People with an anxious attachment style worry their love won’t be there when they need them. This fear drives their anxiety. They rely on constant contact and affirmation from their partner. They have keen instincts about relationships and a sixth sense about disappointment or waning interest. They tend to be preoccupied with their social media, checking voicemail, email and texts with great frequency. They may want to text you to stay connected through the day. They are prone to feelings of jealousy because they are insecure that they can rely on their partner to stay faithful. While it may appear on the surface that people with anxious attachment disorder crave closeness, they can also be surprisingly afraid of achieving the closeness they desire. They may send mixed messages that lead you to believe that they are interested, only to disappear or behave so badly, they send you running. People with anxious attachment disorder don’t trust that love is real or reliable, and so they often behave badly when things feel good. They are so hungry for love and so preoccupied with it that they may drive people away with their behaviors.
What do you do if you are in a relationship with some a person who has an anxious attachment style
Awareness and compassion go a long way in making any relationship work. This is especially true of people with anxious attachment. Remember, what they want more than anything, is intimacy and connection.
Consistency is Important
Underlying the anxious attachment style is inconsistent caregiving. Infants who don’t know when or if their needs will be met, become preoccupied where about of their caregivers in a desperate effort to assure they will be avail when a need strikes. This focuses all the infants’ attention on the caregiver rather than play and exploration. The baby’s developmental needs take a backseat to the more concrete needs of survival. Being constantly available to your partner will calm their anxiety as they begin to allow the trust to develop.
Telling your partner how you feel adds to the development of trust and intimacy. Tell them how you feel about them frequently and proactively. Make the effort to find out what makes your partner feel cared about and communicate with them in their style. Words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, physical touch, and acts of service are the five love languages covered in the book by the same name. The Five Love Languages By Gary Chapmen is full of insight and a great read.
Never threaten to leave them when you argue.
Threats are weapons to a person who is struggling with anxious attachment. They trigger a powerful negative emotional response. An argument will already have them fearing the end of the relationship. They need reassurance to know that arguments are normal and can be resolved without ending the relationship.