Are You Avoidant? Or Just Scared of Abandonment?

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Video Transcript

never want to be the one they got over I’d Rather Be The One That Got Away now the problem with that statement is that you’re always the loser well exactly what does Tara have to say Stephen so Tara says after a few relationships I am now starting to realize the common factor in all the relationships is me how do you become more self-aware of your own patterns and break them I have discovered I have this fear of Abandonment so when things get difficult sometimes my first instinct is to run and have one foot out the door I think it’s self-protection help um can you Jameson do you relate to that at all or have you never had that because I certainly do relate to that no I totally relate to that I mean it what part are you are you questioning like having patterns or just the idea of when you get scared when you think that someone might be doing something that threatens you or the relationship or when you when you’re kind of when you get triggered and immediately think oh I might get hurt here there’s that that flight reflex yeah 100 I think two I guess there’s two sides of it there’s probably the the person that is uh terrified of rejection so they wanna they want to just leave before they get rejected and then there’s the other type I could just think of archetypes of friends of mine that just they’re really good at being alone and so they’ll just leave out of a certain kind of like laziness or not wanting to try yeah that’s interesting I Elaine de botton talks about the idea that when someone does something you don’t like in uh dating or relationship context well I suppose especially in a relationship context when someone does something you don’t like there’s an immediate projecting into the future of what you know what makes us so angry or what makes us so upset what makes us react so strongly is not just this thing in the moment it’s the thought of every time this is going to come up in your relationship and projecting that into the future in a catastrophic way which leads you not to thinking huh that person did a thing I don’t like today but instead to the conclusion you’ve ruined my life yeah that’s what I relate to I think more you’re more on that side yeah yeah where it’s like yeah because we’ve talked about how important storytelling is in an early in a relationship because the you can’t help but just kind of project your brain is like this computer algorithm that’s just like oh I’m gonna project into the future what will this be like what will this reality be like years from now and I feel like I’m very good at doing that but then there’s a negative side to that where it’s like one little fight you project that into the future and it’s like well it’s not that it’s not that you got mad at me for leaving a dish in the sink is that now I feel like you’re gonna be mad at me for everything all the time forever to Infinity yes well so that’s one type the idea that you know I’m immediately looking at all of the ways this could affect me negatively in the future and then there’s Tara who is saying that this is based in a fear of Abandonment so when she feels threatened in any way like she could get hurt she’s the one who she’s like well I’m gonna jump first you’re not gonna get there before me I’m Gonna Leave You before you have the chance to hurt me yeah I think there’s a spark of of fear and a feeling of I oh God they’re they’re suddenly starting to feel some cracks or they’re they’re suddenly not happy and there can be a a mix of ego in with that as well where that self-protection thing does come and says like well I I I’m not going to stand around wait for you to like get sick of me or for this to happen like I’m I’m getting out like you don’t like it I’m out of here and and there is that is self-protection and fear coming from ego as well exactly and it and it produces that fear produces extreme reactions right and it can happen both in a romantic context it can happen in a work context hey everyone welcome to me interrupting my own video if you want to know why someone may have faded out why they may have disappeared why all of a sudden it felt like the momentum was lost with this person go to why he’s gone.com where I talk about the main reasons someone disappears go check it out why he’s gone.com and now let’s go back to the video we had uh dinner last night with a friend of ours who is a movie director and he said actors when they tend it tends to be when they’re mad on set and they yell at people when they get angry because we’ve all seen the kind of tirades that actors can go on or the footage of someone going crazy or you know the the audio of an actor losing his mind on set at somebody what he said is whenever an actor does that what’s what’s actually happening is he’s scared or she’s scared it comes from Fear fear of I’m in a bad movie or you know the movie’s gonna be bad or this script is bad and I’m gonna end up looking bad I don’t look good I I look old this other actor is doing better than me that I’m working with and I I shouldn’t have signed up to this project because it’s not going well or I can’t trust this director or and it comes out as anger but what it really is is fear in that moment and what he said is what he learned when he learned it was coming from Fear instead of just I’m dealing with an [ __ ] he decided