Avoidant and anxious relationship tips: how to handle it? Do you find yourself in a relationship with someone who is anxious or avoidant? If so, you may be wondering how to handle it. Here are some tips:-Try to understand their perspective.-Talk about your feelings openly and honestly.-Don’t try to fix them, but be a support system.-Encourage them to seek professional help if needed.If you’re in a relationship with someone who is anxious or avoidant, hopefully these tips will help you to better understand and support them.
Sometimes the person you’re in a relationship with struggles with feelings of being isolated, anxious, or afraid. If you recognize these feelings in yourself, it can be confusing and distressing. It can also make it more challenging to relate to your partner on a deeper level.
Recognition is a key component of any positive mental health
When you recognize something, whether it’s an anxiety trigger or something else, it helps to put the experience in context. If someone is anxious in a crowded coffee shop, they recognize that the anxiety is not helping them to feel calm or in control. It’s important to recognize triggers so that you can begin to manage them. Even something as simple as recognizing an anxious thought can help us manage it.
Recognize you have a problem
Sometimes, people who are anxious or avoidant don’t really realize they have a problem. They might not have a full-blown anxiety disorder or avoidant personality disorder, but they still struggle with anxious feelings or fear so much that it affects their day-to-day lives. If you are struggling with one of these disorders, it’s important to recognize that you have a problem. Even if recognizing that you have a problem isn’t easy, it’s important to put a stop to the way you’re feeling and make changes in your life to help you feel happier and more secure.
Recognize you have a solution
It’s always easier to recognize a problem when you have a solution. You can’t solve an issue if you don’t know it’s there. Be confident that you have a solution to your partner’s anxious or avoidant behavior. The first step is to identify the triggers that cause their behavior. Ask your partner to describe everything that makes them anxious or triggered, and how they feel when they experience those feelings. Try to empathize with them instead of shaming them for their reactions.
Recognize you can change
The most important thing is to recognize that you can change. If you’re not sure if you have attachment anxiety, seek help. There are many great therapists out there who specialize in attachment disorders and can help you learn how to feel safe and secure in your relationships.
Show your care
Take time to notice your partner’s feelings and express genuine interest. Be sensitive to what they’re sharing and pay attention to their body language. Don’t rush them or assume that they know what they want—if you aren’t sure, ask! It’s important to be direct and to clearly express your feelings and ask for what you want. Be patient with your partner if they’re not used to being in a relationship—it takes time for people to learn how to communicate with each other.
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Write thoughtful messages
Messages with spelling and grammar mistakes can indicate a lack of care and attention to detail. If you see spelling or punctuation errors in your partner’s text messages or social media posts, take the time to send a thoughtful, handwritten note to let your partner know that you notice these things. Using handwritten notes shows your partner that you are paying attention to them and that you care about them enough to write a note to express your feelings.
Buy them flowers
Whether it’s for your partner or for yourself, a bouquet of flowers can say so much. It’s not just a romantic gesture, but also an act of gentle care. Whether it’s a dozen roses, a beautiful calla lily or a fragrant and colorful bouquet of tulips, the perfect bouquet of flowers can brighten any mood and say “I love you” in a way nothing else can.
Write in their journal
Let your partner know that you’re interested in them and what they’re thinking and feeling. Ask them how they’re feeling about their relationship and how you can help them feel more secure.
Donate to charity
If you’re feeling anxious about your partner’s feelings, you may focus on the idea of what they don’t have rather than what they do. One way you can show your partner you care is to help out a charity that they care about. For example, if they love dogs and their favorite organization is a local animal shelter, you could make a donation in their name.
Don’t try to fix it
Sometimes, the best way to help someone who struggles with anxiety is to let them know that your love and support are unconditional. They may not be able to do the work on their own just yet, so it may be helpful for you to offer them the emotional support that they need to be able to move forward. If they try to fix the issue or struggle with you about not fixing it, you may unintentionally put more pressure on them to change. That is not a helpful place to be. Be patient with your partner and let them know that your love is unconditional. You will be much more likely to get results if you approach the situation in a calm and loving manner.
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Don’t make a big deal out of it
Let your partner know that you care about them and that you will not embarrass them or make them feel bad. Tell them that you are committed to building a relationship based on mutual respect and love, and that you won’t judge them for how they feel. Try to keep your conversations neutral and focus on what you like and enjoy about your partner, rather than what isn’t working.
Don’t get emotional
It is natural to feel hurt when something you care about is hurt or mistreated. But when you start to feel angry or anxious, it’s not because your feelings are right. It’s because you’re trying to control the situation emotionally. Instead of trying to fix the situation from an emotional place, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. Ask yourself what you know is true and what you don’t know is true. This is often the hardest step, because it means giving up control. But it’s the only way to get out of the anxious and avoidant traps you’ve fallen into.
