Relationship worries for anxiously attached people - what to do
Do you have an insecure attachment style? What is it? And how can you heal it?
Healing from negative styles of attachment is absolutely worth it because when we learn (and it is a skill that can be learned), we no longer attract partners and friendships that cause us pain. Basically, it is entirely possible if you are already in a committed relationship to heal with your partner and together where you have two different and conflicting styles of attachment.
It can be hard to find a more secure style of attachment whilst you are knee-deep in your insecurity, so it is necessary to turn toward another new belief by re-parenting. You can do this with the help of a coach or therapist as well as learning new beliefs for yourself and challenge what is the real truth about not feeling worthy or wanted.
So take heart please - in fact, this healing together can deepen your love and bond.
First, take a look at how we can (and need to) challenge the core limiting belief of what we learned and what lies behind the belief that fuels the attachment style that can keep us trapped and, if you believe in the power of attraction, bring in romantic partners that keep us in wounded inter-relational dynamics. We can absolutely move beyond this, not only on our own but also with someone that we love whilst we both heal. How?
In a way, these limiting beliefs become a self-fulfilling prophecy if they are not challenged, and this is not what we want. So, in this article, I want to focus on the anxiously attached (AA) person.
Here I want to steam into the wilderness of how it feels for the AA. And I know this from personal experience that being in the wilderness is how it feels, even though our intellect knows better when we are triggered we are in a primal mental state where access to all we might have learned seems out of reach
Now although this is not gender specific, women really seem to be the ones that talk about this more.
Where the anxious attachment style comes from
As babies do not have the skills to self soothe, self-soothing is learned by mirroring it from the parent or caregiver that gave it to you. Then you learn to do it for yourself.
If, however, this focus was inconsistent then the AA will know and remember how getting focus feels, and when it is not dependable and inconsistency prevails there is an overwhelm of insecure feelings that can cause panic and feelings of helplessness because AAs don’t know how to hold their own vulnerability. They either overcompensate by doing things to get love or react at the lack of focus they might be imagining is a threat thus bewildering the DA (dismissive avoidant) who finds this difficult to relate to.
This causes a trigger. When we are in a triggered state as mentioned above, we are not able to access our reasoning brain, So, we react - we do not respond.
And, in reacting, we not only always give our power away, but this creates disconnection and tension and has negative results producing the absolute opposite of what the AA needs.
Fast forward this to the way the AA will behave in romantic relationships and there will be worry about the frequency of calls and messages and panic and desperation if their love interest doesn’t tick the right rhythm boxes!
This can be really uncomfortable for AAs and there can be genuine panic where they will begin to believe stories in their own heads that are based on fears rather than reality, and can push the other person away as if the other person in the relationship is a dismissive avoidant (DA). They will be minimising heightened emotions and it will all feel too dramatic and not at all relatable or understood, producing feelings of engulfment and a triggered state.
This is where good communication that is mutually understood is essential as, if not, this will be where the 'self-fulfilling prophecy' can take place which is a tragic misunderstanding between two people who merely relate in different styles. One will be running for the hills with the other running after them!
Unfortunately, often to make things worse, AAs are attracted to DAs and vice versa!
How to turn conflict into intimacy
Firstly, how can you challenge the core belief? Even if we learn about different behaviours this is unlikely to change the dynamic that hurts and triggers without challenging what the belief story is.
As small children, we will believe that if we don’t get consistent dependable focus then it will have been because we are flawed
That is not true but rather what a small child will assume as children do not yet have access to their reasoning brain.
Real reason possibilities can be endless but here are some, only some, possible reasons focus was inconsistent:
Your parent or caregiver was really busy with work obligations, or worries, or another child that had an illness or was disabled, or they were narcissistic and self-focused, or they had mental health issues, or, there was poverty, or addiction and hardship within the family, or fear or violence... so many different reasons that have nothing to do with the child at the end of where the lack was felt.
So, where to begin and where to start?
- Challenge your core beliefs.
- Find a good coach/therapist that specialises in this issue.
- Take Bach Flower Remedies that really realign our emotions whilst re-parenting is both raising personal awareness and re-enacting real change. I personally have had transformational results both with patients I treat and as well as myself.
- Allow in new awareness, nothing changes without awareness it is always the first port of call in healthy change.
- Start listening and reading about the different attachment styles.
- You can never unlearn what you have learned.
- Become informed and you will start to see and experience real change.
I run a course on relationships. Do get in touch - all enquiries are completely free as well as the first call to discuss your individual needs and issues, so there is nothing at all to lose.