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Why Men Pull Away
Craving For Approval
I wanted to talk to you about one of the reasons why men pull away and this is a big one. There are many reasons why men can pull away. One of the biggest reasons, in my opinion, is that we are craving approval from men. That’s the biggie. We want men to approve of us. We’re afraid of rejection and we’re afraid to get hurt. What happens though is we find ourselves being rejected and being hurt because we put much emphasis on our self-worth and approval on external situations and on people, especially on men in the dating process. If you never experienced true intimacy within yourself, you’re always going to be looking for approval externally. That’s what happens. When you’re trying to win approval from another person, it’s the surest way to avoid intimacy from yourself because you’re disconnecting from yourself in that moment and you’re looking to him to tell you who you are. You’re holding him the object of your value and your self-worth. In that process, you objectify him. You turn him into an object. Instead of seeing him for the man that’s sitting across from you, you now see him as an object and a source of your approval and your validation and your sense of self-worth.
You disconnect in that moment. It short-circuits your ability to have a genuine connection because you’re not bringing the authentic you that feel safe and secure inside. You’re bringing a need to him, this neediness that you have because you want him to give you that validation or approval so that you can feel safe inside. From that place, you feel like, “Now, we have a relationship.” That’s why we’re looking to have men like us. When we don’t get the approval and acknowledgment and the text back or the emails back or the looks back, we fall apart and we become disenchanted. It’s because we gave up our power and pretty much hand it over to this man across from us. We’re asking him to define who we are and to give us value so that we can feel good about ourselves so that we can be in a relationship with them. What happens is it completely backfires because when we objectify men like that, we hold them hostage for our happiness. They don’t like that. They can feel that. They can sense it and it doesn’t feel good. It makes them feel uncomfortable. It’s one of the biggest reasons why men pull away. It’s so unconscious. We don’t even realize that we’re doing it.
Holding men responsible for our own love, our own self-worth and acceptance is a massive responsibility and one that men do not want to take on. They can sense this right away because we’re looking at them and immediately, our self-esteem starts to go down. We start to become nervous or insecure and we start to do a certain amount of behaviors that are not the behavior that we started the relationship out with. We’re now in this place where we need their approval constantly to feel good about our self to move through our day. When we don’t get it, we start to question ourselves. When we question ourselves, our confidence dips and then they aren’t attracted to that. They’re not attracted to this insecure, needy person that’s sitting in front of them. In that moment, we’re not even connected to that person in a genuine way because we don’t know how to do that for ourselves. It’s a lack of intimacy with yourself. If you can’t see that, it’s your blind spot.
You have to learn to give love and acceptance to yourself. You have to learn to give yourself the intimacy that you need. Look at what intimacy is. It’s “into me I see.” It’s easy to remember that. Look at it as a house. You’re building this solid foundation for yourself when you’re beginning the process of becoming self-intimate. Those cornerstones of that foundation are unconditional love, unconditional acceptance, boundary protection, and your ability to nurture yourself. In those moments, when you recognize that you’re looking for approval and you’re looking at your phone and you’re wondering why he hasn’t called you back or if he’s going to call you back and you’re obsessing on that. Right away, I want you to notice that in that moment, you were handing over your approval to another. You’re saying, “If you don’t text me, I’m going to feel bad.” You’re giving up all your power. When you do that, you disconnect yourself from yourself. You have the ability to be intimate with yourself, but you avoid it.
Starting From Childhood
First of all, let’s see where it starts. It starts when we’re children because we look to our parents to tell us who we are. From a young age, our parents are telling us what we are, who we are, and what we’re going to do with our lives. We were trained to move away from our ability to source all of this from within to external sources. It explains why we’re doing it. It also shows you now that you’re an adult, you’re all grown up, how dysfunctional it is to continue to look outside of yourself for external validation. What is validation? What does that mean? Validation is giving value. When you look for another person to validate you, you give away your power and you don’t give yourself value in the process. You devalue yourself when you hold others accountable for your worth and your value. You can see how this process is like a cycle. It’s a pattern. We start the dating process or we’re in relationships and we look to them to show us that they like us and they’re interested and we love it. It’s like a drug, we’re hooked. They give us a little bit more and then that process kicks in that pattern where we’re becoming dependent on them for this feeling, for this high that doesn’t last long at all.When you're trying to win approval from another person, you avoid intimacy from yourself. Click To Tweet
When we don’t get it right away, we start to doubt if the relationship’s going anywhere or if they’re interested in us. All of that activity, that behavior takes us out of focusing on ourselves and puts it back on that person. We start to project our neediness and these emotional needs. This foundation that we can develop within ourselves, these cornerstones. We start to project those onto a man and we objectify him in that process and holding him hostage for our feelings of self-worth. It’s crazy but that explains this pattern that we get stuck in and then we feel controlled. That’s where the resentment comes from. We can feel controlled by somebody because they are not giving us what we want. We become obsessed. We’re looking at our phone or wondering where they are or why they haven’t called.
