Fearful, anxious avoidant attachment style, traits, dismissive attachment style, types of avoidant attachment styles, healing
John Bowlby proposed a psychological framework known as attachment theory. This theory states that there are primarily four different attachment styles, avoidant attachment is one of them. Avoidant attachment style is often associated with the discomfort linked to emotional closeness and this can also be characterized by a person’s preference for independence. Following are some key points of the behavior of a person with avoidant attachment style:
Such a person possesses a sort of self-sufficiency and they have a very strong urge to retain their emotional independence. They try to avoid attachment or reliance on others for any kind of emotional support and assistance.
Victims of avoidant attachment try to maintain an emotional distance from people around them. They actually underestimate the power of close relationships. They are also not very open about their emotions in front of others.
People with this type of attachment style find this very challenging to develop a deep connection with anybody. They don’t make themselves vulnerable for close relationships and they maintain a certain level of distance from others.
They minimize their emotional needs in every possible way or else people with an avoidant attachment style start dismissing their needs at a certain level to avoid dependency. They develop a notion inside their head that they can manage all the things on their own. This behavior can also extend to the emotional requirements of others and can lead them toward a lack of receptivity in a relationship.
The biggest fear of people with avoidant attachment is dependency on others for their emotional needs. In addition to this people with this kind of attachment style are also scared of becoming physically dependent on others. This can lead them towards the idea of self-sufficiency.
People with an avoidant attachment style have a great preference for superficial or casual relationships rather than having a deep connection with someone. They also avoid lifetime or long-term commitments.
People with an avoidant attachment style find it difficult to trust others. They struggle really hard when it comes to trusting others due to their mentality. They always keep their guard up because deep down in their hearts they doubt the intentions of people.
People with avoidant attachments find it difficult to address the issue or to communicate directly when any conflict arises. They rather prefer to avoid addressing the real problem or withdraw. This can lead to many unresolved problems and can also destroy their relationships.
Types of Avoidant Attachment Styles:
1. Fearful avoidant attachment style
2. Anxious avoidant attachment style
3. Dismissive avoidant attachment style
People with fearful avoidant attachment styles often deal with many internal conflicts especially when it comes to the formulation of close relationships. Some of the key characteristics of a fearful avoidant attachment style include:
a) Mixed Signals
People with fearful attachment styles might prefer to give mixed signals in their relationships. At times they are emotionally fragile and they start seeking intimacy and closeness. But when they start feeling some sort of emotional distress they push others away and start maintaining a distance in their relations.
People with fearful attachment styles are always afraid of being hurt and facing rejection. But deep down in their hearts they want to develop deep bonds and they have a desire for intimate relations as well.
c) Difficulty trusting
The major significant issue for people dealing with fearful attachment could be trust. They often find it hard to trust others. This is due to some experiences of the past it is hard for them to trust again after any kind of abandonment and betrayal.
d) Inconsistent Behavior
The behavior of people with fearful attachments is often very unpredictable or inconsistent. They go through cycles of abruptly withdrawing from a relationship or at times getting very close to others.
e) Fear of abandonment
Such people develop a very deep-seated kind of fear of abandonment and this could be due to some past experiences or due to some bitter childhood memory. All these fears lead them towards the fear of being rejected by others so, they are hesitant to fully commit to a deep relationship.
f) Emotional turmoil
Such people often have a very common problem of emotional turmoil inside their hearts. As a result, they often experience severe lows and highs emotionally. That can lead to mood swings.
g) Past trauma
Such people often have gone through some traumatic experiences or events in their past. They may also have gone through fluctuating caregiving relationships in their childhood. This is the major reason for their conflicted perception regarding close relationships.
h) Difficulty in expressing needs
Such people actually struggle while communicating their emotional needs because they always have a deep-rooted fear of rejection. They also feel reluctant about being judged even when they do express their feelings.
i) Self-protective strategies
Some of the people with fearful attachment styles start practicing strategies related to self-protective behavior to cope with inner emotional conflicts for example avoiding vulnerability, withdrawal, as well as emotional numbing.
Healing of avoidant attachment is possible through personal growth and the development of deep connections with people. Some of the strategies that one can use to heal this type of attachment style include therapy, counseling, self-awareness, regulation of emotions, mindfulness, challenging negative beliefs, communication skills, gradual exposure, self-compassion, secure role models, healthy boundaries, patience, and persistence. These are some steps that a person can take to deal with the avoidant attachment problem.
The most essential thing is that attachment styles can never be fixed though they can change over time. Also, they can vary from person to person. The behavior also fluctuates in different situations of life. In addition to this according to some psychologists, avoidant attachment styles are also linked with childhood experiences. Those experiences influence a person’s mindset for the rest of their lives. However, treatment is possible by inculcating awareness and through some therapeutic sessions as well. Understanding the exact type of attachment style can help a person address the root cause of the problem. Then a person can improve his/her relationship with others. One can eliminate the problem causing distress. So, a person with an avoidant attachment style should seek counseling as well as therapy to deal with the issue.