How to Recognize and Overcome Your Attachment Style
Anxious attachment style: Do you often feel insecure or anxious about your relationship? Do you crave closeness and intimacy, but also fear rejection and abandonment? Do you constantly seek reassurance and validation from your partner, but never feel satisfied? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have an anxious attachment style.
Anxious attachment is one of the four types of attachment styles that describe how people relate to others in their lives. Attachment styles are formed in early childhood, based on the quality of the bond between the child and their primary caregiver. Anxious attachment develops when the caregiver is inconsistent, unpredictable, or emotionally unavailable, making the child feel insecure and uncertain about their love and support.
People with an anxious attachment style carry these feelings of insecurity and anxiety into their adult relationships. They tend to have a negative view of themselves and a positive view of others. They believe that they are unworthy of love and that their partner is too good for them. They also fear that their partner will leave them for someone else or lose interest in them
Some of the common signs of an anxious attachment style are:
- Worrying excessively about being rejected or abandoned by your partner
- Frequently trying to please and gain approval from your partner
- Feeling threatened, panicked, angry, or worried that your partner no longer wants you when you spend time apart or do not hear from them within an otherwise reasonable amount of time
- Having difficulty setting and respecting boundaries
- Overly fixating on the relationship to the point where it consumes much of your time
- Constantly needing attention and reassurance from others
- Having difficulty trusting others
- Tolerating unhealthy behaviors in relationships
An anxious attachment style can have a negative impact on your mental health and well-being. It can also affect the quality and stability of your relationships. You may experience more conflict, dissatisfaction, insecurity, and distress in your interactions with your partner. You may also have trouble forming healthy and lasting connections with others.
The good news is that you can change your attachment style and overcome your anxiety. With therapy, self-awareness, and practice, you can develop a more secure attachment style that allows you to feel confident, comfortable, and happy in your relationships.
Here are some tips to help you cope with your anxious attachment style:
- Seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand the root causes of your attachment style, identify your triggers and patterns, and provide you with tools and strategies to manage your anxiety and improve your communication skills.
- Practice self-care. Taking care of yourself can help you reduce stress, boost your mood, and increase your self-esteem. Engage in activities that make you happy, such as hobbies, exercise, meditation, or spending time with friends. Also, make sure to get enough sleep, eat well, and avoid substances that can worsen your anxiety.
- Challenge your negative thoughts. When you feel anxious or insecure about your relationship, try to examine the evidence behind your thoughts. Are they based on facts or assumptions? Are they helpful or harmful? Replace them with more realistic and positive thoughts that support your well-being.
- Express your needs and feelings. Instead of hiding or suppressing your emotions, try to communicate them clearly and respectfully to your partner. Use “I” statements to express how you feel and what you need, without blaming or accusing your partner. For example, instead of saying “You don’t care about me”, say “I feel hurt when you don’t call me back”.
- Respect your partner’s needs and feelings. Just as you want your partner to understand and meet your needs, you should also do the same for them. Listen to what they have to say, acknowledge their perspective, and compromise when necessary. Don’t try to control or manipulate them to get what you want.
- Build trust and intimacy. Trust is essential for any healthy relationship. To build trust with your partner, you need to be honest, loyal, consistent, and reliable. You also need to respect their privacy and boundaries. To build intimacy with your partner, you need to share your thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, dreams, and experiences with them. You also need to show them affection, appreciation, and support.
- Seek balance and independence. While it is natural to want to be close to your partner, it is also important to have some space and time for yourself. Having a balanced and independent life can help you maintain your identity, interests, goals, and friendships outside of the relationship. It can also help you avoid becoming too dependent or clingy on your partner.
Anxious attachment is not a permanent condition. You can change it with awareness, effort, and support. By following these tips, you can overcome your anxiety and enjoy more fulfilling and satisfying relationships.