In today's blog I want to talk to you about what it's like being in a relationship with a dismissive avoidant and what they feel a perfect relationship looks like. First off, that's a flaw in itself that they feel all relationships are going to be perfect and that they never have arguments. That's false.
I want to help you keep the relationship healthy, keep it happy, and keep things progressing in the right direction. That's if your dismissive avoidant is willing to meet you in the middle, and heal their attachment style, so both of you guys can become more secure.
The first thing you need to understand about their attachment style is when it was being formed there was a lack of consistency. That's where you want to start. You want to make sure that you are consistent with what you're doing. If you're texting them, text them at regular times. If you're meeting with them, meet them at regular times. If you plan things, make sure you follow through on your plans. As soon as you decide to bail on them, to them it will look as if you're abandoning them. That you can't be trusted and that you can't follow through on what you say you're going to do. They're going to start to deactivate.
It takes very little for a dismissive avoidant to deactivate. They're always looking for a reason to deactivate, so if you are somebody who isn't serious about the relationship and you're just there to have fun, you need to be upfront about that. Otherwise what you're going to do is you're going to cause further damage and cause them to be even more dismissive in their way. So, if you want to have a healthy relationship with a dismissive, make sure that you are consistent, you do what you say you're going to do, and you are always there to support them.
They want support, period. Support is huge for them whether it’s family, friends, or their romantic partner. They want somebody who's gonna always be there for them and that will give them some advice. Not because you're trying to control them, but because you're just there to try to help them figure things out and help improve the quality of their life. If they feel like you are there to criticize them and control them, that's a big no-no. That's when they'll start to deactivate because, like I said, they deactivate really easily. Their threshold and their tolerance for nonsense, control, and criticism is very slim.
The next thing is to not overwhelm them. They feel very overwhelmed when they feel pressured and when they feel like you're needy and you're asking too much of them. Let's not forget that dismissive avoidants are very self-sufficient and independent, so when they feel somebody is acting like another child, they'll shut down. They'll get really annoyed with you and they'll start to deactivate. They don't want to have to take care of somebody. They want that person to be self-sufficient and independent themselves. Of course you don't want to take it to the extreme level like they take it to, which is that they don't need anybody for anything at any time. When somebody does penetrate those walls of theirs, they still have that mindset that they don’t want to ask you for anything. They don’t want to need anything from you. So I'm not saying go that extreme with it, but you have to ask for your needs.
They can’t read your mind so you need to ask for your needs, but you want to make sure that you're very mindful about how much you ask of them. If you start to see them feel overwhelmed by you asking so much and they start to withdraw, then that's a sign that they are starting to deactivate. That’s when they start to reconsider their feelings for you, or the relationship in general.
The last one is don't criticize them. They already fear being vulnerable with people and communicating what they need, so when you come with some type of criticism about how they're feeling or the way they're doing things, they're going to withdraw from the relationship. They're not going to trust you as much. It's going to take a lot of work to get them back trusting you to the level that they were before, so you want to be careful about how you engage in the criticism that you're going to give them.
I always tell my clients to start with “I feel.” Don't go at them with “you this” and “you that.” You want to really make sure that you're using that so you take the sting out of it. Then you're not automatically putting up their walls by attacking them. They don't like being attacked. They have a very low threshold for nonsense, and criticism is considered nonsense to them.