the number one thing he can do is make them feel safe if he can make them feel safe he’ll solve that problem but to to know that he has to understand that it’s coming from a place of fear and I think that that’s a very interesting thing to apply to relationships in general how often is someone angry because they’re afraid and therefore how often is the solution to make them feel safe in that moment but to rewind for a moment we’ve got Tara here she says when I get scared that I’m going to be abandoned I leave first so what is the solution to that Audrey what do you think that that instinct you get that overwhelming fear that comes up and that fear makes you want to jump the gun and be like well I’m not gonna allow this to play out and be the fool here and get trampled I’m gonna get out before that can happen to me what do you think people should be doing in that moment because of course some people might say well I’m I you know that saved me a lot you know that saved me a lot of pain and in a lot of cases my instincts proved to be right I was right that that person was going to abandon me I was right that that person was um on their way out in some way or criticized me too much and wasn’t accepting me so there’s that battle isn’t there between the Instinct that is protecting us that sometimes has served us well and the knowledge the self-awareness that Tara has that that instinct can go too far and it can make her take the Escape parachute too soon I suspect we can all talk ourselves into believing our relationship is going to fail because we only see what we see in terms of our partners we only know what they tell us we only see how they behave towards us we don’t know about 90 of what goes on in their brain when they’re not speaking it out loud so to a certain extent I think we’re always we can always talk ourselves into thinking that we’re not safe we can always talk ourselves into thinking somebody could leave us but for me fear of Abandonment feels very very intimately linked to a sort of you know a non-secure attachment to other people and I suspect I don’t know much about it but I suspect there’s probably different types of fears of Abandonment because for instance the idea of kind of running away uh I I I personally don’t exactly relate to but I definitely know that I worry about people disappearing from my life leaving me people I love or who have come to rely on leaving me that’s something that I do think about and you can drive yourself crazy thinking about it because people can leave and things happen the really tough thing is that when we are in an anxious mindset or our nature Trends towards that kind of anxiety and fear of being left of it’s going to fail and I’m not going to be here when it does I’m gonna leave now we tend to have extreme reactions to things right if you are speaking in terms of attachment Styles it can produce an extreme anxious reaction and it can produce an extreme avoidant reaction in a sense the the running away or the ending it prematurely is an extreme avoidance response to the situation I’m Gonna Leave You before you can leave me I had a friend who once said to me and it kind of reminds me of this and in a way it’s um she said to me I never want to be the one they got over I’d Rather Be The One That Got Away now the problem with that statement is that you’re always the loser well exactly it’s like I either way you don’t end up with somebody but at least I have my pride you know like that’s that’s the that’s what’s kind of messed up about that idea is that it values Pride over everything else well I think it’s interesting because when she was telling me about it it was coming from a place of you know that’s always been my mentality and as a result I’ve come out relatively unscathed in terms of relationships and I’ve been able to say that I was the one who always called it and whatnot but I’m no closer to actually being in a long and happy and successful relationship and she was actually working sort of to to be more vulnerable and to make herself more vulnerable in a relationship in order to get over this idea that she somehow needed to um control what the outcome is now I think what’s really difficult for a lot of people is we really feel like if we are left or abandoned or like not abandoned but our left and it triggers that kind of fear of Abandonment or rejected we really really worry about how much that’s going to affect us and we really think you know will I ever be able to get over this but that’s the thing right it’s all about your relationship with rejection and what that means and the meaning you ascribe to that there’s a quote by Victor Frankl who wrote Man’s Search for meaning and he said between stimulus and response there is a space in that space is the power to choose our response and in our response lies our growth and freedom and like when you don’t allow if you just go stimulus response trigger protect myself get the power okay you’re not gonna leave me screw this I’m out you’ve you it’s fear it’s I’m not even gonna sit in this space and figure out what’s actually going on here in case it means the worst mm-hmm sometimes it’s okay if it does mean the worst maybe that’s okay and it might be it might just mean that okay maybe we don’t figure this out and it means that we’re wrong for each other and that’s all right or this person decides something that’s okay but but you are not allowing the space