingers.

Setting boundaries and laying out expectations is another important piece of the puzzle. Be upfront about what you need and want from your partner, and be open to finding common ground through compromise.

Now, let's talk action. Here are some tips to beef up your communication game:

  1. Listen up: Pay attention to what your partner says, without interrupting or judging. Take in their perspective.

  2. Use "I" statements: When you talk about your feelings or needs, make it about you, not them.

  3. Keep it real: Share your thoughts and emotions honestly, but be mindful of your partner's feelings too.

  4. No ghosting: If things get too intense, it's okay to hit pause and come back later. Just be sure to let your partner know.

  5. Reflect on yourself: Take time to understand your attachment style and how it impacts your communication. Therapy or self-help resources can be a big help here.

Breaking free from avoidance isn't easy, but it's doable. By being aware of your patterns, digging into your fears, embracing vulnerability, taking small steps towards closeness, and seeking support when needed, you can rewrite the script and create healthier, happier relationships.

It's a journey, not a sprint. But with some effort and understanding, you and your partner can build a solid foundation for a fulfilling connection. So, keep those lines of communication open, set those boundaries, and don't be afraid to meet each other halfway.

If you're looking to:

  • Improve your communication skills in your personal relationships

  • Learn more about the connection between the nervous system and communication patterns

  • Explore how your attachment style plays a role in your relationships

  • Seeking more positive and fulfilling relationships

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During this course you will learn:

  • How the nervous system affects communication patterns in relationships so that you can calmly manage conflict

  • Tools for recognizing triggers so that you can express your needs and feel understood

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  • Techniques to help you address the queues that your body is sending you so that you can trust your instincts and feel settled in the uncertainty of the outcome

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