“Avoidant” partners often attempt to protect the relationship during conflict by pulling away. This is ironic given that Dr. John Gottman has identified stonewalling – emotional withdrawal from interaction – one of the four best predictors of divorce.
Obviously, reducing conflict is one way to avoid triggering this response, however, conflict in our dance with our closest relations is inevitable. So how exactly does one have a fair fight with an “avoidant” without destroying the relationship? Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen and I explore this subject in our latest podcast.
Welcome to Wefulness where we discuss the science of profound connection. I’m Wefulness co-editor Gregory Blake. Today we are talking with relationship expert Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen.
G: Hi Becca.
R: Hey Greg.
G: I have a question that’s been in my mind for a while now. With so much of the avoidants’ behavior being pulling away, I wonder how do you have a fair argument with someone who is avoidant? If you can’t talk to them or that is sort of my impression so I need some clarification on it. How do we actually have disagreements? Cause disagreements happen in all relationships, so I’m curious.
R: Okay, well that’s a great question, first off. None of us really like to have arguments, but we know invariably that they’re going to happen when we are walking in close proximity to someone, we end up stepping on each other’s toes. Or the analogy that Sue Johnson would use, we’re dancing with someone in a close relationship; we’ll end up tripping up on each other, stepping on each other’s toes. At those times, that’s when we’re really talking about. What happens then if the person that you are dancing with is avoidant? And when you get tripped up, what they want to do is get off the dance floor. That’s kind of the question, right? Continue reading →
When I think of avoidant individuals, for some reason what comes to mind is a certain “smoking man” magazine ad – the strong, silent, solo cowboy looking over the herd. I think of someone who likes to get away from everyone else to think.
But in retrospect, is that characterization correct? In our latest podcast I ask the silly question: What is the difference between an introvert and an avoidant?
Attachment theory tells us that there are three main attachment styles: secure, anxious and avoidant. However, some people will insist that they have been more than one “style” in their lifetime. Is that possible? If yes, what is happening in that situation? Is there hope to move from an insecure attachment style to secure?
In our latest podcast, Rebecca and I discuss these questions and more with Dr. Phil Shaver, “the father of adult attachment theory.”
(Please note: The audio is transcribed “as is,” spoken grammar glitches and all.)
Today we are talking with relationship expert Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen and special guest, researcher, Dr. Phil Shaver.
G: Hi Becca.
R: Hey Greg, how are you doing?
G: Really good today, thanks. Today’s short clip from Dr. Shaver’s interview has mostly to do with changeability of adult attachment styles. And this is something that I know we’ve talked about in the past and, frankly, I didn’t understand it. I had read the book, “Attached” and really loved that book actually, and out of that context I was under the persuasion that adult attachment was something that we were born with or at least we got initially when we were younger, and then that is where we were stuck and that we had to deal with the consequences of that and adapt to that. What I’m getting from the interview with Dr. Shaver is that, no, there is some flexibility there. Can you talk a little about that before we get to the interview? Continue reading →