“If they really loved me, they would have…,” or “they’re going to leave me.”
Anxious attachment is developed when someone doesn’t receive consistent love and care throughout childhood. Someone who is anxiously attached often has a negative view of themselves which results in them idealizing their relationships and relying heavily on their partners to boost their self-esteem.
Anxiously attached types tend to bond quickly and tend to see the things they share in common with each new partner, instead of assessing whether their partner can or wants to meet their needs.
For instance, someone with an anxious style is usually disinterested in someone with a secure style. They instead are attracted to someone who is avoidant because such relationships fuels their anxiety. Being with an avoidant partner can validate their abandonment fears about relationships and beliefs about not being enough and unlovable.
Anxiously attached individuals typically:
- Need constant reassurance and affection from their partner
- They have trouble being alone or single.
- They’ll often succumb to unhealthy or abusive relationships.
To alleviate your anxiety, you might play games or manipulate your partner to get attention by withdrawing, acting out emotionally, provoking jealousy, or by threatening to leave. You may also become jealous of his or her attention towards others and call or text frequently, even when asked not to.
If you have an anxious attachment style, you will feel more stable in a committed relationship with someone who has a secure attachment style. This helps you become more secure. It takes self-awareness, patience and a strong desire to develop a secure attachment style, but it can be done.
If someone with anxious attachment learns how to communicate their needs more clearly, they can move towards having a more secure attachment style. You can move towards a secure attachment style by:
- Learning to be assertive and communicate more clearly
- Assertively express your emotional needs
- Be direct and authentic, don’t play games or try to manipulate your partner’s interest
- Stop reacting, and learn to resolve conflict through compromise
You will find that putting the effort in to shift your mindset and attachment style will provide you with more open, honest and satisfying relationships.
Keep a look out for the rest of our attachment style blog series and if you or your relationship need support, don’t hesitate to reach out!