Hey there, Captain Panic, this one’s for you. I have been re-reading Amir Levine’s Attached, and now you get to reap those benefits.
Specifically, this week, if you have an anxious attachment style. You get your analysis first since…well…you’re anxious and will likely think up worse case scenarios if I make you wait. You’re welcome.
Okay, so what the heck is an anxious attachment style? Who came up with this stuff? Enter, John Bowlby, the inventor of attachment theory. So he was a science dude, and he came up with an experiment to test parent-child relationships.
He got a bunch of moms to leave their kids with strangers (no wonder there was a disappearance a week back in the day, jeez) and studied the babies’ reactions. Then, when the moms came back, he studied that reaction too.
He discovered there were 3 basic types of attachment:; anxious, avoidant, and secure. These all have categories and subcategories but for the sake of brevity, we’re talking to you anxious bebès today.
So 20% of the population has an anxious attachment style…but why? Well, here’s where you get to blame your parents.
You never really had a chance, you poor sucker (I can say this because I am an anxious Annie too); this develops before we’re 18 months old. We had parents who weren’t consistent with their reactions and availability, and hence we never got consistent comfort or learned to co-regulate.
We were left to process alone, with the understanding that our emotional needs were too much. We learn not to trust the world or even our own perceptions of it. Clearly, this is super damaging.
Abandonment becomes our sum of all fears. And what follows is the classic “crazy gf” behavior: playing games, shutting down, jealousy and anger issues, acting out when threatened, expecting your partner to save you, the list goes on and on.
And at its most basic, what you’re really doing is abandoning yourself. Because you’re acting in ways that don’t align with you, they align with your trauma.
If you hear one thing, let it be this. This all makes you the ideal candidate for abusive partners. They deal with insecurity the way monkeys deal in bananas.
Be discerning when you date. Don’t blindly trust and don’t give too much of yourself too soon. Vulnerability is different than word vomit, and it needs to be earned through small acts that slowly build up trust.
You don’t want to be dependent on each other, especially after date number two. But especially when the guy has abusive tendencies, and you have abandonment phobia, that dependence is a beacon beckoning you both to relationship hell.
Just, slow down. Have some chill. Learn to trust yourself and your instincts before you trust anyone else.
Also, if it means you start embroidering baby names on things, maybe avoid sex right out of the starting gate. No judgment either way, but if you want a healthy attachment, build up to the physical stuff.
Set some damn boundaries and learn to respect those of your partner. Don’t beg for anyone’s time, because you deserve to feel wanted. You don’t have to earn someone’s affection and if they make you feel that way, the power dynamic is messed up.
You’re going to have to re-parent little you and learn to start honoring your own thoughts and feelings. The Connected Woman program is a great way to start listening to yourself, and so is a therapist. Seriously, before you get a handle on how your trauma shaped your relationship patterns, don’t date. You can figure this out, but you have to give yourself the space to try.
And in the meantime, try taking this Attachment Style Quiz to determine your own attachment style. That’s going to be your first step to figuring out how to repair & heal your inner child.
Take a moment to breathe, ya little panic peacock. We’ll get you there.
Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to connect with me more over on Instagram, I’d love to hear what you thought of this post and what your major takeaways were! Or head over to my website to learn more about how we can work through your relationship journey together.
And don’t forget to join my signature 12-week program, The Connected Woman, if you’re ready to go from anxious & insecure in your relationships to setting boundaries, healing yourself, and living your dream life!
See you back here in the next one!
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”