Unconditionally Love Yourself
In that process, we become unavailable in that moment to ourselves. We’re not present because we’re distracted about this person because we’re holding them hostage for our sense of wellbeing and wholeness. We become very frustrated with that and disenchanted. The truth is we feel controlled. The truth is it’s your own need for approval from others that’s controlling you. Think about that. If you will take back that control and recognize that you have the ability to create a rich, juicy relationship with yourself by starting to unconditionally love yourself. Unconditionally accept yourself by nurturing yourself and by protecting your boundaries. That is the foundation of your emotional heart that you need to build on so that you can feel safe, sane, and secure.
Safe so you don’t feel if the guy doesn’t call you back your world’s going to collapse. Sane so you don’t go crazy and unconscious, thinking and obsessing on men and on the dating process. Secure because when you take back the control of your happiness, then you will feel safe. You know that you are the source of everything that you need in your life. You are the source of happiness. You are the source of love. You are the source of your approval and validation. When you take responsibility for that, when you have the ability to respond to yourself in that way, you do feel safe. You aren’t dependent on a man to give you those things. From that place, you do have the emotional stealth and ability to have a healthy relationship with a man. He’s going to see you as secure, confident, brave, intimate and authentic because you’re not looking around for him to give you all these things.
You’re free to explore a relationship with someone. You’re free to see who this person that’s showing up in front of me and allow them to show you who they are, without this expectation that they satisfy these basic fundamental needs that only you can satisfy. It’s powerful and exciting to me when I see women start to make sense of what I’m saying. Visualize you’ve got a cord coming out of your heart and you’re trying to plug it into a man. You’re trying to plug into him because you think that’s what intimacy is, but that’s not what intimacy is. That’s what codependency is. The old relationship paradigm is two circles that come together and make one and that doesn’t work at all. That is extremely dysfunctional. The new relationship paradigm is two circles come together side by side and create that infinity symbol. Two circles are whole and complete and they sit side by side. That is a healthy, functional relationship. You can be free to give yourself value, decide what your worth is, and not leaving it dependent on a man to decide how valuable you are because you value yourself and you recognize that.
Visualize that you have this cord coming out of your heart and you’re trying to connect it to a man. What I want you to do is take the other end of that cord and I want you to plug it into your belly button. The cord that’s coming out, it’s like a hose. It’s on full blast and it’s looking to connect to somebody, but you have to take the end of that hose and plug it into yourself, plug it into your belly button. When you do that, you’re going to power up like crazy because you’re leaking energy. When you have that cord coming out of your heart and it’s flying around looking for somebody else to give you what you can give yourself, you’re leaking all this energy. As soon as you plug it back into yourself, you’ve plugged that hole up essentially where you’re leaking energy and you start to feel safe, sane, and secure in the world. When you feel safe, sane and secure, there is nothing that you can’t do. You can set your goals high because you are the source of everything that you need. Everything else you get in life, the men, the money, the house, the cars, the trips, whatever it is that you want. That’s all a bonus. That’s all the icing on the cake.You have to learn to give yourself the intimacy that you need. Click To Tweet
Remember, you’re the cupcake. Don’t give your power away to men. First of all, they don’t want it. They want you to be powerful. They want you to be self-empowered. That’s what men are looking for. The biggest thing that turns him off is a woman that’s looking to empower herself through a man. Basically, here’s the thing. They’re in the same position. They need to power themselves up. You can’t hold space for somebody like that. It’s unhealthy. That is the biggest things that sabotage women in dating and in relationships. I hope that you can hear what I’m saying because this will help you. Visualize of you powering up by plugging into yourself. Every time you feel yourself drift into that feeling where you’re thinking about how somebody is responsible for somebody. Something that they’ve done or feeling resentment or feeling like you’re a victim, then notice at that moment that you disconnected yourself from yourself. You have the power to plug back into that moment and turn everything around for yourself.
How do you resolve your trust issues? Trust is about boundaries. We don’t trust ourselves because we don’t hold healthy boundaries. It’s hard to trust men when we don’t trust ourselves. I feel trust issues start with not trusting yourself that you’ll be okay, that you will hold a healthy boundary. That you’ll say no and you’ll know what your limits are and you’ll vote with your feet. When you don’t know how to hold healthy boundaries for yourself in terms of emotional, physical, and financial you end up over giving. You end up over giving and in over giving, people take because it’s a match. You’re giving and they’re receiving, then there’s a match and people will take advantage of you. You’ll feel like, “I can’t trust anybody.” You have to learn to hold healthy boundaries and recognize that you don’t have to worry about trusting someone else. The person that you need to learn to trust is you. When you’re connected to you and you’re more intimate with yourself, you will notice when things are not going the way they need to be going. You’ll be more alert to the red flags in that moment. You’ll be able to hold a healthy boundary by using good communication.
