1. They May Stress Boundaries
To maintain personal space, distance and independence they often create strict boundaries between themselves and their partner. These can vary between physical and emotional, but ultimately acts as a 'barrier' so that they can never be fully reached or accessible (which is when they feel both threatened and suffocated).
2. They May Withhold Feelings
They withhold feelings to keep their emotional distance and remain self-reliant. They will do whatever it takes to avoid being close to their partner, which includes sharing feelings. This is because talking about feelings and emotions strengthens emotional connections as they learn more about each other and their needs.
3. They May Often Be Dismissive and Disregarding
They tend to ignore and not understand their partner's needs and feelings. When confronted they make their partner out to be needy, sensitive or overreacting. They are dismissive of their partner and their feelings since they don't want to be tied down in the least, and caring about others counts as this.
4. They May Have a Fear of Intimacy
They constantly find reasons to pull away, which is the only way to avoid their deep rooted fear of intimacy. This can be anything from focusing on their partner's flaws to make them into deal-breakers to cutting off all communication entirely. They act out to stop others in their tracks if they are getting too close or know too much about them.
5. They May Send Mixed Signals
They tend to be on and off about the relationship, constantly change between hot and cold meaning sometimes they want it and other times they don't. They change their mind quicker than their partner can keep up with which makes it difficult to figure them out and decipher their needs and desires. Plans and romantic outings are hardly set in stone because the avoidant has trouble committing, even so much as a date.
6. They May See Commitment as a Trap
They view long term commitment such as marriage or relationships as a "trap". They are constantly looking out for threats which may invade or compromise their personal space and independence as well as being aware of those who want to create more intimacy with them. Avoidants are incapable of being in long-term relationships without feeling the strain, pressure, commitment and expectations that come with it so they end it quickly (also before their partner has a chance to hurt them). They tend to be alone for long periods of time as this is where they are most comfortable but may engage in a short term or casual relationship because this is the maximum amount of intimacy they can handle before feeling suffocated and tied down. They will quickly become restless and feel the urge for space again, pulling away and cutting all strings.
7. They May Look down on Neediness
They believe they are strong and independent and ultimately can only count on themselves. This encourages them to look down on the "neediness" of other people who are the opposite of them and need to constantly reach out for support and reassurance. Avoidants are so self-reliant that they don't seek these from anyone so they view this as weak behaviour of others.
8. They May Repress Their Emotions
They often ignore their emotional side by repressing such feelings that will trigger painful memories including past hurt and rejection. This is why Avoidants often come across as 'cold', 'distant' and are generally hard to make an emotional connection with. However this is simply a defensive mechanism used by the avoidant to prevent others from getting too close for comfort and the invasion of their personal space.
9. They May Have a Negative Response to Conflict
Their typical response to an argument, conflict, disagreement or any other stressful situation is to disengage or 'check out', becoming distant and aloof. This can give the impression that they simply don't care and aren't interested in confrontation or resolving issues with their partner, making them extremely hard to communicate with at the best of times. As a result their partner can feel neglected, dismissed and not cared for.
10. They May Aim to Maintain an Overly Positive Self Image
While they view themselves in an overly positive way a promote an image of high self esteem, usually this is to cover and keep hidden a highly fragile self that is vulnerable to rejection, hurt and harmful responses of others. This explains why they often view others in a negative and cynical way, assuming there's malicious intent behind their motives and it's a 'trap' they must stay clear of.
11. They May Have a Critical Inner Voice
They have a critical inner voice which reminds them they aren't meant to be in relationships and are better off alone, that others want to trap them and they need to focus on protecting themselves.