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Becoming Emotionally Available With 6 Big Choices You Can Make Right Now

A couple sitting on the couch both looking at their phones illustrating what happens when people are not becoming emotionally available.

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Becoming emotionally available has become a big topic among social media groups and relationship coaches. But what exactly does it mean when someone says you are not emotionally available? How do you know if that’s really your thing, and what do you do about it if it is?

Do you have a string of unsuccessful relationships that always end with someone telling you they are tired of being locked out? Have you been told you are too distant, volatile, closed up, or disconnected? How To Improve My Energy Field? 5 Fabulous Ways To Really Feel Better

Has more than one person told you that you are just too hard to connect to meaningfully? Do you feel defensive and insecure once you feel attraction to someone? The term for all of that is “emotionally unavailable.” So then the goal is becoming emotionally AVAILABLE. But how do you do that?

Maybe your first question is, “Will it really make a difference in my life if I start becoming emotionally available?” We don’t have a crystal ball, but we can pretty much assure you that it will make life easier and your relationships better.

We not only mean your relationship with significant others, but friendships. It also helps relationships with parents, grown children, and those you interact with at work. Before discussing what becoming emotionally available is, let’s discuss what it isn’t.

Woman sitting in a hammock chair looking out her windows while holding a cup of tea illustrating being comfortable alone.

Enjoying Your Own Company Is Not The Same As Needing To Become Emotionally Available.

Sometimes, others will accuse you of not being emotionally available when you simply need some time to yourself. You may need time to yourself regularly. It’s healthy and acceptable to enjoy your own company as well as others.

If you are in a relationship with someone with a codependent or anxious relationship style, they may be uncomfortable that you don’t need to connect at the hip 24/7. It might seem odd to them that you occasionally spend an evening by yourself or take a weekend trip to be in nature alone.

But healthy practices create healthy relationships. One of the markers of a healthy relationship is being connected and enjoying the other person’s company. However, the other side of that teeter-totter is also being comfortable in your own skin and your own space and allowing others that space too. How To Improve My Energy Field? 5 Fabulous Ways To Really Feel Better

Two men with old glass cup phones attempting to communicate with each other.

Not Being A Good Communicator Or Being Shy Is Not The Same As Needing To Become Emotionally Available.

Another common misunderstanding is reading someone as emotionally unavailable when they are just shy. They may be well connected to their emotions but not well connected to their words. This can often improve as you get to know them better and establish a rapport. Sometimes, a little time to get comfortable with each other is all that is needed.

A man with his hands covering his head looking discouraged illustrating the feeling one has when not becoming emotional available.

No One Is Always Emotionally Available.

No matter how much you have your act together, everyone needs to pull back, unplug, and check out every now and then. This often happens when there has been a sizeable emotional upset or a situation that feels long and overwhelming.

The difference is that in an emotionally available person, the one doing it knows they are doing it, and it is short-lived. It’s perfectly okay to occasionally say, “I’m a bit toasty and overwhelmed right now. Perhaps the words would be something like, “I just don’t have the emotional bandwidth to have this discussion right now, but I promise we will talk about it soon.”

Maybe the comment would be, “I know you need me to use my words and share what’s going on in my head, but I need some time to process and figure that out, even for myself.” Voicing that you are out of emotional gas is very healthy and a kind way to explain to someone else where you are in your head.

We recommend that you say it while you can still say it in a calm voice. Don’t wait till you are yelling it through a slamming door. Be prepared to check in and share. That’s the name of the game. Now that we’ve settled on what emotionally available isn’t, what choices do you make to become emotionally available?

Interstate exit sign with the words understanding next exit.

Becoming Emotionally Available Choice #1: Choose to Understand What Emotionally Unavailable Means.

By definition, you are emotionally unavailable if you cannot express your emotions in a healthy way and have difficulty connecting to others. Watch for communicating in a guarded fashion or only expressing yourself in erratic, triggered outbursts. We all know someone who can only tell you how they feel when upset and overwhelmed. How To Improve My Energy Field? 5 Fabulous Ways To Really Feel Better

You could be emotionally unavailable if you find it hard to share anything about your past with others. This also applies if you have an issue making plans or future commitments because you just don’t feel connected enough to others to make that investment.