because that person might be like what the hell why did you go crazy over that one tiny argument why did you suddenly like bolt just because I brought up a problem or I brought up something that was bothering me and you bolt whereas they might have been like I just wanted to solve a problem that was something was bugging me or something was an issue and I I know I’ve had that response in the past where I’ve been like self-protection mode and I’ve been like well you’re going to criticize me like I you know and it I know I know now that that can be triggered in myself and the space it’s incumbent on me to hold that space and say okay let’s just sit and actually talk about what’s going on here and maybe we can actually just figure this out calmly but you if you’re just terrified of the rejection you won’t allow that space I’m curious how would you how would you make someone not scared of that rejection because I think it’s a very it’s almost You could argue it’s a kind of trauma response probably a lot of the time and so you know that space is all well and good that you mentioned Stephen but it’s a really hard thing to hold when you’re feeling really activated in something and it’s kind of yeah it’s just triggering all of your all of your trauma all of the things that you’re most scared of and you know you do sort of step into that fight or flight mode I think how would you advise someone to actually hold space for that emotion in order to process it and move forward well the reason that we do things consciously that are scary or difficult the reason that I decided to go to Poland and do these freezing challenges in the snow with Wim Hof the reason that someone chooses to run a marathon the reason someone gets up on stage to do their first stand-up set even though their heart is beating out of their chest people choose these things because they’re difficult well we can actually and all of those things by the way grow us all of those things Inc make us bigger as people so we could look into look at our relationships and those moments in dating as wonderful moments to choose discomfort this can be actually in the same way that going to the gym and working out is chosen pain this can be chosen pain I can and I’m not talking about you know no one hopefully needs me to say I’m not talking about this as a reason to stay in an abusive relationship or anything like that but when it comes to someone just said something that made me feel it it triggered me because it made me worried they’re gonna leave me or that I’m not enough or you know it it freaked me out and not because they did anything terribly wrong but just because it it made me scared that’s a moment where we can say to ourselves okay I can choose now to use this as a chance to get bigger that doesn’t mean I know how this is going to go it might be that this person ends up not wanting to be with me but I don’t have enough information for that yet I just don’t know and if I don’t have enough information about that yet I’m going to choose a path that is uncommon for me my well-trod path is fight or flight and the unfortunate thing about both of those paths those extreme reactions is that they actually start to manipulate the result that’s what’s really sad and damaging about them is that they it’s no longer a fair experiment because they actually tamper with the result like you said Stephen if if I if I out of fear give you the silent treatment for the next three days that might affect how much you want to be with me because not because of the original thing that you said or criticized or or gave some feedback on and said hey you know I’m feeling this or I’m not sure about whatever that’s not the thing that made you truly question the situation but me going silent for three days does the actually the thing that makes you go whoa I this is unpredictable this is not a healthy pattern that I want to engage in in a relationship uh this is making me feel like I have to tread on eggshells and even saying anything and that’s not the kind of relationship I want to be in is where I have to tread on eggshells and the same is true if you say something to someone and all of a sudden they come at you in a either a desperate way or a really angry way then it has the same effect so that’s where we actually begin to self-sabotage and the the very thing we’re afraid of becomes self-fulfilling and someone finds this hard to be with not for the original reason that we were afraid of but for the patterns that we demonstrate when we’re afraid so we have to say those common paths that I take actually are hurting me more than the thing that I’m afraid of the alternative is for me to take the uncommon path the the path that is not well trodden for me which is let me let me learn more let me actually have the kinds of conversations that help me discover more discover more about who this person is about how they feel about me about where this is going and and those conversations by the way can include vulnerability they can even include admitting that you’re scared but admitting that you’re scared is very different from acting out one is vulnerability the other is a destructive pattern and the brave thing to do is to be vulnerable instead of be destructive through vulnerability you’ll start to reveal if someone could actually be right for you by being destructive you just tear down something in a way that means you’ll never really know