In the role of the aloof we distance ourselves from others, avoiding meaningful or honest emotional contact. In this way, we are less likely to be hurt or controlled by people’s negative emotions, requests or demands.
1. We hide from the intimidatorΥs attack, the interrogatorΥs inquisition and the victim’s complaints.
2. In addition to protecting ourselves by distancing ourselves, and not expressing our feelings either positively or negatively, we also gain self-worth by making others seek out contact with us.
Some of us aloofs are secretly hoping that someone will approach us. We secretly desire their attention but cannot get free from our role enough to approach them. The approached receives energy and affirmation from the one who approaches him seeking his or her company.
If the victim controls others through their feelings of responsibility and guilt, the Aloof controls others through their need for contact with or attention from him as he denies them attention and emotional exchange.
We can help the aloofs in our lives by first getting free from any ideas that they are not communicating with us because we have done something wrong. If they want to wear a long silent face, let them, they have the right to. Let them have the responsibility for the reality, which they chose to create.
*** I message to an Aloof ***
We can then communicate with them perhaps something like this.
“Dear, I have something important which I would like to express to you and if you want to answer me that would be wonderful. There are times in which you are silent, inexpressive or even seem sad or angry. At those times, when I do not know what you are feeling or thinking, I sometimes think that perhaps I have done something which has offended or hurt you, or perhaps you do not love me any more. I also get into thinking that you do not have enough trust in me, or do not feel close enough to me so as to share with me what you are feeling. Then I begin to doubt my self-worth as a spouse (or perhaps parent or other role).
“When I see you like this and make those interpretations, then I sometimes approach you trying to find out what is happening. Sometimes you respond and others you do not. That bothers me even more. I feel hurt and believe that you do not care about me or our relationship.
“I now realize that it doesnΥt help to pressure you to communicate with me. I am going to try to leave that to you. I just want you to know that I love you and I want and need to know more about what you are feeling and thinking, but that I am going to leave that up to you. And if, in fact, I have done or do something that has offended or hurt you, I very much want to hear it. Do not protect me by not telling me if something I do bothers you.
“I will try to leave you all the space you need to feel from within if you want to communicate with me more deeply.
“Do you have anything you would like to share with me at this time?”
Now let us look at a possible way to deal with an aloof person
“I would like to remember that he has a problem and is closed up because he fears being open. I want also to remember that I am not to blame for this reaction. I want to remember that I am worthy and safe and can solve my problems even if he never opens up.
I will stop pressuring him and give him space to be alone so that he will gradually begin to feel his own need for contact with me.
I will explain to him that I need and want more communication but that I see the negative results of pressuring or nagging him about it. I will also explain that I will be overjoyed if he would approach me when he feels the need to communicate more deeply, but that, until that time, I am going to start taking responsibility for my needs and my life.
I am going to stop feeling that I am to blame for his silence and am going to start engaging in various activities which fulfill me and give meaning to my life. I will also explain that I would be very happy for him to partake in any of those activities with me, should he wish.
I am going to stop waiting for him to open up and will start paying attention to my responsibilities, to my creativity, to my learning and growth process. I have so many other things in my life that can give me happiness. And when he is in the mood, I will enjoy my communication with him.