If you find physical intimacy easy but discussing how you feel hard, you may be emotionally unavailable. This usually results in a relationship where you are good in bed but bad at life together. Physical intimacy might even be challenging because of the emotions that come with it.

It is essential that you also get to choose what kind of help you need to work it out. Maybe reading something like this is all you need to head in a different direction. You may need a Life Coach to help you untangle your thoughts. You might even need a Therapist to help with unresolved traumas from the past. Choose what you need and get what you need.

Two locks using a chain to lock a door illustrating what the results of not becoming emotionally available.

Becoming Emotionally Available Choice #2: Discover Your Reason For Shutting Others Out.

We all have a reason for everything we do, even if we don’t know what it is. Common Reasons for people to have issues in becoming emotionally available are:

  • A fear of being too close to others.
  • A fear of getting hurt.
  • A history of getting your heart hurt in the past.
  • Unresolved trauma.
  • Being raised by emotionally unavailable parents. (You were never
    shown what becoming emotionally available looks like).
  • Being raised that talking about feelings shows weakness.
  • Being afraid you’ll lose yourself if you get too close to someone.
Two sets of hands holding a red heart illustrating two people becoming emotionally available.

Becoming Emotionally Available Choice #3: Choose To Heal Your Fear Of Getting Hurt Or Being Vulnerable.

Everyone has a little fear and anxiety about interacting with others. Let’s face it; you must step out of your comfort zone to connect with someone. So, know that perfectly healthy people can be afraid sometimes. It’s human, and you get to be human.

In that fear, our easy out can be to insist others make the first move so we aren’t vulnerable. Perhaps you are never the first to say, “I love you,” because…what if they don’t say it back? Have you ever had someone complain that you never invite them to do anything? They have to make all the plans. Often, it’s because of the fear of suggesting the wrong thing or being turned down.

One of the best ways to heal this fear is to do things that actively help your self-confidence. There are millions of books and TED talks about how to improve your self-confidence. Start investing in building your perspective of yourself to a confident level. Give yourself permission to be afraid and then seek out what will make you feel better about yourself. It sounds simple, but just a touch of confidence builds more.

An older man talking with a younger man illustrating mirroring and mentoring to learn more about becoming emotionally available.

Becoming Emotionally Available Choice #4: Choose To Learn What Connecting With Other People Looks Like.

Often, we don’t seem emotionally available because we don’t have any example of being emotionally available. We have no idea what that looks like. Sometimes, that is why we aren’t better at connecting or committing with people.

If no one in your family spoke about their feelings, showed affection, or shared deep and meaningful thoughts, no one taught you. So, where do you start if you care about becoming more emotionally available?

By example is the best way to teach anyone anything. So find an example, even if they are just a book or TV show character. Notice anyone who seems to care about others, share their feelings, and communicate their thoughts. Watch how they respond and interact with the people they care about. How To Improve My Energy Field? 5 Fabulous Ways To Really Feel Better

Notice couples who are affectionate with each other. We don’t mean “get a room” public displays of affection. We are talking about a hello hug, a reassuring hand on the shoulder, or a casual kiss goodbye. Pay attention to couples who hold hands as they walk down the street or show other gentle ways of caring and connection. Watch and learn.

Seek First To Understand.

Then just…listen. Listen when those who matter talk. Don’t just listen, but ask questions. At first, you might have to work at paying attention and genuinely being interested. That’s OK. If you aren’t interested in the topic, consider your interest in the person.

If they seem comfortable in their skin and confident in conversations and interactions, mirror them. Interact with them as they interact with you. They are giving you examples. Pay attention as they show you what becoming emotionally available looks like.

Several sticky notes in multiple colors with versions of I'm sorry written on them.

Becoming Emotionally Available Choice #5: Choose To Learn What A Real Apology Looks Like.

Part of being emotionally available is being a better communicator. Many feel that means saying the right thing all the time. No one says or does the best thing in every situation. For that reason, understanding what a REAL apology looks like is helpful.

