5 signs of an ANXIOUS attachment style
You may have an anxious attachment style if you:
1. Threaten to leave your partner during arguments
This is called a "protest behaviour" and it's designed to lower anxiety. When you're afraid your partner is upset with you or doesn't love you anymore, you may threaten to leave in hopes that they say "no, don't go" - but often, even if it works in the moment, this leaves your partner feeling insecure about YOUR commitment, and ultimately does more damage than good.
Recognizing that you're in a heightened state and starting to ask for what you really need in that moment (some comfort, some reassurance, some quality time together) is going to be WAY more helpful to your relationship than threatening to leave. Self-awareness (trying to understand what's going on for you in the moment) and knowledge (learning about attachment styles and how they play out) are crucial to move from protest behaviours to stating your needs.
2. Worry your partner doesn't like you as much as you like them
Because people with anxious attachment styles tend to focus a lot on their relationships, they may find themselves putting MORE into the relationship than their partner - which can lead to feelings of being under-appreciated, undervalued or unwanted.
3. Have been told you're "needy" or "clingy"
People with an anxious attachment style tend to need a lot of emotional connection and reassurance. While this can be considered clingy or needy, it's not necessarily a bad thing! Our society values independence but the ability to be CLOSE in a relationship is such a wonderful gift. The trick here is to find someone who is able to match or at the very least appreciate your ability to connect - avoidant partners tend to not be able to do this. AND it's important to realize that just because someone is not showing you they love you ALL THE TIME - it doesn't mean they don't.
Clearly stating your needs can also help you in this regard - if you know that you need some phone-free time with your partner every day or else you start to feel disconnected and angry, let them know! Chances are, they’ll be glad to learn how they can help you feel more loved and supported in the relationship.
4. Hate being single, but also find relationships to be very stressful
Those with anxious attachment styles have a LOT of love to give, so they really want a partner to be able to share their lives with. However, once they find a partner, they can find relationships to be stressful based on all the points we've discussed already.
5. Often second-guess yourself in relationships
Because those with anxious attachment styles tend to overthink things, they may have been told they are being "too sensitive" or "sweating the small stuff", causing them to continually question their own thoughts and feelings.
While there is nothing WRONG with having an anxious attachment style, in fact it's a wonderful gift to be able to connect so deeply with another person, it can feel very uncomfortable to have an anxious attachment style when your partner is not able to give you what you need. Also, constantly worrying your partner will leave you can be damaging to your quality of life.
Some good news - it IS possible to create a more secure attachment style within your relationship! It takes awareness and specific actions.
Click here to watch a YouTube short I did on the topic.
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