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  • Writer's pictureRachel Brandwene, LCSW

Communicating Your Needs When You Feel Like Pulling Away

Updated: May 6

Communication is the foundation of any healthy and successful relationship, but it can be challenging when partners have different attachment and communication styles. When you have an avoidant attachment style, and your partner has a different attachment style, it can be especially challenging to communicate effectively and meet each other's needs.

It's important to understand how your attachment style may influence your communication style. As someone with an avoidant attachment style, you may have a tendency to withdraw or shut down during challenging conversations, while your partner may crave closeness and reassurance. Therefore, it's essential to be aware of these differences in communication styles and work together to find a balance that works for both of you.

Active listening is a crucial component of effective communication. It's important to give your partner your full attention and listen to what they have to say without judgment. Make sure to be honest about your feelings and needs, while also respecting your partner's needs and boundaries.

Setting clear boundaries and expectations is also crucial for effective communication. It's important to communicate your needs and desires with your partner, taking the time to be open to compromise. Finding ways to compromise and meet each other's needs is a vital part of building a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Here are some actionable tips to improve your communication style:

  1. Practice active listening: Give your partner your full attention, listen to what they have to say without interrupting, and try to understand their perspective.

  2. Use "I" statements: When communicating your feelings or needs, use "I" statements instead of blaming or criticizing your partner.

  3. Be honest and transparent: Share your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly, but also be respectful of your partner's feelings and boundaries.

  4. Avoid stonewalling or shutting down: When you feel overwhelmed or triggered, take a break and come back to the conversation later. But make sure to let your partner know that you need some time and will come back to the conversation.

  5. Practice self-reflection: Take some time to reflect on your attachment style and how it may impact your communication style. Seek out resources, such as therapy or self-help books, to learn more about attachment styles and how to improve your communication skills.

Building a healthy attachment style takes effort and time. With a willingness to learn and grow together, you and your partner can create a strong foundation for a lasting and satisfying relationship. Remember to practice active listening, set clear boundaries and expectations, and find ways to compromise and meet each other's needs.

Breaking the cycle of avoidance takes time and practice, but it is possible. By being mindful of your patterns, identifying your fears and beliefs, practicing vulnerability, taking small steps towards intimacy, and seeking support, you can break the cycle and create more fulfilling and satisfying relationships.

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

CLICK HERE for a special invite into my Navigating Relationships Workshop:

During this workshop 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

  • An increased sense of self awareness so that you don’t feel like you have to hold everything your feeling inside

  • 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

CLICK HERE for access!

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