Saturday, June 13, 2020

Insecure-Avoidant Attachment

This attachment style is sometimes labeled Anxious-Avoidant or Dismissive. Many people with this attachment style do not realize they have any issues with attachment. 

The vast majority of the time, I feel self-sufficient and am often comfortable being alone. When personal vulnerability emerges, I have learned to automatically distract myself so that I am hardly aware of it. If the feeling is strong enough so that I’m aware of it, I am unlikely to seek support because I interpret that pain as personal weakness. Instead, I will likely isolate and distract myself more than usual and/or seek additional distraction through addictive behaviors (i.e. drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, overeating, self-injury) until the negative feeling dissipates. I am vulnerable to being a workaholic or to overinvesting in activities that do not involve my attachment figures so that I can ignore my attachment needs. When others talk about attachment needs, it often makes no sense to me or they seem weak emotionally or morally (i.e. selfish, manipulative)

When there are important people in my life, I relate to them in a way that avoids vulnerability as much as possible. I am usually more comfortable seeing myself as the person who gives to others or rescues them from bad situations. Alternately, I may be focused on competing with others to prove my value, authority and knowledge and/or submitting to people who seem more powerful than me in order to get their approval. 

In my romantic relationships, my partner often complains I am not around enough or are not meeting their needs. I don’t really understand why s/he wants that closeness. As I don’t know how to fix that problem, I am likely to try to ignore it, submit superficially to the requests, or explain to them why they’re being unreasonable/ demanding/ needy.

Note to others: Most of the time, people with Avoidant Attachment do not consciously shut down their emotions and needs, but are skilled in avoiding an awareness of their emotions through distraction, a coping skill they’ve learned under the age of 1.