Friendship and relationship advice,  Health & wellbeing,  How to Win Friends and Influence People

Hearts of stone?

“Whatever you want emotionally, you have to start giving away.” ~Mary Karr, memoirist

According to Dr. Lindsay Jernigan, a clinical psychologist quoted on, the term “emotionally unavailable” refers to individuals who are “not comfortable feeling their own emotions, sharing emotions with others, or being present and responsive to someone else’s emotions.”

Emotionally unavailable people don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves. We might describe them as prickly, distant, aloof, or unapproachable. And that doesn’t mean they’re unworthy of our affection — but they’re probably not the first ones we reach for when we need a dose of comfort.

We all know a few folks who qualify as emotionally unavailable — at work, in our families, and in our social circles. In a roundabout way, they teach us about the importance of reaching out for healthy emotional connection when we need it.

Love is an active verb, after all. As today’s quote reminds us, whether you want to receive love, validation, sympathy, or a big hug, sometimes you have to step up and initiate it. ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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