Children learn at an early age that they can hit their little brother if they say they are sorry afterward. Mothers accidentally teach their kids this untruth every day. You hit your brother and get in trouble. Then Mom says, “Now go tell him you’re sorry.” You probably aren’t sorry at this point, but you are very interested in getting out of trouble. So you say you are sorry and all is OK again.

Emotionally unavailable people tend to follow this same track. They say or do something that feels wrong to someone. Then that someone gets upset. So what do you do? You say, “I’m sorry.” You probably have no idea precisely what you did wrong, but you don’t want them to be upset with you. “I’m sorry” gets you out of trouble, and everyone moves on till…it happens again. Then rinse and repeat. Sound familiar?


Here is what a genuine apology looks like:

Don’t just say, “I’m sorry.” Say what you are sorry for. An example would be “I’m sorry, I ignored you all through dinner.

Then, tell the person how you will do better in the future or how you will prevent it from happening again. For example, “I promise next time my phone will stay in my pocket.”

This assures the other person that you understand where you went wrong. It also tells them why they can believe that this won’t keep happening. Doesn’t that feel better than having the same argument over and over?

If you genuinely don’t know why the other person is upset with you, ask. It would look something like, “I can tell you are upset with me, but for the life of me, I don’t know what I did. Can you tell me more? I promise to listen instead of talking.”

Words you can do this and a hand handing another hand a paper heart illustrating the idea of becoming emotionally available.

Becoming Emotionally Available Choice #6: Choose To Learn To Share How You Feel.

Many people don’t share how they feel because, at an early age, someone made them feel like how they felt didn’t matter. Maybe they even felt condemned or harassed for sharing how they felt. That’s why a person struggling with being emotionally available often isn’t holding out on you. They don’t know how to do it without feeling awkward, weird, and vulnerable. Maybe that is how you feel. How To Improve My Energy Field? 5 Fabulous Ways To Really Feel Better

Your feelings matter, and sharing them has a lovely reward of connection and meaning. At first, you may have to trust us on that one, feel the fear, and do it anyway. Expressing your feelings is one of the ways to practice receiving love.

Take it slow and give yourself a lot of space and a lot of grace. The first step to becoming emotionally available is choosing to be emotionally available. If you feel you have chosen but need help, ask for help.

Ask someone you trust who seems comfortable sharing their feelings and connecting to others. Ask them their thoughts about connecting and having meaningful relationships. Seek out the use of a coach or therapist. Regardless, you can do this. If you have chosen being emotionally available, that’s half the work. You’ve got this.

Enchanted Perspectives Pixi Pebbles Banner Cover

Pixi-Pebbles For Becoming Emotionally Available…

Pixi-Pebbles are songs, quotes, videos, interviews, movie references, and books that we each personally pick for you.

We’ve used these little Pixi-Pebbles to move ourselves from a feeling we’re not enjoying very much…to a feeling that helps us discover our vision of intention, awareness, and direction.

They lead us to hope, possibilities, and a fire under our butt to live life by design instead of default.

In our blog, Becoming Emotionally Available With 6 Big Choices You Can Make Right Now, here is a Pixi-Pebble that came to mind…

Just a little inspiration to get you from here to there…

We love Ted Talks here at Enchanted Perspectives, and we always love learning and deepening our own understanding. If you are looking to deepen your understanding of becoming emotionally available or just want to improve your Emotional Intelligence, check out this short Ted Talk from Ramona Hacker. Click to listen to the video-6 steps to improve your emotional intelligence. 

Meet Nikki:

Nikki has a way of making almost anything meaningful, interesting, and fun. She loves cats, believes you can learn a lot about yourself by shooting hoops in the park, and has a mad love affair with trees. As a Certified Neuro-linguistic Programming Practitioner, Intentional Living Mentor, Reiki Master, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, she understands how to help others create change and has a talent for making you enjoy doing it.

Enchanted perspectives creator Nikki and Jennifer sitting against tree

Meet Jennifer:

Jennifer is a woman who definitely lives life by design. As an Artist, Certified Holistic Life Coach, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Studies Mentor, and Certified EFT Practitioner, she helps others find their unique, magical, and authentic selves. She loves art, music, nature, travel and believes everyone can dance. Jennifer is a compassionate teacher that enjoys inspiring others to find their own creativity, intuition, and passion for life.
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