If you’ve been reading about relationships, you may have heard the terms avoidant attachment or anxious attachment. These refer to relationship attachment styles in attachment theory, a popular psychological theory about relationships.
Attachment theory says how our parents and caregivers give us love as children creates patterns for us that follow us into adulthood.
This article will help you identify andunderstand avoidant attachment, one of the most common attachment styles.
What Causes Avoidant Attachment?
Having an emotionally unavailable parent or caregiver can cause a child to develop an avoidant attachment.
Typically, people with an avoidant attachment style had parents that were infrequently around, emotionally unavailable, or didn’t provide much beyond bare necessities. This meant that the children didn’t have an outlet for expressing distress or other needs.
Avoidantly attached adults tend to suppress their desire for comfort when upset or distressed and avoid emotional closeness in both their platonic and romantic relationships. This can be read by others as emotional unavailability and can make it difficult to build intimacy in a relationship.
An avoidantly attached child may have a parent or caregiver with the following attributes:
- Feeling overwhelmed by parenting responsibilities
- Lack empathy
- Lack knowledge on how to support their child emotionally
- Have troubles with commitment and consistency
- Have an avoidant attachment
Signs of Avoidant Attachment
Do you think you or someone you know may have avoidant attachment? Here are some common signs:
- Suppressing emotions
- Withdrawing and dealing with difficult situations alone
- Not speaking up about what’s bothering them
- Getting out of situations that involve emotional intimacy in relationships
- Feeling burdened or overwhelmed by their partners wanting to get emotionally closer
- Fearing rejection
- Withdrawing from unpleasant conversations
- Being overly focused on their own needs and comforts
- Having a negative view of others and elated self-esteem
- Ghosting difficult conversations
- Stonewalling during fights
How to Overcome Avoidant Attachment Style
The best way to resolve attachment issues is through a trusting, loving, and non-judgmental relationship with another human being. Therapy is a great place to begin to work on becoming aware of your triggers and learning healthy coping mechanisms but entering an honest, stable romantic relationship with someone where you can practice being more emotionally vulnerable will really help develop a more secure attachment style.