Coldness and affective distance

Table of contents:

Coldness and affective distance
Coldness and affective distance

What is the reason for the coldness and affective distance that some people establish in front of others?

In this article we reflect on the reason for a certain estrangement that some people have in relationships, analyzing it from a psychological point of view.

The affective distance, the lack of empathy or warmth, we can think, in the first instance, that it constitutes a defense, or a way of self-protection. Cold people in their ties, they may fear getting emotionally involved, always trying to keep a distance that makes them feel safe.


In many cases, this distance develops over generations. Being the son or daughter of parents who were not affective can cause this to be repeated as a bonding modality. Upbringing that does not include affection and emotional presence can generate discomfort in the future adult when faced with demonstrations of affection. It is very important in the development of singularity to receive affection and affection. Caress and body contact are essential in a baby's life for her he althy growth, and this undoubtedly marks future development. However, distance can also be established as a way of cutting with bonding modalities that are too invasive. When body space is invaded and contact is excessive, the individual may also need to build a protective distance andseparate it from the other.

Affective distance can also be observed in people who have a more complex psychological condition, such as psychosis or autism, for example, where it may be due to affective flattening or apathy that these people usually present patients. Likewise, in cases of depression, the person can generate this distancing. Any compromised picture can imply a difficulty in depositing energy in the bonds, and this is reflected in some distance.

Coldness is usually characteristic of very rational people. An overly analytical mindset prevents you from being able to connect with feelings

Carl G. Jung distinguished 4 psychological functions, grouped into two pairs of opposites: Thought-Feeling, Sensation-Intuition. These Functions reflect ways in which we approach what happens to us, how we perceive what happens and how we process it. Although we all have the 4 functions, we tend to develop some more than others, and, within each pair, the more developed we have one, the more hidden and underdeveloped the other is. Following this line, it can be seen how the excessive development of Thought necessarily leaves Feeling in inferior conditions. Sometimes even hidden and inaccessible.

For this reason, highly intellectual people or people with a great development of rationality usually have difficulties expressing themselves affectively and showing feelings to others. Record and work on these aspectsit allows us to integrate and balance the different functions

Coldness can also be considered and, as mentioned above, a means of avoidance. A way not to deepen relationships, to leave a distance that prevents the other from getting close enough. This may be due, among other things, to the fear of being invaded or hurt. Previous experiences in history in this sense can forge the foundations for the individual to continue defending himself in this way. This can imply difficulties, in turn, to achieve intimacy, because contact is necessary to become intimate in ties..

Popular topic