Types of Abuse
The 'Avoider' Personality
These individuals are people who FEAR AND AVOID FEELINGS AND RELATIONSHIPS. They usually feel that their feelings are weak and unimportant, or they fear betrayal. Whichever the case, they are most uncomfortable expressing or sharing their feelings with others. These individuals can seem relational in that they are personable and friendly, unless you press in too close. Then, they keep people at arm's length, preferring shallow relationship without vulnerability. This style of relating can be frustrating for friends and relatives.
Intimacy is built through vulnerability and disclosure. As friends or family attempt to draw close to an avoider, they may experience a deep sense of loss and rejection as the avoider withdrawals behind a facade of indifference. On the one hand, the avoider may desire intimacy, but refuses to allow anyone in too close to avoid hurt or fear. His heart may cry out for love, security, and significance, but he rejects relationship, one of the avenues God created to satisfy those needs.
This style of relating many times has its roots in deep wounds. Unfortunately, the avoider suffers frustration in an effort to be close to God. Because he has a closed spirit to all relationships, he avoids depth with God as well. The first step an avoider must take toward healing is the risk of intimacy. If he refuses the risk of self-disclosure with his peers, then he will probably refuse the risk of close relationship with God. As the apostle John says in 1 John 4:20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?1 John 4 (KJV) verse 20:
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (NKJV)
Though this Scripture is discussing love, a principle is presented that holds true for the avoider. The verse raises the question: How can a man love a God he can't see, if he hates his brother whom he can see? In a similar line of reasoning, if an avoider refuses intimate relationship with the people in his life he sees daily, more than likely he will struggle with a relationship with God whom he can't see. In other words, people can usually only go as deep in relationship with God as they can go with their earthly relationships.
Excerpt from Freedom From Your Past by Jimmy Evans.