a couple sit on a couch and learns that one of them might have anxious avoidant attachment

What Is Anxious Avoidant Attachment?

Anxiety is a prevalent mental health condition, but did you know there are types of anxiety linked to your relationship style? Some people have what is known as an anxious-avoidant attachment, which causes them to swing like a pendulum back and forth between desiring closeness and craving autonomy.

This can make it challenging for them and their partner. Whether you think you may have an anxious-avoidant attachment or are in a relationship with someone with this relational style, understanding the signs of anxious-avoidant attachment can help you understand what is really going on and get the help you need to navigate relationships more healthily.

If you suspect you may be struggling with anxious-avoidant attachment or another form of anxiety, reach out to My 5 Palms at 1.844.675.1022 to discuss how our anxiety treatment programs can help.

What Is Anxious-Avoidant Attachment?

Anxious-avoidant attachment refers to how a person relates to others. There are several attachment styles, and the anxious-avoidant style is a combination of anxious attachment and avoidant attachment. Understanding anxious-avoidant attachment helps to understand what each style is like on its own.

Anxious Attachment

A strong desire for closeness and intimacy characterizes the anxious attachment style. However, it can also have negative connotations, such as a fear of abandonment or rejection. A person with this attachment style may often seek out approval from their partner, and their self-worth takes a hit if they do not feel validated. 

Avoidant Attachment

On the opposite end of the spectrum is avoidant attachment. This style relies heavily on independence and self-reliance. Close relationships are not a primary concern for someone with avoidant attachment, and in fact, they may feel uncomfortable with intimacy or emotional closeness. 

Anxious-Avoidant Attachment

As a combination of anxious and avoidant attachment, a person with an anxious-avoidant attachment style fluctuates between a craving for closeness and a desire to be free and independent. These contradicting qualities can make relationships rather difficult. The person might seek a connection with a partner only to push them away when things become too intense or overwhelming. Their partner may be left feeling confused or rejected. 

How to Know If You Have Anxious-Avoidant Attachment

If you are experiencing some turbulence in your relationships with others, you may question whether you or they have an anxious-avoidant attachment style. There are certain signs that can indicate this relational style, including:

  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships – The conflicting desires for closeness and independence can create an internal tug-of-war that makes it hard to develop healthy, fulfilling relationships.
  • Fear of intimacy – Although people with an anxious-avoidant attachment may crave closeness, they also begin to feel anxious or uncomfortable when someone becomes emotionally or physically close to them.
  • Mixed signals and inconsistency – Avoidant-anxious attachment can cause a person to alternate between being overly clingy and distant, which can frustrate romantic partners.
  • Fear of abandonment – Anxiety about others leaving them makes it hard for people with this attachment style to fully trust others and can fuel their avoidant behaviors.

Recognizing anxious-avoidant attachment patterns can help you realize there is something more going on beneath the surface. This is a treatable form of anxiety rather than a character flaw, so you owe it to yourself and your partner to seek treatment that will lead to healthier, happier relationships.

Contact My 5 Palms for Anxiety Treatment

Different types of anxiety will benefit from different types of treatment. To get the most effective therapies for anxious-avoidant attachment, reach out to us. We practice a whole-person approach to mental health that addresses all key areas of your life, including healthy relationships with your loved ones. Contact us online or call today at 1.844.675.1022 to schedule an assessment and receive a personalized treatment plan.

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