The kind of relationship we have with our parents determines our relationship with ourselves and others. Attachment to parents is formed in the first year of life and is fixed by the age of four. When you are an adult, the type of your love affection manifests itself in all relationships with others, but especially strongly in romantic ones. There are several basic types of attachment. We will consider an anxious attachment style in adults and tips on how to deal with it if you want to meet a romantic partner and build a healthy relationship.
How does an anxious attachment style develop in childhood
When a child feels that parents love them, but they are unreliable, and their attitude depends on the child's behavior, then, most likely, this child will develop an anxious, insecure attachment style. Such children (about 30% in the United States) are in dire need of support and constantly want to be close to loved ones. They are very worried that loved ones will disappear; they try to attract the attention of parents and get easily upset when they are ignored. They rush to kindergarten in the morning only to throw a tantrum there, refuse to play with their peers, and run away from the teacher.
Both anxious and avoidant styles of attachment are the result of a lack of attention. This problem remains outside the field of vision of social workers. At a glance, such children live well: they have food, clothes, toys, and a roof over their heads. But they don't get enough attention and emotional support. Perhaps their parents are busy or do not know how to support that they never received themselves.
In the example of our loved ones' behavior in childhood, we form an opinion about what our relationship with people should look like. It would be useful if people on any single ladies dating site note their attachment style in the description bio. Life would have been easier. Besides, scientists have found that our opinion about love and relationship is stable and affects not only personal but our professional relationships. People with an anxious attachment style are prone to overworking and emotional burnout on a base of deadlines and overloads.
Anxious attachment style in adults: how it manifests itself
What is an anxious attachment style in real life? You met a sweet girl with whom you finally felt warm and comfortable. She seems sensitive and attentive. Then, she invited you home for the first time, behaved so nicely, and cherished you like a mother. However, your mother's comparison is not the most reassuring, because pretty soon, she begins to control you in the same way. You can no longer hang out after work in the bar because she doesn't let you go out alone. However, she does not go to parties either because she cannot stand loud music and large companies.
Here is a small anxious attachment style quiz for you:
- People with an anxious attachment style in relationships require a lot of attention. It seems that there will never be enough attention for them; they always want more; they are driven by the destructive fear that they are not good enough people.
- They often compare themselves to others, and strive for excellence, freeing them from a sense of their mediocrity.
- They want more than anyone else can give and are offended that you cannot read their minds.
- They can be pessimistic about success and tend to throw tantrums.
- They love to argue and are not ready to just give in.
Did you get more than three "yes?" If the answer is affirmative, you are used to anxious attachment style dating. Adults with attachment styles "anxious" might describe themselves like this: "Others don't want to be with me as close as I would like them to be. I often worry that my partner does not love me or may leave. I want to become one with another person, and this desire sometimes scares people away. "
Signs of anxious attachment style in relationships
The psychological insecurity lenses make people with an attachment style “anxious” see rejection all over the place. They are scared to death of it and are trying to avoid it. The consequences of sensitivity to rejection are so unpleasant to those around them that they cause intense rejection. How else can you recognize these people?
Getting over a breakup is nearly impossible for them
Individuals with an anxious attachment style know all too well that this could happen again, so they constantly seek intimacy and worry that they will not be reciprocated. They doubt themselves: "Am I good enough?" They need confirmation of their worth from others. They do not necessarily have low self-esteem, but it depends on the opinions of others. Thus, they cannot be alone for long and seek the answer to all their questions in a new relationship.
Anxiously attached people can be caring
However, there is something unattractive about the way they do it. They are too preoccupied with their worries and fears to help and take care. The smallest things (for example, you didn't respond to an email, you are late for a meeting, you didn't compliment them) is a slap in their face or a manifestation of your "genuine" feelings.
