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BennieEddie

DA - Arguments And Communication

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I have a question that’s been in my mind for a while now. With so much of the avoidants’ behaviour being pulling away, I wonder how do you have a fair argument with someone who is avoidant? If you can’t talk to them or that is sort of my impression so I need some clarification on it. How do we actually have disagreements? Cause disagreements happen in all kinds of relationships, so I’m curious.

In my personal experience, as a friend I reached out to the introvert DA whom I was texting quite a few times back from Jan to May this year. Most of the time he dismissed and ignored me. He did reply back quickly within one minute after I texted him with my new number. to which he thanked me for letting him know. I believe at the time, he was going through his own emotional pain with rejection with his friends which resulted in him deleting around 20 friends from his Facebook page. I did reach out and offered emotional support and each time, he ignored my texts. Until I saw him sharing a post on a mutual friend's Facebook wall, the AP in me triggered and went into overdrive. I take full responsibility for my actions. I felt so rejected and hurt that I deleted him off from my Facebook page. Sent him a text and Facebook message wanting to hurt him back. I said some nasty things like cutting contact and how i will never contact him again. How I am fed up with constantly being rejected and ignored when I am only reaching out to be a friend. How this would be a second close friendship he has lost due to his inability to have close relationships.  

Although two days passed. The anger decreased a bit and I began to question on whether I had over-reacted.

So I sent him a Facebook friend's request which he declined. I rang his phone to which he knew it was me but still answered the phone. Although he didn't talk, he just listened. I was very shocked because I wasn't expecting him to answer. So when he did, I stumbled with words and it became an awkward silence. Then he hung up the phone.

Rang again three days later and the phone rang out.
 
It's been almost two months and I have taken a huge step back. I've not reached out. This is the longest time in the whole two and a half years in knowing him. Mainly to give him space. Mainly to work on my own recovery. 

This experience has truly been a learning one. It has made me look and wanting to explore about the DA style and about my own AP style. It has made me wanting to reflect and wanting to make positive changes about my own triggers and with how my reactions are.

I think, with now learning about the different attachment styles - this has helped me to reflect and respond with compassion and understanding better. 

This is a friendship which I care and value deeply about. I would like to aim or at least aim to try to make amends. At least if I could try to get him to talk to me - that would be a start! I think the DA in him keeps me at bay especially as I'm the kind of person who prefers to talk and deal with conflict asap to prevent any resentment from happening if things hasn't been addressed. I deeply regret on how I responded and do feel my reaction could have been a lot lighter.

It's my friend's birthday towards the end of July. I would like to use the opportunity to try to reach out.

Any tips, advice or techniques that has helped you with arguments or conflict with a DA or AP that you could kindly share? How have you managed to respond or deal when the DA retreats? How have you managed to re-connect with the DA after they have retreated?

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You say he's unable to have a close relationship and that seems to be what you want.  I don't know that that will ever happen.  You probably want to buy him a cake for his birthday and take him out to dinner to celebrate.  He's probably someone that doesn't want to celebrate his birthday or even act like it's a special day.  I don't know that things will work.  I would just move on.  You haven't talked in 2 months.

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I have to concur with @sober4life about moving on.  I'll share a few things I've learned in my 6+ decades, for what they're worth, some of 'em picked up in meetings.

One is that when you don't know what to do, do nothing.  Put another way, it sounds like you've been bouncing off the walls, sending mixed messages yourself.  otoh, it sounds like he's been doing just what he needs to do.

Another concerns amends.  Sometimes, with good reason, people aren't open to amends.  They're under no obligation to accept an apology.  In fact, sometimes the attempt can make things worse.  See #1 above.

Third, strictly a personal opinion, sometimes people and/or situations can't be "fixed."  "If I could try to get him to talk to me...."?  And how are you gonna force him to do that?  To be blunt, is there anything else you think he should be doing?  And I'm absolutely serious about this suggestion, write down a list of all the things YOU think HE should be doing.  Then burn it.

The only possible "fix" is yourself.  I'd focus on that.

Edited by MarkintheDark

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From what it appears, it seems his in a better place in life now. So reaching out now may be the right time to see how he would respond - it would be great if his able to answer the phone for us to talk. 

I'll do my best. I want to at least try everything I can to see if the friendship can be saved.

Cuz at least then, I can safely walk away and say I tried. I gave my all. That would be closure for me.

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I rang my friend two days ago and his personal phone went straight to voicemail. I left a message. When his personal phone is off, I know it's his way of needing space.

This evening, I rang his work phone and it rang out about five times before going to voicemail. I sent a text requesting if we could talk? But no response.

I think it's plain to see, he still needs space and I'm going to respect that. So I shall back off.

At this moment, I have tried to make amends and now the ball is in his court.

I shall get on with my life and remain focused on my recovery.

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