#47 – Boundaries With “Avoiders”


This episode is for anyone who needs to learn more about boundaries, but I have a special announcement today for listeners who are betrayed partners. The Friday after this episode airs, I’ll be starting a start a five-part class: The Survive and Thrive Blueprint Live Online Mini-Course. Registration is open until February 28 at 11:59 PM!

Today’s episode is inspired by a listener’s question about the role of boundaries in relationships with what she calls “avoiders.” Tune in and learn all about how to handle setting boundaries in relationships with “avoiders,” how they differ from other boundaries, and what to do when a loved one is struggling with painful feelings that come up when they have an avoidant family member or friend.

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #47:

  • Being avoidant is one end of a continuum that has to do with our attachment style. There are two primary attachment styles: avoidant or anxious. Avoidant people often come from families with high avoidance, or had a very needy parent.
  • Trying to seem like a safe, comfortable person to get an avoidant person to come out from behind their wall probably won’t work.
  • There is a place for boundaries with avoiders, and this is more likely to be the limits you set for yourself rather than with the avoidant person. You can also create a boundary with an avoidant person by making an agreement, but there are some things to know first about creating agreements with them.
  • When you’re in a situation with an avoidant person and you’re trying to figure out how (or if) to respond, notice your sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Next, take action accordingly for your own well-being and self-care.

Highlights from Episode #47:

  • Vicki welcomes listeners to the episode and explains the back story behind how the podcast came to be. [00:39]
  • For listeners who are betrayed partners, or partners of sex addicts, Vicki has a special announcement. [02:58]
  • Vicki explains today’s topic, which relates to dealing with boundaries with people who are avoiders. [04:53]
  • What is an avoider? Vicki answers by explaining the two major attachment styles. [07:10]
  • Vicki talks about common ways that people can form avoidant attachment styles. [11:14]
  • People have a right to be who they are, even if they’re avoiders, Vicki explains. [17:15]
  • Vicki addresses the specific question of boundaries in relation to avoidant people. [19:34]
  • We hear specific examples of how to handle situations with avoidant spouses or people in your life. [24:42]
  • After noticing your experiences, take action for your own well-being and self-care. [29:54]
  • Vicki makes a final point specifically in relation to the listener’s question. [32:55]

Links and Resources:


Hi, I'm Victoria!

I love guiding my clients on a journey of Returning to the authentic truth of who they are, Reclaiming what is theirs, and Receiving everything that is meant for them.


  1. S Jones on August 7, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Hi…have you done a podcast specifically about the Anxious Attachment style? (And how to “recover” from it?)

    • Vicki Tidwell Palmer on August 8, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      Hi S Jones, I highly recommend Pia Mellody’s book, Facing Love Addiction, if you want to learn more about anxious attachment style and how to recover from it. This topic has not been addressed in the podcast.

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