People with an anxious type of attachment cannot trust anyone completely, so they have trouble with love and friendship. They are often suspicious and afraid that they will be betrayed; they have a habit of interfering in other people's affairs. If you do not answer their text messages within an hour or two, they will think that they have offended you somehow. These people are either suspecting you are cheating or thinking that you underestimate them and get offended in any case.
Complaints do not lead to actions
Thus, "anxious" people are constantly on the verge of a break, but they will never go to it first because they are afraid to be alone. Almost a quarter of people have this type of attachment; you probably also have such a friend. They may be avoiding conflicts or fall in the position of a victim as soon as you criticize them. However, no matter how much they disapprove of your actions towards you, they will never end a relationship first.
Dependent relationships are their niche
It is very difficult for people with this style of attachment to be independent. They are preoccupied with thoughts of forming relationships with others. In a relationship, they want to merge with a partner, although it is difficult for them to trust other people. Most of all, they are afraid that the partner may leave. Therefore, the manifestation of the partner's need for loneliness and independence is experienced by them as a danger. In close relationships, they are very emotional, demanding, dependent, jealous, and "cling" to their partner (they want to be together all the time). The partner is often perceived as evading.
Tips for people with an anxious attachment style
As shown by long-term American studies, in 70-80% of the population, the type of attachment does not change much. This means that the patterns of relationships that were embedded in us in childhood are indeed very stable. On the other hand, a certain percentage of people who show anxious attachment style signs can still change their approach to relationships. The type of attachment is only a persistent habit, but not an integral part of the personality, and something can be done with it. Here are tips on how to deal with it or change the way you perceive your significant other.
Get used to insecurity gradually
Closeness implies that you open to another those corners of the soul that you hide from the world. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may be worried: What if your partner will stop loving you when they see your flaws, oddities, and complexities? If you are dear to a person, they will accept all facets of your personality.
Separate your "anxious self" from your "true self"
"Anxiety is conspiracy theories about yourself." Don't let negative self-hypnosis ruin your relationship. One of the tips for anxious attachment style is to listen to your inner voice instead of the anxious thoughts that come to your head at dark times.
Tell your partner about your anxiety disorder and how it manifests itself
You don't have to fight alone. Open up to your partner, describe how anxiety manifests itself. For example, you often blush and sweat because of social phobia. You can figure out how best to deal with this disorder. A partner can become an ally, helping to maintain balance in stressful situations.
Start a dialogue
If you are dating an anxious partner, you should be the initiator of changes because they may be too vulnerable to deal with the problems. They do not invent them, but exaggerate the real difficulties and become afraid of them. Anxious people are sure that those around them simply do not know how dangerous the world is. Anxiety-prone people are very judicious. It is better to talk when the person cools down a little.
Speak correctly, politely, in a low voice, at a slow pace. Show your interlocutor with a smile that you are open and kind. As you watch them, try to understand what is most soothing for your loved one. Try to gently shift their attention to simpler and "safer" subjects in life. The general rule: first, a calming interaction, and then meaningful communication. Don't try to "permanently fix" anxious people.
Keep in touch
Share regularly when you get home, what important things you are doing, and why you are in a bad mood. This will save you and their nerves. After all, when an anxious person does not know what is going on, their brain draws the terrifying version possible. By the time you return from an unscheduled meeting with a friend, they may draw a plan about how to rescue you from all the worst scenarios.
Support in fighting fears
Cognitive-behavioral therapy proposes to deal with fears using the "fight fire with fire" method: to accustom yourself to frightening situations. But this should be done gradually and in really safe conditions. There is no need to jump off the cliff. The support of a partner just creates a feeling of security. It is easier to expand the boundaries of your world together: for example, to climb a beautiful roof on the arm with a loved one and overcome the fear of heights.
To keep in touch with a person struggling with an anxious attachment style, remember that the lack of warmth from them is not a signal of hostility, but caution. Do not try to melt the ice with too much friendliness. This will only make them uncomfortable. Building a relationship in such cases takes time. It requires taking steps that are designed for the long term perspective.