Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Pull Close, Push Away Approach: An Endless Frustration

You're probably reading the title to this blog post and thinking: Emily, what the heck are you talking about? Well, I'm about to tell you about something that has happened to me quite a few times in my lifetime of trying to figure out who to trust in this world. This phenomenon, which I will be calling PCPA for short is composed of two parts.

1. The sharer(me) reaches out to someone who they trust (or think that they can trust, but that part comes later). This is generally an adult in their life; someone who is theoretically and sometimes professionally obligated to be there for them. That adult continues to check in on them and treat them warmly, responding to their texts and emails, reassuring the sharer that the responder will be there for them, etc. This can also happen in person with physical warmth and kind words.

2. The responder "disappears." This can mean that they are more distant while the sharer is talking to them in person, or more often, in my life, it means that the responder stops well, responding. Texts go unanswered; calls go unreturned.

I can't say for sure why this happens but I do know two things: First, the sharer will often feel, at least in my case, that they were wrong to trust you which can cause them disappointment and anxiety that gets redirected to the sharer. Second, PCPA seems to happen when the information that the sharer has told the responder is something"heavy" or "complicated." I speculate that the responder pulls away because of fear, but since I don't really talk to anyone who has demonstrated this phenomenon for me anymore, I'm not sure. I would love to hear your thoughts.

I also want to just take a second and thank all of you who have been there for me through thick and thin. You know who you are, and I love you.

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