Self-involvement and emotional unavailability

by phil on Wednesday Feb 18, 2009 2:48 PM

I just thought about a possible principle for relationships:

Self-involvement and emotional availability are mutually exclusive.

I've thought a lot about the topic of emotional unavailability. A lot of people, myself included, who are single (and wish to not be single) can think of somebody that has taken an interest in them that they've pushed away for not-serious reasons. This bespeaks of a certain allergy or repelling force that is contradictory to what these people really want.

I wonder if self-involvement may be the ticket to what's going on. Because when you have this back-of-the-mind attitude like, "don't bother me, I'm working on myself here," you just clam up, push people away, and refuse collaboration.

Now, there are plenty of emotionally unavailable people who get wrapped up in relationships, but it's usually unpleasant for both parties. The unavailable one feels their relationship is a burden or "settling" while as the other feels continually unfulfilled.

Since it's difficult for humans to focus on more than one thing at a time, in moments when you're deeply meditating on yourself, it's going to be hard to meditate on the concerns of those around you. It's like how when you're driving while on the cell phone, you lose a significant amount of visual attentiveness.

The larger point about why this post was written is to drive home the importance of self-acceptance as a precursor to healthy relationships. If you don't accept yourself, then you'll be constantly fussing with who you are.

Further Reading:


more "emotional unavailability" books from Amazon.

Creative Commons License