If you have an Anxious Attachment Style or a Fearful Avoidant Attachment Style (otherwise known as Anxious-Avoidant), then you already experience a large amount of relationship anxiety as it is. Not only are you naturally hypervigilent and sensitive to subtle changes and shifts in your partner, but the thoughts that follow those changes can be quite overbearing.
If you are the person experiencing these anxieties, know that the fearful thoughts you are having may most likely be coming from your core wounds of abandonment and/or betrayal.
Here are some strategies you can take to soothe these relationships anxieties:
- Notice the triggering thoughts.
- Question it’s truth. (Ex. Is this thought 100% true or is it perhaps just coming from my own abandonment fears or fears of betrayal?)
- Talk to your partner about your more persistent worries and get some reassurance.
- If the thought is not true, remind yourself that it’s just your insecure attachment style.
- Make a conscious effort to begin thinking, feeling and behaving in a more secure way.
If you are the partner of someone with anxious tendencies:
- Avoid using triggering statements such as “You’re crazy”, “You’re nuts”, “You’re tripping”, etc.
- Either be honest and confirm their worries (even if you think it’s going to hurt their feelings) or reassure them that their assumptions are incorrect (in a calm, loving way).
- Give them the space to express their insecurities without getting defensive or judgmental. I know this can be difficult, especially if you have avoidant tendencies, but this consistent reassurance and openness will help your anxious partner develop a more secure attachment style.
One of the biggest blocks to healing your attachment style and developing a more secure attachment is being with a partner who gets defensive at your attempts to communicate your fears or does not give you the space to express your insecurities. This type of dismissiveness hinders your growth because it does not allow for proper emotional processing.
I spent 15 years (on and off) in relationships with with people who made me feel extra “crazy” for feeling the way I did. Every time I tried to express my insecurities, it would often be met with judgment, hostility or defensiveness of some sort. This not only made me feel more shameful about my experience, but it also deepened my feelings of insecurity and self-hate.
I’m happy to say that I’m currently in a relationship with a (mostly) secure partner who helps me manage my anxieties in a healthy way. His openness and ability to just hear me out (even if I sound INSANE) really helps to put my insecurities to rest. His secure behavior not only serves as an example of how I can be in a relationship, but it also gives me the sense of safety and security I need to form a more secure attachment style.
Anxious Attached or Fearful Avoidant’s, do not be afraid to be yourself and express your insecurities. The right person for you will help you heal, not perpetuate the painful cycles.
Partner’s of the Anxious or Fearful Avoidant’s, learn about your partners attachment style so that you can be aware of their triggers and needs. This will ultimately help your relationship become a more harmonious one.
If you want a deeper understanding of your Attachment Style and how you and your partner both experience love, my mini e-course below “Introduction To Attachment Styles” can help you in your healing journey of becoming more secure within yourself and your relationships.