Are you Avoiding Closeness?

Updated: 7 days ago

Do you want a relationship, but worry that a partner may take away your independence and autonomy? Are you concerned about losing yourself in a relationship or fearful of getting hurt? Does that cause you to keep people at an arm’s length?


You may be engaging in an avoidant attachment style. We form our attachment style based on experiences with our first caretakers. If these did not respond positively to us expressing feelings, were not very nurturing toward us, presented themselves as distant, or left us to our own devices, we may become avoidant in relationships. Avoidant partners may struggle to talk about their feelings and be labelled as “void of emotion” by their partners. They may focus on logic and intellectual abilities, pride themselves in being in control, and avoid negative emotions.


Partners may find that the intimate emotional connection is difficult to achieve for them. Avoidant attachment may cause us to withdraw to avoid getting hurt, while partners may increasingly approach on a quest to achieve emotional intimacy. Such approach behaviours can scare avoidant partners away.



Healthy relationships strike a balance between independence and connectedness. Once aware of our behaviours, we can work on becoming more comfortable in talking about and experiencing our feelings. This can also increase our empathy toward our partners, making them feel more understood and strengthening our bond.


Therapy not only gives us practical training on discussing and labelling emotions, but can also let us engage with them in a calm, contained setting. These skills can be brought into our relationships, allowing us to open up and build trust with our partners. If you have been hesitant to let your partner get close, but are seeking to develop strong, meaningful connections, explore your avoidance behaviours further with psychologist in Hong Kong Dr. Terrighena. Book a consultation on (852) 2715 4577 or e.terrighena@mind-balance.org.

Dr Esslin Terrighena - Psychologist in Hong Kong

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