What Is Anxious Attachment In Adults?
This behaviour involves individuals persistently believing they are not worthy enough, manifesting as clinginess and possessiveness within their relationships. Consequently, they harbour a constant apprehension that their partner may abandon them.
Such individuals consistently struggle with feelings of low self-worth or fear of being disappointed by others. They often exhibit people-pleasing tendencies and alternate between outbursts of anger and seeking affection and support.
Signs You Have Anxious Attachment
Here are the signs of anxious attachment.
1. Yearning for intimacy
Individuals with anxious attachment exhibit a strong desire to be in the presence of their partner constantly. They struggle to accept that their partners can maintain an independent life while in a relationship.
Even when their partner engages in social activities or spends time with friends, the anxiously attached person may still experience feelings of insecurity. Additionally, they may have difficulty respecting personal boundaries and become excessively overbearing.
2. Suppress their desires for another
Individuals with anxious attachment often struggle with low self-confidence and possess a deep-seated fear that their partner might lose interest and leave them. This underlying insecurity drives them to go above and beyond to perform favours and acts of kindness for their partner, hoping to alleviate their anxiety.
They willingly sacrifice their needs and desires to ensure their partner’s comfort and happiness. However, after investing so much effort, they anticipate reciprocal gestures from their partner. When these expectations are unmet, the anxious individual may experience depression, anger, and resentment.
3. Fears Abandonment
Due to their low self-confidence, individuals with anxious attachment often harbour a deep-seated fear of abandonment by their partner. They tend to constantly envision hypothetical scenarios where their partner might leave them rather than fully embracing and enjoying the present moment.
They often lack clarity regarding their desires and expectations within the relationship. When their partner displays affection, they may doubt the sincerity of their intentions while experiencing a strong desire for intimacy when their partner appears distant. Even slight changes in their partner’s behavior can unsettle them and trigger feelings of unease.
4. Have puzzled thoughts
Individuals with anxious attachments often perceive things differently compared to the average person. Research has shown that those with anxious attachments tend to tend to adopt more negative perspectives and fewer positive outlooks.
5. Resort to manipulation
Individuals with anxious attachments often employ strategies to shield themselves from their perceived emotional distress. In pursuing intimacy with their partner, they may exhibit sacrificial behaviours, seemingly going above and beyond for the relationship.
Unconsciously, they might use subtle manipulation tactics to assess their partner’s level of interest and commitment. It is important to note that these actions are typically not intentional but rather a way for them to seek attention and provoke a response from their partner.
6. Gets jealous unnecessarily
Anxiously attached individuals become upset or distressed when their partner shows attention or interest towards someone else. They experience deep fear and anxiety that their partner might engage in infidelity, which keeps them in constant unease or apprehension.
7. Needs Assurance
The fears and negative emotions experienced by individuals with anxious attachment lead them to have a strong desire for continuous reassurance from their partner, seeking confirmation that they are truly loved. They become restless and uneasy when they don’t receive the reassurance they seek.
They may frequently monitor their partner’s behavior, using it as a gauge to measure the depth of their partner’s love. They often bombard their partner with questions such as “Do you love me?” or “Why don’t you express it more often?” in their quest for constant affirmation.
What Could Be The Cause of Anxious Attachment?
An anxious attachment may develop in a relationship where trust is lacking, and there is a persistent fear of rejection. When one partner becomes overly dependent and suffocating towards the other, it indicates an unhealthy dynamic.
A healthy and fulfilling relationship requires trust and the freedom to have personal space. If one partner continuously attempts to control the other, it creates discomfort and risks the relationship. Over time, the affected partner may start to withdraw and become distant as they grow weary of constantly addressing their partner’s doubts and soothing their insecurities.
How To Overcome Anxious Attachment?
Here are the strategies for overcoming anxious attachment for a better relationship
Once you acknowledge and identify that you have an anxious attachment style, initiating change becomes more feasible. Every anxiously attached individual tends to exhibit a pattern of behaviours, and once you become aware of this pattern, you can take steps to break free from it.
For instance, if you often find yourself in situations where your partner calls and you cannot answer, causing them to become impatient, you can proactively communicate your availability and potential busyness in advance. By practising such exercises, you will gradually feel liberated from the excessive overthinking burdening you.
2. Talk to your partner
Your anxious attachment style primarily impacts your partner, who is directly affected by it. It is essential to have open and honest conversations with your partner, where you can explain your situation and seek their understanding and support.
Collaboratively, you can explore ways your partner can help calm your anxieties and provide reassurance. Concurrently, it is crucial for you to actively work on developing trust in your partner, as building trust is a fundamental aspect of cultivating a healthier relationship.
3. Avoid Overreacting
Anxiously attached individuals often create intricate scenarios in their minds and exaggerate situations. If you recognize this pattern within yourself, practising stepping away from the situation is helpful when you sense that your imagination is running wild.
Take some time to calm yourself down, and once you have regained composure, reevaluate the situation with a clearer perspective. Engage in open communication with your partner, discuss your concerns, and decide on the most appropriate action moving forward.
4. Try to Avoid Too Much Thinking
By training your mind to let go of past regrets and reduce excessive worry about the future, you can cultivate the ability to live in the present moment. Engaging in practices such as yoga and meditation can greatly assist in gaining control over your thoughts and emotions. These mindfulness techniques provide valuable tools for managing your mind and promoting a sense of presence and inner peace.
5. Seek For Therapy
If you find that breaking anxious attachment patterns seems challenging despite your sincere efforts, it is important not to be discouraged or disheartened. Letting go of long-held patterns that originated from childhood can indeed be difficult.
Consider having open and honest conversations with your partner about seeking professional therapy in such circumstances. Therapists are skilled professionals who can guide and support both of you.
They can suggest effective strategies for addressing your fears and anxieties while teaching your partner how to support you on your journey of growth and healing actively.
An anxious attachment style can be emotionally draining, making individuals feel insecure about themselves and their partners. This insecurity has the potential to strain and jeopardize the relationship. To prevent this, trust and belief are essential in fostering a healthy relationship.
Both partners must have self-trust and confidence to trust each other. Although it may be challenging, allowing your partner the freedom to socialize and live their own life is vital. It is important to recognize that overly possessive or controlling can ultimately fracture a relationship if the other partner struggles to adapt or feels suffocated.