There are times when the world gets overwhelming. Basic tasks, such as getting out of bed and showering, start to feel impossible. Remember that everyone you meet deals with such emotions in their own unique way. Instead of expecting someone to react to situations the same way as you, take a step back and understand that everyone you meet is different.
When someone starts to cancel plans or leave your messages on read, don’t let anger be the first emotion you feel. Instead, understand that they could be fighting their own battles. Show concern instead of frustration. Check up on them. Offer help. Ask them what they would like you to do.
Here are some ways to deal with someone being emotionally distant:
1. Stay Calm
If you find a close friend or family member being distant, the first thing you need to do is maintain self-control. Do not bombard them with questions or invade their personal space or lose your cool. This will only cause them to shut down more or lash out at you.
The less you react with negative emotions, the better in control you will be of the situation. Instead of getting upset and saying something you regret, slowly count to ten. By this time, you will have figured out how to communicate the issue better. Don't accuse or blame. Instead, try to hear their side of the story. If you feel yourself getting angry, take a step back, and revisit the problem once you calm down.
2. Reactive to Proactive
Instead of misinterpreting and misunderstanding what the person is saying, focus all your energy on solving the problem at hand. Before you react negatively to what they are saying, come up with ten different approaches to view the situation. Do not jump to the first pessimist thought that comes to mind. For example, if a friend is not replying to your messages, don't believe that they are ignoring you intentionally. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt and consider that they might be caught up with work.
Another way to be proactive is by stepping into the other person's shoes. When someone tells you that they are dealing with something, instead of demeaning them or invalidating their emotions, try to understand where they are coming from. While empathy does not justify unacceptable behaviour, it helps humanize the other person and reminds you that everyone has their own demons to deal with.
3. Separate the Person from the Issue
Understand that not everyone will feel happy, energetic, or optimistic every single day. There will be days when they need a break from everyone around them. This is not personal. In fact, this might be their way of recharging and coming back refreshed. While this phase might strain your relationship with the person as you feel unimportant, try to separate the person from the issue.
Remember that there are two elements: the person and the problem. Be soft on the person. Value your relationship with them instead of forgetting the history you two share.
If you feel that your loved one is falling down a hard and endless rabbit hole, they might need to seek some extra help. The good news is that we are here for you. HarttoHart offers counseling services that provide you with the support and c