This is an area I have been reflecting on for many years, pondering and asking myself why such behaviour exists. And with my recent expression through writing, felt it was time to talk about this interesting and often confusing area of behaviour.
So here, based on my experience and observation, I will describe what I believe are some of the reasons for such behaviour. These are not the right or only reasons and just my current views.
The definition in a dictionary is something along these lines - Not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant. Or conspicuously uninvolved and uninterested, typically through distaste.
With this analysis I am going to be explaining the first part of the definition. Looking over what causes the not friendly or forthcoming and cool or distant behaviour.
There are many examples that come to mind when I think of aloof behaviour, however there are a few common examples that come to mind.
The typical behaviour is of the person that will only make contact or express a greeting when they are spoken to by others and won’t make an effort to engage with others and initialize interactions themselves.
Another example is when one engages with another and the response is one of distance and coldness.
These behaviours can make someone look arrogant and ignorant and as if they think they are above or better than others.
Of course someone has to start a conversation and there might be instances when talking to someone might not be to the best of ones interests. What I am describing here, are the proclivities of someone and not isolated occurrences.
When it comes to being cool and distant, I see these as being behaviours that are nothing more than coping mechanisms. A way for an individual to avoid the perceived or real experience of rejection.
Possible causes to such behaviour could result from being ignored or rejected during younger years. As a child we will naturally have moments when are parents or caregivers are not available for us, and we can take these to mean a withdrawal of love and as absolutes. If the experience is really traumatic, it can leave us with these feelings that colour our whole experience and cause us to filter our whole life this way. And now as a way to avoid reliving these painful memories, we use these coping mechanisms.
Being distant or withdrawn allows one to feel a sense of safety and that there is no chance of rejection. However the more we behave in this way the more we actually feel rejected and neglected by others.
It also has to do with giving and receiving. With the left side of our body being the receiving side (feminine) and right side for giving (masculine).These kinds of traumatic early experiences create an imbalance within us and this then creates our behaviour.
If we look for something, be it love or acceptance and it is not there or rarely there, we then begin to withdraw and hold back as a way to protect ourselves. To cut ourselves off from that which we want and need. This can then create passive behaviour and someone that holds back and is rarely willing to give. This is a perfectly normal consequence, of not being accepted when we have given or asked for something and each time we have been rejected or had one experience that was so traumatic that it created a point of reference.
This all creates a problem with receiving and if we can’t receive, then we can have nothing to give and this can cause us to feel as if we are running on empty.
By questioning our reactions and behaviour, we can begin to ask ourselves if we are acting from the present moment or acting from past memories. Past memories that trigger past associations and that have nothing to with what is going on now - in the present moment.
Just as I have mentioned above about there individual occurrences, there is also our interpretations of behaviour, that can cause us to assume and come to conclusions.
There might also be other factors involved. These could be that the person is shy, quite or that there is currently something going on in their life that is causing the aloof behaviour.
It might also have to do with environmental influences that are creating conflict and pressures for the individual. And if we see this behaviour a lot or it causes a reaction in us, then it could be mirroring something we need to look at within ourselves.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.