Have you ever felt like someone was pulling away or distancing themselves from you? I can assure you that this is a normal occurrence you will face out in the world. I have personally experienced friends being distant, and I have also been distant. I'm here to help you understand it, and to learn how to deal with Emotional Distance.
Emotional Distance or Drifting is a common phenomenon in relationships. There are numerous reasons for emotional drifting; some might have to do with the person and some with you. There are many reasons why people distance themselves, but I feel the most common are:
1) They Crave Alone Time
2) They are Stressed, Distressed, or Depressed
Some people keep their feelings and emotions close to their chest. They aren't bad people, but it can be frustrating and make you feel bad. However, with your continued efforts, you can gain a new friend, or a closer relationship with a familiar face. Here are Six ways to deal with emotionally distant people:
1) Have Empathy - A number of traits and mental illnesses can lead to a distant personality; as well as insecure attachment styles. Anxiety and depression can also easily manifest as distance.
2) Open Yourself Up - Some struggle to share their feelings. They may be embarrassed by their emotions, or scared of being vulnerable. It can help them if you share your feelings and vulnerabilities with them.
3) Give Them Time
4) Be Frank - Use 'I-Focused' Language. EX. "I feel like you ignore my text messages."
5) Pay Attention to What Works
6) Respect Your Differences.
There are many reasons for why people pull away; and I'll admit that lately I've pulled away from my friends. Why? Because I'm coping with a significant loss, helping a friend through a difficult time, managing and growing a business, doing home renovations, and planning a wedding. In other words, I'm under significant stress. It really is nothing personal; it's just my way of managing stress and keeping others from feeling the intense energy around me.
I would love if my friends had patience with me during this time, as nothing lasts forever. In the same breath, if you feel like I've pulled away... please check in with me. Chances are I don't realize it, as I've got a lot on my plate.
Emotional Distance is okay. What's not okay is harbouring negative feelings towards the person, and not sharing what's going on.
How do you handle emotional distance?