Avoidance – The Stayer versus the Leaver

John McDowellBlog3 Comments

By John McDowell

Many people who are in relationships, usually fall into two categories. One who wants to talk about the issue immediately in the moment and the other requires space and distance if it becomes too intense or too much. Usually this is discovered when an argument gets really heated and intense and one person usually needs to get away, leave the house, go to a room, or sleep on the couch. And the other is usually following close behind wanting to talk it out while the other needs space.  

This behavior will inevitably come to pass in any relationship. One of the most common habits that couples fall into is Avoidance. 

The Stayer/Talker/External Processor — During any issue at hand this person wants and needs to communicate and deal with the issue in the moment. This does not mean they are better at communicating but they gain their value, love, respect, and feel understood and accepted when they are in emotional and physical closeness to their partner. This usually involves talking or holding their hand or being close to them.

The Leaver/Avoider/Need Space/Internal Processor —  During any issue at hand they generally can communicate until a certain emotional level is reached. The build up, pressure, and constant emotional and physical closeness becomes too much where they NEED space and must get away. These people tend to get maxed out more quickly. This does not mean they are bad at communicating but they need to regain their thoughts, gain their value back, and feel understood and accepted when they have SPACE and distance. They need the space to process what is occurring. 

3 Comments on “Avoidance – The Stayer versus the Leaver”

  1. Thank you for clear and objective explanation of one of the challenges in communication between close partners.

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