If you’re reading this, then it’s likely that you’re struggling with avoidant attachment in your relationships. The pain of feeling disconnected and alone can be immense, whether with a romantic partner, a friend, or a family member.
The good news is that there is hope! There are things that you can do to heal your attachment wounds and start to build healthier, more secure relationships. In this guide, we’ll cover the following:
- What is avoidant attachment?
- The signs of avoidant attachment in relationships
- How to stop avoidant attachment
- Tips for healing your attachment wounds
With the right tools and support, you can heal your attachments and wounds and create the kind of close, connected relationships you’ve always wanted.
What is Avoidant Attachment?
People with avoidant attachment styles tend to be emotionally distant from others and are uncomfortable with intimacy. They may have trouble trusting others and may feel like they need to be in control of their relationships. If you have an avoidant attachment style, you can learn how to stop avoidant attachment.
The Three Types of Attachment
There are three primary attachment styles – secure, anxious-ambivalent, and avoidant – and each has a different way of interacting with others. People with a secure attachment style tend to be trusting and supportive, while those with an anxious-ambivalent attachment style may be clingy and demanding. On the other hand, avoidant attachment types tend to be distant and dismissive.
Avoidant attachment is marked by a lack of intimacy in relationships. Those with this attachment style generally have difficulty trusting others and often keep their distance emotionally and physically. They may view close relationships as threatening and go to great lengths to avoid intimacy.
While avoidant attachment is relatively rare, it can cause significant difficulties in relationships. Those with this attachment style may have trouble forming close attachments, be quick to end relationships and struggle with intimacy. If you think you have an avoidant attachment, there are a few things you can do to work on developing healthier attachments.
The Different Between Anxious and Avoidant Attachment
There are two main types of attachment: anxious and avoidant. People with an anxious attachment style tend to be clingy and need constant reassurance from their partners. In contrast, those with an avoidant attachment style prefer to keep their distance and often find intimacy uncomfortable.
While people can have a healthy mix of both attachment styles, most people tend to lean more toward one or the other. Here is a closer look at the difference between anxious and avoidant attachment:
The Causes of Avoidant Attachment
Avoidant attachment is usually the result of early childhood trauma or abuse. It can also be the result of neglect. If you experienced any trauma or abuse as a child, it’s important to seek help from a therapist.
While no single cause of avoidant attachment exists, some common childhood experiences can lead to this attachment style. These include:
-A parent or primary caregiver who is emotionally unavailable or absent
-A parent or primary caregiver who is physically present but emotionally unresponsive
-A history of abuse or neglect
-Frequent moves or disruptions in the child’s home life
-An unstable or traumatic home life
Much research has been conducted on the causes of attachment styles, and much of this research suggests that attachment styles are largely determined by genetics. Additionally, researchers have found that if you have an avoidant attachment style, there is a greater chance that your children will develop an avoidant attachment style as well. In other words, if your parents or caregivers had an avoidant attachment style, you are likely to develop an avoidant attachment style as well.
The Consequences of Avoidant Attachment
While it might seem like the best way to protect yourself is to keep people at a distance, this attachment can do more harm than good. When you have an avoidant attachment, you might not even realize how it’s impacting your life. Let’s take a look at some of the consequences of avoidant attachment.
One of the main consequences of having an avoidant attachment style is difficulty being intimate with a partner. Intimacy involves being fully present with another person, sharing your thoughts and feelings openly, and feeling close to and connected to them.
This can be difficult for people with an avoidant attachment style to understand, as they tend to be more independent and self-sufficient. They also may fear rejection or abandonment, making it difficult to open up to someone else.
Additionally, people with an avoidant attachment style often have trouble trusting others and may feel they need to protect themselves from being hurt. This can lead to conflict in relationships as they may seem distant or withholding.
If you have an avoidant attachment style, it is important to be aware of these tendencies and work on building trust and intimacy in your relationships. Otherwise, you may end up feeling isolated and alone.
There are several ways in which avoidant attachment can manifest in parenting, both in terms of our attachment style and how we parent our children.
We may find ourselves constantly pushing our children physically and emotionally away. We may be distant and uninvolved, or we may be over-involved and pushy. We may find it difficult to express affection or to accept affection from our children. We may be quick to anger or to withdraw when our children misbehave.
Our parenting style can also impact our children’s attachment style. If we are dismissive or unresponsive to our children’s needs, they may develop an avoidant attachment style themselves. Alternatively, they may develop an insecure-ambivalent attachment style if they are too clingy or overbearing.
The good news is that, just as we can learn to change our attachment style, we can also learn to change how we parent. With awareness and effort, we can break the cycle of avoidant attachment and create healthier relationships with ourselves and our children.
How to Overcome Avoidant Attachment
Avoidant attachment is a learned behavior. It is not something you are born with. With that being said, it can be unlearned. To do so, you must put in the work and be willing to change. You will need to fix your relationship with yourself before having healthy relationships with others.
Seeking therapy is one of the most effective ways to overcome avoidant attachment. A therapist can help you understand your attachment style and how it affects your relationships. They can also guide how to develop healthier attachments. If you’re unsure where to start, you can search for a therapist in your area through online directories such as Psychology Today.
Be Willing to Change
To overcome avoidant attachment, you must be willing to change. This means being open to new experiences, people, and situations. It also means being honest with yourself about your feelings and needs.
It may be difficult at first, but it is important to remember that change is possible. With time and effort, you can learn how to develop healthier attachments.
If you become frustrated because your partner isn’t opening up to you, it’s important to remember that this process takes time. People with avoidant attachment styles often have a deep-rooted fear of intimacy and may need extra time to open up. Try to be patient and understanding while they work through these feelings.
It is also helpful to discuss your own needs and boundaries regarding intimacy. This can give your partner a better idea of what you’re looking for and help them feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.
If you’re unsure how to start this conversation, try saying something like, “I know it might be scary, but I need/want __ from our relationship. Can we talk about what that looks like for both of us?”