I love what you said about taming your fear because I think when you can really connect to the fact that that’s where that’s coming from which is a place of fear the next step is to feel brave enough to as you say communicate that fear and say I want to run away right now because I feel scared that you’re gonna leave me now that’s really Brave that’s a really hard thing to do but as you rightly say the right person will make you feel safe and that will begin to heal and I and I would say that to Tara and to anyone out there who relates to what Tara said just going from running away because you’re scared to telling someone that you feel like running away because you’re scared is a massive sign of growth and evolution that was a huge change for me and I don’t know when this happened but when I got comfortable in relationships voicing things that I had done before when I was like hey I I sometimes when this happens I respond like this and it may it’s making me feel uh worried anxious trapped uh you know defensive even just vocalizing that speaking it out it’s like oh like it’s out there like Clarity that that’s something in my early 20s I would have never done because I would have just felt it felt the animalistic fear and been like right this is what I’m gonna do in response but not actually just calmly spoken out here’s what I’m feeling right now and what I like about that construct that you made is it works for all kinds of patterns because your pattern might be that you stay too long that might be someone’s pattern from uh from uh um anxious attachment style right they’re just gonna very straightforwardly I’m gonna put up with whatever because I’m afraid to be alone but with Tara she’s asking you know what do you do when you recognize this pattern and and you’re absolutely right you just recognize it and you speak it and that is truly a zero to one level of progress right there because once you can do that and it doesn’t actually uh it’s just so much easier said than done right because you can still I’ll still in my relationship have so much difficulty just I just it’s just so easy to skip that part where you just you just say like this is making me feel like this instead of like you’re doing that you know and it’s just like if you can just find your pattern and just try just try to break it and if you can keep iterating that process of keeping breaking your pattern then I think you’ll get to you’ll get some growth that kind of openness also gives someone a chance to truly know you and understand you and not misinterpret you because when we I don’t think any of us truly realize the extent to which we are confusing when we have extreme responses to things when either we get extremely angry or when we get extremely afraid and run away or extremely defensive or we go on the attack I I think we kind of intuitively think people understand more about where it’s coming from with us than they do so we forget that all they’re seeing is a it’s like the actors all you’re seeing is an angry [ __ ] this that’s all you’re seeing in that moment but you’re not true you’re not actually and that person may go you know no they must understand that it’s coming from insecurity but of course people people actually don’t they don’t there’s a I you know I’ve said before there’s that moment in Catch Me If You Can where DiCaprio Frank abig now Jr is speaking to uh the agent I forget his name uh but Tom Hanks is handwriti Agent hamratty and he he says to him people only know what you tell them and that line is so unbelievably true for relationships is that when you tell someone I’m afraid it’s like a pressure valve on the whole situation because someone goes wait what and you go I’m afraid and that’s why I’m acting like this right now it’s like it lets all the air out of the balloon and someone then goes you’re afraid what are you afraid of I’m afraid that you’re gonna leave and then someone’s like what wait whoa what I’m gonna leave and then and it’s like now you have this you have the real conversation that no one was having but no one even knew the other person didn’t even know that there was this other conversation happening they just know that you’re angry and then they’re pissed at you for being angry or that you just left yeah and then they’re pissed at you for being stubborn but they don’t know people don’t know what you don’t tell them and so that kind of honesty is also a way of giving someone else a blueprint for your mind and who you are which granted is a very vulnerable thing to do and can be dangerous by the way in the wrong hands especially if we don’t know how to have boundaries if things start really going south but giving someone that access to our mind is also the only re is the only way to have a real relationship you don’t have intimacy ultimately if you don’t do that and the price of admission for an amazing relationship is that kind of intimacy that comes from that kind of vulnerability wait before YouTube sends you down the rabbit hole of watching raccoon videos or videos of large crocodiles on Florida golf courses I have something that will help your love life more than these things and it’s at why he’s gone.com if you want to know why someone faded out why they were giving you attention and all of a sudden they stopped this guide shows you go to why he’s gone.com and then enjoy your baby bear videos

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