Don’t talk about it too much
It can be really tempting to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling, especially after you’ve had an argument or an upsetting experience. But, if you don’t want your partner to feel like they’re being talked down to, you need to learn how to talk about your feelings without making your partner feel bad. Try to find a way to express your emotions without blaming your partner or making them feel bad. One way you can do this is by using “I statements”, which help you talk about your feelings in a way that doesn’t sound accusatory. Instead of saying “You make me feel so angry!”, try “I feel angry when we argue.” Or instead of saying “You never listen to me!” try “I feel frustrated when we have an argument because I don’t feel like we’re having a conversation.”
Try to relax, and don’t think about it too much
It can be much more helpful to learn how to simply stop thinking about how someone is responding to you and to learn how to let go of any fears or worries about how you are perceived by others. It’s not possible to feel a certain way if you’re thinking about it too much and thinking about how your partner might be responding to you. Try to practice mindfulness and remind yourself of how valuable your relationship is and how much you love your partner. Once you shift your focus from the thoughts of how someone is treating you and what you’re afraid they’re thinking about you, you’ll be much better equipped to handle any situations that may come your way.
Sometimes it can feel incredibly difficult to be patient with someone who has attachment issues. When you’re anxious about a relationship, it can be especially hard to be patient. It’s important to remind yourself that attachment issues usually develop because a person had early trauma that made them feel insecure. While it might be hard to understand, it’s important to remember that they’re still in pain.
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Delay gratification is the art of resisting the temptation to satisfy your present desires in favor of long-term goals
People are usually less likely to delay gratification if they feel anxious or afraid about the consequences of their actions. Someone who is anxious about being rejected or afraid of being judged is more likely to act impulsively to satisfy an immediate need. The good news is that you can train your brain to delay gratification!
Delay gratification is important for many reasons
The earlier we learn to delay gratification, the better. Researchers have found that children who learn to delay gratification between the ages of 5 and 7 are more likely to have a better self-image and learn how to handle frustration. In addition, they are more likely to have better social skills, more self-confidence, and lower levels of anxiety.
If you have a hard time getting your children to do what they are told, or you find yourself yelling at them to get them to listen, you may need to learn to practice patience
Your children learn how to respond to others by watching you. If they see you yelling at your child for doing something wrong, they will learn that it is okay to yell. On the other hand, if you show them that you are willing to talk about what they did wrong and help them learn from the experience, they are more likely to respond in a similar way. If you struggle to get your children to listen to you, you may need to practice the skill of patience. Ask your partner to practice showing you that they are willing to put up with your quirks as well as your stubbornness when it comes to your children.
Don’t tell them how to change
Avoidant and anxious people struggle with change. Rather than offering up advice, help them change by focusing on what they can do and giving them strategies and support. When they’re ready, they’re more likely to take action on their own.
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Avoid telling them you know exactly what they need to do
It’s not helpful to tell anxious people that you know how they should feel or what they need to do to fix things. Tell them what you observe about how they are responding to the conflict and what you think they might want or need. For example, if you see them getting angry, calmly tell them that anger isn’t an effective way to solve problems and ask them to try to calm down and think more rationally. If they argue with you, don’t get defensive. Stay calm and explain why you think they are wrong. Tell them you want them to learn. If they are defensive because they feel like you are criticizing them, remind them that you are just trying to help them.
Avoid telling them how difficult the task will be
When someone with BPD is feeling triggered, they often assume others are having the same thoughts and feelings as them. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to refrain from reinforcing this assumption. For example, if your partner says they’re stressed out, don’t ask them if you’re stressed out too. This will only make them feel more anxious about their own emotions and make them less likely to talk to you about them.
Avoid giving them specific time estimates
People with attachment issues often struggle with time management. When they’re anxious about being alone, they tend to put off or rush activities they need to complete in order to feel safe. When they’re avoidant, they might neglect their responsibilities, or put off things for as long as possible in order to avoid stress. They’re often not aware of how much time is passing, so giving them a time limit for something that should take a set amount of time can cause frustration. Instead, help them set goals and work on completing them.
Avoid making them feel bad about their current situation
Avoid trying to fix your partner or make them change in ways they’re not ready for. Focus on understanding what’s going on for them and supporting them as they work on making changes. Remember that everyone struggles with anxiety and that most people do not want to feel rejected, so don’t push your partner to change. For some relationship advice on how to deal with an anxious partner, check out the article, What to Do If Your Partner Is Anxious.
Avoid making promises you can’t keep
It can be really hard for your partner to trust you if you repeatedly break your promises. If you find yourself frequently promising things you can’t keep, it’s time to examine why. It may be that you’re afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, but keeping your word is a way to show your partner that you love them. It can also help to write a list of all the things you say you’ll do and compare it with the list of things you actually do. If you discover that you’re consistently failing to follow through with your promises, it’s time to make some changes.
In conclusion, if you are in an Avoidant and Anxious relationship, it is important to take action in order to handle it effectively. Talk to your partner about your concerns and needs, and be willing to compromise in order to make your relationship work.