What happens is when you’re not intimate with yourself, when you’re not being responsible for your emotional independence. You’re nurturing your love, acceptance, and boundaries. If you’re looking for somebody else to do that, then you don’t trust yourself to do it. It’s easy to get hurt because you don’t have any boundaries. You don’t have any skills and tools and a process in play to repair that pain. You continue to stay in that pain because you get stuck in the storyline and you keep thinking about what happened and how he did this and this happened. In the process of thinking about that over and over again, I call that getting stuck in a storyline. You end up unconsciously and involuntarily recreating more untrustworthy scenarios in an attempt to feel better. Why do we this? It’s an attempt for you to heal that place in you that isn’t trusting. It’s about learning to trust yourself and to know that you have the ability. You have the capacity to heal these parts of you that were wounded and pay more attention to when those feelings are arising so that you can see where this pain is sourcing from. “Why am I not trusting? What is it about the situation that I can’t trust?”
Sometimes what happens if we’ve been hurt in the past from painful experience, our mind will send up a warning bell. It’s like a false alarm. It’s like a smoke alarm will go off and we’ll quickly withdraw because that’s been our coping mechanism. The behavior is the warning bell goes off, the fire drill goes off. There’s a fire. You pull back in order to protect yourself, but that’s highly dysfunctional. That’s called withdrawing to feel safe. You pull back to protect yourself, but in the process, you disconnect yourself from you because you never explored why and got curious, “Is there a fire or is that a false alarm?” 99% of the time, it’s a false alarm. The alarm is still there because at one time there was a fire, but the fire is put out. You’re okay but you’re still reliving that painful experience. Your mind wants to keep you safe at all costs. It’s going to continue to sound off that alarm until you get curious about it. Until you start to ask questions like, “What am I feeling and what is this anchored to?”
Those are the questions you need to ask because the truth is there. It’s been there all along. You haven’t had the courage to look at it because somewhere along the way you told yourself that it was your fault or you’re not worthy. We’re back to this not worthy or you’re not good enough and you’re still looking outside of yourself from the source of approval and you get hurt in that process. It’s a cycle that you can’t get out of. Learning to meet these needs from within is critical. It’s how you can heal that hurt and how you’re going to stay more emotionally grounded when you’re dating. It’s how you’re going to have a healthy relationship when you meet a man. You’ll have the skills and tools to not run because I know there are a lot of runners. I used to be a runner. You’ll run off as soon as that fire alarm goes off in your head and you’re out of there. You have to learn to stay the course. You have to show up with more emotional courage and get more curious. It comes down to asking the question, “What am I afraid of?” Ask yourself that question. Track it back to the original source. Track it back to the origin where you first became afraid, then in that moment, show up for yourself. Don’t run. Stay there and give yourself love. Plug that cord back into yourself and give yourself the love and validation that you need so that you can feel safe again, that you can open your heart and trust.You can be free to give yourself value, decide what your worth is, and not leave it dependent on a man. Click To Tweet
I want to keep myself open to everything. I have boundaries. I don’t have to worry about trusting people. As soon as I see a behavior that is not appropriate to certain degrees, I will adjust what I’m doing. I will adjust my behavior so I’m safe, but I never have to close down my heart in that process unless it’s something that’s unhealthy. In that case, you’ll have to vote with your feet and leave the relationship. A lot of times, it’s a fear that shows up because you’ve had a painful experience in the past and your pattern has been to run. You’re still stuck in that pattern and you have to learn to stay. You have to learn to dig in. Be more emotionally intimate with yourself. Stop looking outside of yourself for external approval. Start giving it to yourself and you’re going to find that your relationships become deeper, juicier, and more interesting because you’re not making that person across from you an object. You’re seeing them for who they are because you’re not expecting something from them that they don’t have the capacity to give at that moment. They’re giving that to themselves.
I hope this was helpful. I want to tell you this cute little story. There is a woman who lives in Northern California who has a farm of thousands and thousands of daffodils. Once a year, the daffodils come up and bloom. She has a big winding driveway that leads up to her home and she lets people come up and look at her thousands of daffodils because it’s a spectacle. People all over Northern California drive up there and have heard of her farm and want to come up and see how beautiful it is. On the way up, she has these signs as you’re driving up this windy driveway that you can drive through, stop, get out, walk around then drive past. She says, “Your questions will be answered.” She has all these cute little signs on the way up. Basically, the signs say, “How long did it take me to plant a thousand daffodils?” She says, “One bulb at a time, one step at a time.” What she’s saying is she planted every single one of those daffodils, but she didn’t do it in one day.
She did it one step at a time, one bulb at a time. Over the course of time, she grew these beautiful, amazing hillsides of these daffodils. Why I’m telling you this is because you are planting these seeds in yourself one seed at a time, one bulb at a time. It’s going to grow and blossom to this beautiful spectacle of self-love, self-acceptance, healthy boundaries, and the ability to nurture yourself. I want you to plant your farm, plant your bulbs so they start growing because a man’s going to look over at you and with that smile. Think about all those daffodils, how beautiful you are going to be. You’re going to be a picture of that. I hope this is inspiring for you. I’m thinking about all of you with lots and lots of love.