Tools For Those With Anxious Attachment

It is common for anxiously attached people to judge themselves for their insecurity. Having grown up with a mother (or primary caregiver) who was not consistently available and attuned to their needs, these children learnt that they were not important, and the world is not safe and consistent. They often suffer from low self-esteem and an expectation that they will be rejected.

Rather than judge these responses and expectations as an adult, a better starting place is to have compassion for the child within who was not always cared for in the way she needed. The fear of rejection is real. It repeatedly happened in mini traumas in the first primary relationship (usually with the mother). So, accepting that your need for security in relationship is greater than others is your first step.

The next step is to acknowledge the pain in your childhood and often the deep sense of abandonment. Validating these experiences is a big step towards healing. Doing this with a therapist can be incredibly affirming.

When your abandonment wound is triggered, it will take great courage and strength to change your automatic behaviour to go into fear and worst-case scenario, but it CAN be done, over time, with love and practice. You can learn to re-wire your brain to create a scenario where moments of disconnection do not mean the end of the relationship and are not a trigger for your nervous system to go off. You can develop what is known as ‘earned secure attachment’ as an adult.

It is also important for you to choose a partner who is emotionally available, committed and has empathy, someone with a secure attachment style. This will make it easier for you to be vulnerable as you learn to share your fears and identify your needs and share them.

People with an anxious attachment style often have beautiful hearts. They are highly attuned to their partner and sensitive to their needs, and have strong empathy. The trick is not to lose themselves in the relationship. 

So much love to you all, Jennifer