Dr Jozelle Miller
August 16, 2016
Spotting emotional unavailability – Part 2

Continued from last week

We continue with signs which may indicate

emotional unavailability.

6. You find it difficult to flirt; not only are you a terrible flirt, if someone is flirting with you it can take you a while to notice. It unsettles you; why are they interested? You find it difficult to flirt because you don’t really think you’re that much of a catch. You are genuinely uninterested.{{more}}

7. The overly enthused person is a turn off; people who are always super positive about everything and jumping around with enthusiasm and excitement about every little thing? Yeah, these people completely perplex you. You get exhausted watching them. You can’t tolerate it. It gives them the impression that you really dislike them, but you don’t. You just can’t keep up and frankly, you don’t want to.

8. You are not one to speak about your problems; people often think you’re really upset about something because you’re super quiet all the time. But you’re not; you just have your mind on other, more important things. Yes, you get stressed, but you relieve it through exercise and you don’t let it drag you down. You enjoy life and you don’t feel the need to tell everyone about it.

9. You really don’t like getting involved; you are considered a solo artist. You prefer to do individual projects, as opposed to working in a group. You wouldn’t be part of a rally, even if you supported a cause. You prefer individual sports, like swimming and running, to group sports. Even at parties, you would never be really interested in meeting people and having small talk with random people; staying in and reading or watching television is a lot more fun to you.

10. You make jokes in serious situations; you use sarcasm as a defensive shield against the world. Death of a family member, a friend’s break-ups, failing an exam…whatever the situation, you always have a witty comeback for the universe. People don’t always love you for it, but it’s all you have to protect yourself from showing emotion.

11. You are not drawn to available partners; you have terrible taste in partners. You are always drawn to the persons who are emotionally unavailable or those who are taken, those who can’t be there for you, because you don’t want to be there for them. If an available persons did become interested, you’d run for the hills.

12. You never want to appear weak; you’re very concerned with self-preservation. You’re closed off to protect yourself from looking stupid, emotional, and needy. Instead, you want people to perceive you as strong, cold and indifferent, even though underneath it all, you might be a big softie. You’ll have to be careful if you want to keep up the facade…someone might come along and they’ll be able to break down your walls and take off your mask, and you won’t see them coming.


Brief periods of emotional unavailability are very common. But we ought not to make it our life’s mission to keep others at arm’s length. We all need someone in our life, just as others need us.

Dr Miller is Health Psychologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.