by Marie Miguel
A person’s attachment style impacts their mental health. It affects how they relate to others, form bonds with people, and maintain relationships. We develop attachments to people early in life, starting with our parents or caregivers. The goal is to have a secure attachment style, but not everyone connects to others easily.
Some people are anxious about relating to others. They worry that they’ll be rejected or hurt. These individuals may suffer from abandonment issues due to past trauma. There are many signs that could indicate an anxious attachment style. Here are four signs that you’re anxiously attached to others.
1. Trust issues
People who have anxious attachments to others may have difficulty trusting people. They might question if their friend or significant other truly loves them. They probably don’t trust others easily because of past traumas that occurred early in life. If you’re a person who has an anxious attachment style, you may have had caregivers who weren’t consistent. You didn’t feel secure with them, and you carried those assumptions into people in your adult life. Relationships are built on trust. If you have a hard time trusting friends and loved ones, you’re not going to have fulfilling connections. You also may inadvertently push people away. It can make people feel hurt when you communicate that you don’t trust them. If you have trust issues, it may be due to an anxious attachment style. This is something you can explore with a therapist. It’s essential to get to the bottom of why you have trouble trusting others so you can work through these complex feelings.
2. Abandonment issues
If you’re afraid of being abandoned, that could be due to an anxious attachment style. People who are anxiously attached are often fearful that their loved ones will leave. They’re likely to experience rejection or loss in the past. Their caregivers may have been unpredictable. When you’re a child, and your parents or guardians are absent emotionally or physically, that can contribute to separation anxiety or an anxious attachment style. As an adult, if you’re constantly worried about being abandoned by friends or loved ones, that could be a sign of an anxious attachment. Fear of abandonment can be paralyzing. People who have an anxious attachment style may need constant reassurance. You may find yourself asking your loved ones if they’re going to leave you, which can be exhausting for the people on the other end of the relationship. Your friends and loved ones want to show you that they care, but they cannot fix your abandonment issues. It’s up to you to confront these problems in therapy.
3. Dependent relationships
A person who has an anxious attachment style may find themselves in codependent relationships. They want to feel needed, and if they can lean on others, it’s reassuring to them. If their friend or loved one run to them when they need something, it reaffirms their value. If they want to feel good about themselves, they may ask someone in their inner circle to validate their feelings and make them feel like they’re a decent person. When a person is needed, they can feel valuable or have a sense of worth. Dependent relationships may feel good, but they’re unhealthy. You shouldn’t need another person’s validation to feel whole. Self-esteem needs to come from the inside, and excessive external validation can be detrimental to a person’s self-worth. If you find that you’re consistently looking for your friends and loved ones to validate you, and you can’t find self-assurance, that could be the sign of an anxious attachment style. You don’t need to stay stagnated in this state. You can talk to a therapist about ways to improve your self-esteem and become more self-reliant.
4. Overly emotional or irrational behaviour
People who have an anxious attachment style sometimes have trouble managing their emotions. After all, they’re worried about their loved ones leaving them. If you’re concerned about being abandoned, that’s an uncomfortable state to be in, and it could naturally make a person feel anxious. In this state of anxiety, a person may be emotionally-charged and act irrationally. They may beg their significant other to stay with them. A person with an anxious attachment could go to extreme lengths to keep a friend or loved one in their life. Remember, if you’re unsure if people are going to abandon you at any moment, that’s scary. It’s no wonder that a person with an anxious attachment style gets emotional. If you have trouble managing your emotions and find yourself easily triggered by others, that could be a sign of an anxious attachment style.
Discover your attachment style in therapy
If you’re curious about your attachment style, you can discover it in therapy. You may be wondering why you have trouble making and maintaining relationships. That could be a product of your attachment style. Perhaps you find that you’re pushing others away. That could be due to your attachment issues. Therapy is the ideal environment to explore attachment issues and find a way to form healthy bonds with others.
About the writer:
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.