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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I Like You ... I Like You Not: The Torment of Mixed Messages


Have you ever had a date with someone who was rather nice, and who seemed to like you a lot as well, even going so far as saying that seeing you again would be a pleasure, but you heard no more until several weeks later? And then suddenly you had missed phone calls, text messages, even, perhaps, some flowers, and finally you met again for another date which again turned out to be as enchanting, if not more, as your first date. He/she continued calling, you saw each other another three or four times in succession - clearly, you had hit it off, and then, just as suddenly as this particular hurricane had arisen, it subsided again. This time, however, compared to the earlier, solitary date, you feel upset. Nervous, perhaps, as well, worried about - as is to be expected - why on earth have I not heard from him/her? You've tried to get in touch with no results, your calls go to voice mail, your texts unanswered. And then, a week later, it starts up again. You have another couple of great meetings, and during the third, you are blithely informed that a trip is coming up, it had been planned since before you met, and so your new person of interest will be gone for several weeks, hiking in the Himalayan lowlands. You begin to get the feeling that you are so much more into this than the other person, who somehow seems to stand slightly aloof of it all, and you wonder what is going on.

And of course what is going on is a case of mixed messages. You are being told - when the other person seeks out your company assiduously and perhaps even fervently - that you are sought after, and then - after only a short period - you get the other message: what did you say your name was? Have we met?

About two weeks after the trip to the Himalayas was over, you get a call again expressing huge interest in seeing you, and indicating that he/she just knows how fascinated you will be to hear about everything that happened on the trip. And by the way, I was thinking about you in Nepal and so I brought you a gift from there.

You feel pushed and pulled and you are also beginning to feel rather annoyed, perhaps even resentful. But curiously, you make few moves to confront your slippery friend, and fewer still to have a serious talk with yourself that this can't possibly be healthy.

So again, what is really going on?

Your new-found partner of sorts, whom you have now been seeing for several months dancing to the on-off rhythm I've described, is, of course, behaving in a way that those of you who have already shored up your listing boundaries to a healthy degree, will recognize as being unacceptable. This is the conduct of an emotionally unavailable person who does not have a healthy connection with his/her own emotions, and hence has difficulty with the emotions of others. Not only may he/she not have a healthy connection to the own inner emotions, but there may not be any connection to them at all

Why this is so, what happened in that life early on to make it so, is the topic for another, or several other articles, but what occurs now - with you - is the topic of today's article. By keeping you in stand-by mode with this on-off behavior, this person does not need to talk to you of his/her intentions. It is more than likely that there is at least one other person being dealt with in similar fashion, if not more, at the same time as you. You are all kept dangling, so to speak, by the recurring and overt interest expressed in you, then you are discarded like a toy one has grown bored with, until the interest pops up again. By not expressing his/her real intentions, you are kept in the dark, in suspense, but at the same time, you are kept interested enough, chafing at the bit, so to speak, so that you won't give up. The reason this person needs to do this (whether consciously or subconsciously) is because this way he/she is always emotionally safe. Should you, by any chance, get tired of it and leave, there is, as said, at least one other egg in the basket, perhaps several. The reason this offers emotional safety, is because this way the person who is keeping you dangling never needs to speak openly to you about how he/she feels, hence never needs to feel vulnerable, and hence no matter what happens on your side; no matter what you decide, he/she always has another proverbial lap to fall into. This kind of person attracts people like you and you are attracted to people like this.

This is one of the faces of emotional unavailability, about which I have written not only several articles, but also an entire book: Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin. (Get an excerpt here).

Now: what about you? Why are you in this situation? Why did you not take off weeks, if not months ago, once you began to see what was happening? Isn't it true that by the second time you spent several 'dates' together a part of you had already bonded to this person? Isn't it true that a part of you already felt the need for him/her, which you then translated into some version of great attraction or even love? And isn't it also true that you either decided you would be able to change him/her, or that he/she would change of his/her own accord upon realizing how good the two of you are together? This is your clue. It's your red flag.

Here is what you are doing: instead of looking after yourself, instead of questioning a person who plays (even if it's a subconscious game and not one done deliberately and with calculation) such a game with you (for whatever reason), instead of caring enough about yourself to question this whole scenario and ask yourself if you really want to be exposed to it - at least without first having some real dialogue with the other party, and instead of recognizing that you are probably following a well-trodden path that you have walked on before in your life in other relationships, you are simply forgetting about your psychological, emotional and spiritual health and well-being and are going ahead with this pattern once again. That simply means that you would do well do think about your boundaries and your self-love. But it also means that this person is in your life for a reason: wake up to what you are not doing for yourself, and by not doing it (loving yourself and taking good care of yourself), you are looking for love in the wrong places.

If you will learn to love yourself first in a healthy way (there are many articles about this as well on my website), you will begin to find your way out of this pattern. Do this for yourself and you will find the inner well-being you are so fervently seeking.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming Spring 2015)

 

Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

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Meine Bücher auf Deutsch ab Frühjahr 2015 
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Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros globalmente en Amazon en español a partir de la primavera de 2015.


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