Let’s keep working our way through Milan and Kay Yerkovich’s love styles. If you weren’t one of the rare souls to be blessed with a secure connector imprint naturally, you may have learned to love out of a wounded place and reflect the style of an Avoider, Pleaser, Vacillator, Controller, or Victim. This and upcoming blogs will be dedicated to breaking these down, starting with the Avoider Love Style.
What is an Avoider?
Avoiders as Children
Avoiders grow up taking care of themselves, receiving little-to-no comfort or nurturing. Their parents likely valued independence and self-reliance. It may be their parents were emotionally immature or incapacitated in some way that made it hard for them to enter into and care for the emotional and spiritual needs of a child. It may be that their parents felt displays of emotions were weak or were just very busy and easily irritated by the needs of the child. There emotions were routinely dismissed, with emphasis placed on their politeness, performance, and a work-ethic.
Avoiders learn as young children that:
- Relationships do not bring comfort
- Being vulnerable is dangerous, and
- If they didn’t care for their needs, no one would.
They limit their desire for connections, disconnect from others, and dismiss their emotions; because it is easier to not want than to want and not have something you legitimately need. They learn young to isolate themselves when emotions surface until they can get them out of control and they often grow up to forget there ever being a time when the felt the natural craving to receive comfort and support in relationship.
Drawbacks of this Style
While the ability to decide, live, and enjoy life on one’s own may seem great, there are some drawbacks to hyper-independence. Because our feelings reveal what we need, it’s important for us to recognize and share them. Avoiding vulnerability and honest reflection chokes out potential for self-awareness, growth, and healing. Hiding pain and not being able to receive comfort from others can create a lot of unresolved anxiety. Fear of failure is covered by performance. Feelings have to be stuffed and ignored, and not dealing with emotions builds up over time. If this is you…it’s important to your spouse, children, loved ones, and your own well-being to work toward becoming a secure connector.
Am I an Avoider?
Read the following statements and consider, do these resonate with me? If so, you might be an avoider. You can take the quiz to be sure.
- I take care of myself and expect others to do the same.
- My childhood was fine, but I don’t remember much about it.
- I’m independent, self-reliant and need my space.
- My spouse and children seem to have a lot more emotional needs than I do.
- I’m not comfortable when other people get emotional.
- My children’s needs and emotions are often overwhelming and irritating.
- When something bad happens I try to get over it quickly.
- I’m happiest when others are doing well and don’t need a lot from me.
- I don’t think a ton about my needs and feelings.
- I like to make decisions on my own.
- I rarely cry.
- I don’t really miss people when I’m apart from them.
- Why can’t other people be more independent like I am?
If this is you, there is no need to stay here. You don’t have to run to addictions or risky behavior for temporary relief of the emotional strain you are under. Your brain can be rewired, and your life and relationships can be transformed as you grow into a secure connector. I’m an Avoider. What Now? can help you to make steps toward this. So can learning to Name Your Emotions and use the powerful Comfort Circle tool. If you wonder how being an avoider affects your parenting, and what you can do as a parent to help your children grow into emotionally whole adults, then read Transformational Parenting for the Avoider
You may be reading this, because someone dear to you is an avoider. If this is you, check out Help! I’m Married to an Avoider.
Want To Know More?
Milan and Kay Yerkovich wrote a great book called How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage. They have a whole series for singles, couples, counselors, etc at How We Love. (note, I’m not an affiliate or anything. I just have benefited from these resources and want to share).
More Posts You Might Like:
If you’d like to know more about love styles, check out the Entire Love Style Series.
- I’m an Avoider. What Now?
- Transformational Parenting for the Avoider
- Help! I’m Married to an Avoider
- The Comfort Circle
Photo Credit: Photo adapted from Photo by Alexander Zavala on Unsplash
- Milan & Kay Yerkovich. How We Love: Discover Your Love Style Enhance Your Marriage. Christian Audio.
- Milan & Kay Yerkovich. How We Love Workbook: Making Deeper Connections in Marriage. Waterbrook: 2017.
- Milan & Kay Yerkovich. How We Love Our Kids: The Five Love Styles of Parenting. How to End the Struggles and Tension. The Crown Publishing Group: 2011.
Copyright © 2019 Angela Edmonds. All rights reserved.
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