How our parents interacted with us in our childhood is a major deciding factor for the attachment styles we will form in our future. The connection or the attachment style between our primary caregiver and us can be :
If our parents are securely attuned to us during our childhood, we will most likely develop a secure attachment style. As a result, we will regulate our emotions, be confident, and have an empathetic nature growing up.
On the contrary, if our parents are not attuned and are distant from us during our childhood, we tend to develop significant distress. Because of this, we build defensive attachment strategies to protect ourselves from being vulnerable and to regulate intense emotional states. The intention behind this is to avoid pain.
This article explains ‘Avoidant attachment Style’ and how it affects our relationships with others.
What is Avoidant Attachment?
If you are someone with an avoidant attachment style, you must have dealt with emotionally unavailable parents, who were unresponsive to their emotional needs most of the time. As a result, you become someone who learns to suppress the desire to seek out people for comfort early in your life. Therefore, whenever you feel pain or distress, you shut yourself down and do not seek help.
How does it affect your relationships?
If you identify yourself as having an avoidant attachment pattern, you develop a pseudo-independent way of life; you think you can take complete care of yourself. As a result, you avoid being attached to anyone you meet in your life. You tend to keep your needs for closeness, warmth, love, etc., to yourself. However, it is worth noting that when they face separation in actuality, they show a strong reaction and have much higher anxiety levels.
This type of behaviour usually comes from a deep fear of trusting the other person. You feel that no one will understand you and would hate you for who you truly are. If a relationship needs you to erase certain boundaries or change your values, you avoid it.
According to Wikipedia, Ainsworth’s narrative records showed that infants avoided the caregiver in the stressful Strange Situation Procedure when they had a history of experiencing rebuff of attachment behaviour. The child’s needs are frequently not met, and the child believes that communication of needs does not influence the caregiver.
When you are dismissively attached, you seek out connections and love spending time with people, but the relationship becomes uncomfortable as soon as the intimacy increases. You feel like the other person is demanding too much or being clingy. You tend to separate yourself from those people and focus your attention on your goals. When confronted, you tend to use indirect hinting or complaining.
Becoming focused on yourself and disregarding the feelings of others becomes your tendency in such situations. When faced with an argument, you will likely respond by becoming distant and aloof.
There are certain inner voices in the minds of dismissively attached people that say:
“You don’t need anyone.”
“Don’t get too involved. You’ll just be disappointed.”
“You’ve got to protect yourself. You’re going to get hurt.”
What To do about it?
- Make sense of your feelings.
- Rewire your brain to cultivate more security, and to shoo away all your insecurities.
- Tolerate people’s behavior
- Be your motivational coach
- Be open to arguments
- Tell people what you like and what you don’t.