If you have a pattern of attracting emotionally unavailable men, women, and/or friends and you want to BREAK the unhealthy pattern, first you need to examine your pattern, and get brutally honest about YOUR own behavior. If you find yourself constantly attracted to EUPs, you are attracted to an unhealthy system of relating and stay way too long trying to force them (and things) to change. I am talking some serious self-inventory. Not the kind of self-inventory where you engage in a Let’s Have a Kiki Tell-all session with your buddies (guys or gals) about What a Little Crap-Shit My Emotionally Unavailable Partner Was To Me. When you are being treated like crap in a relationship it is natural to want to vent about Your Horrific Ordeal. The facts are clear. You are a part of unhealthy system. You want change. However, discussing with friends, for umpteenth time, all of the terrible things your EUP is doing to you (and has done to you), prevents you from changing and looking at one person-YOU. It prevents you from getting to the bottom of why the heck you:
Let’s suppose you are of fair or above average intellect and intelligence. Imagine that someone presents you with a task to complete before the end of the day. The Task Delegator presents you a tray with five circular slots and says to you the following:
“There is a task I would like you to complete. The task consists of taking five red cylinders blocks and inserting them into their respective circular slots. All five red cylinder blocks must be placed into any of the five circular slots on the tray. Please be aware that no other shape is to be inserted into the slots-only the five red cylinder blocks. Please adhere to the instructions I have given you only. If you do not adhere to my instructions, I will not compensate you for your work. My assistant will provide you with the materials to complete the project. I will be back later to review the completion of the task.”
His assistant provides you with the following project materials:
Simple enough right?
Before beginning the task, you also notice that his assistant has mixed in blue rectangular/square blocks with the red cylinders.
So now the available project materials look like this:
His assistant leaves the room and says the following to you “I know my boss gave you a set of instructions, but I know you are the creative type so I am including four additional blue rectangles for you to use to complete the project.” – His assistant leaves the room and you begin to work on the task.
You complete the task as instructed by the task delegator and end up with the following:
Your task is complete. You are praised by the task delegator and compensated accordingly as promised.
So, why did you choose not to follow the assistants’ instructions and his appeal for you to use your “creativity” to complete the task? The answers are obvious-Right?
Well let’s see:
A) He was only an assistant
B) You were instructed to only follow the Task Delegators instruction NOT the assistants (However well-meaning his additional instructions were)
C) You were instructed to insert red cylinders into circular slots NOT Blue rectangles into circular slots.
D) Following the assistants’ instructions to use your “creativity” would not have been beneficial to complete the task because rectangles/Squares DO NOT fit into circular slots designed for circular cylinder shapes-it is impossible. You would spend all day trying to jam the rectangles into the slots designed for circular shapes and they simply wouldn’t fit.
E) If you deviated from the Task Delegator’s instructions you would HAVE NOT been compensated for your work or efforts.
As you know, I like to use illustrations to make my point. I can hear you say “What the heck does this have to do with relationships and emotional unavailability?” A LOT! The above example is fundamental, simple, straightforward-not a lot of effort required to succeed at the task (If you choose to follow the instructions). The bottom line is the square shapes would not fit into the circular slots-both are INCOMPATIBLE. That’s why you wouldn’t use them to complete the assigned task (Duh!). We are smart enough to understand this elementary principle. So the question begs, “Why are we not emotionally smart enough to recognize when something is INCOMPATIBLE with us?” If you are expecting change while you stay in an unhealthy system, you are expecting the impossible.
Stay tuned for part 2 of The Square Peg Round Hole Phenomenon: Change is Nearly Impossible When You Stay in an Unhealthy System, and find out what you can do to release yourself from unhealthy relationship systems and incompatible relationships. Please share your thoughts, comments, and stories. Do you have a topic or a question on emotionally unavailable relationships that you would like addressed on the L.A. Blog? Please feel free to email: email@example.com or comment directly on a post that has inspired and empowered you.