What is Emotional Avoidance?

Anger expressed as Emotional Avoidance

Some angry people or partners of angry people don’t react to their own anger or to your anger by yelling, screaming, or getting agitated.

Instead they become “turtles” by going inward and shutting down. They “stonewall” any attempt to get them to communicate. They are emotionally done for the moment, thank you. Often they pout. Or start doing something else. The more you try to get them to “open up” the more they shut down.

When you are making every effort to address a problem, whether you are attempting to talk about something that is upsetting you, explain your feelings about an ongoing area of conflict, or try to reach a resolution – and your partner is pretending that you aren’t there – you are likely to reach a level of upset or anger so high that you can’t control it yourself. The angrier you get, the more your emotionally avoidant partner pulls back or withdraws. If you persist enough, they may finally react, but at this point, a major conflict will probably occur.