Did you know that people with an insecure attachment style, tend to struggle with building connections with others including their loved ones? Their behavior may also be unpredictable and aggressive. However, this is not deliberate on their part as these behaviors have often been linked to their childhood, where they had lacked affection and consistent love.
Thus, many people may not know what to do as they don’t know what secure attachment should look like. This article will shed further light on insecure attachments.
What is insecure attachment?
An insecure attachment is when an individual approaches relationships in both a fearful and uncertain way. This often results in them finding it difficult to create deep intimate and emotional connections with others, particularly their partners. Notably, in this case, the individual has anxiety about their relationships, which results in them questioning whether their needs can be met by their partner. Thus, these insecurities are likely to cause issues within the relationship.
In addition, insecure attachment is considered to be an umbrella term often used to describe the three attachment types that exist, namely anxious, avoidant, and fearful-avoidant. Here we discuss the three in more detail.
What are the types of insecure attachment?
As previously mentioned, there are different types of attachments that exist. Here we provide you with insecure attachment examples:
Anxious insecure attachment
These individuals tend to have an immense amount of anxiety and insecurity within relationships. Therefore, they often tend to be preoccupied with their own thoughts and worries. There is evidence suggesting that they tend to be clingy and are in need of constant external validation and reassurance, particularly from their partner or loved ones.
For instance, if you were previously in a relationship where you had a partner that left you for someone else, you may begin questioning your own worth. You become insecure and self-conscious; therefore when you enter into a new relationship, you may expect your new partner to do the same. Thus, you may be clingy and constantly require them to give you constant attention and reassurance.
These individuals are dismissive and often tend to avoid forming close emotional bonds with others altogether. They avoid intimacy and have difficulty accepting or asking for help from others. This is quite common in adults with insecure attachment.
For instance, if you were emotionally neglected in your childhood, you may have learned to cope with issues on your own without any external help from others. Therefore, when offered help, you may be uncomfortable accepting it, you may also develop trust issues hence avoiding forming close emotional bonds with others.
These individuals in particular have an disorganized attachment style, as they tend to have very unpredictable and volatile behaviors. These individuals also tend to have insecurities, weak coping strategies and often struggle dealing with problems, especially in relationships.
For instance, when faced with a problem individuals with this type of attachment may react in unexpected ways due to their lack of coping strategies. In instances where they should be sad, they may show signs of anger instead and vice versa.
Symptoms of insecure attachment
Insecure attachment in adults is a bit different from insecure infant attachment, however, the basic emotions attached to it, for both are quite similar. Notably, when you have a secure attachment style, you tend to feel safe, protected and secure in relationships that allow you view others as sensitive and well accepting of you.
However, within an insecure attachment, people often feel like they are undeserving of love and to be treated well by others. Due to this mindset, others may seem uncaring, frightening or insensitive to you. Now, you may be asking yourself how do you recognize if you have an unhealthy attachment? Here we provide you with a few examples:
- Experiencing difficulty handling conflict with others
- Lack of accountability that often results in negative consequences
- Manipulative and controlling behavior towards others
- Struggle to show love and affection to others
- Lack of empathy, trust and remorse
- Negative reactions to situations, having a bad outlook on life
- Extremely argumentative, cruel and destructive
- You're too impulsive
- When you are sad, it often shows up as anger
- You are a loner, depressed, stressed of constantly frustrated
- Prone to addiction
- You constantly blame others and feel that others are blaming you
- You are always confused
- You constantly feel angry and helpless
- You are suspicious of others and question their feelings towards you
- Low self-esteem
- Extremely independent and you do not need anyone
- Disregarding other people's feelings
How to Overcome Insecure Attachment?
Overcoming an unhealthy attachment is possible, however it might not be easy and you will need to get help. Notably, if your aim is to overcome an insecure attachment, you will need to learn more about your own attachment style. You will also have to change the way that you view yourself along with how you view others in order to have healthy attachments.
Understanding the cause of your attachment
In order to successfully overcome an insecure attachment, you ought to try and make sense of your past and present attachments. You need to identify what they have meant to you and above all else what have you learned from them. Interestingly, once you begin your personal growth journey, your attachment story may change, often for the better.
Once you reach adulthood, blaming others should be a thing of the past. Other individuals may have an impact on what insecure attachment you may develop. However, you have the ability to control not only your emotions but your overall behavior too. Therefore, if you want healthier attachment styles, you have to be willing to make all the necessary changes in order to make it happen.
Pay attention to your own attachment behaviors
Once you have learned about attachment styles and identified your very own insecure attachment type, pay close attention to your own behavior. Once you know what to expect, you will be able to keep an eye out for certain emotions and behaviors. This will also assist you when you seek help, either from loved ones or friends. Regardless of who it may be, this is an important step.
Seek partners with secure attachments
When dealing with an insecure attachment, especially in a relationship, you need all the support that you can get. However, if you date someone with an unhealthy attachment, it may delay your healing. Therefore, studies have suggested that finding someone that is securely attached often results in a positive experience in the sense that it can, in time, help you overcome your insecurities.
Talk to a counselor
Therapists are experts within their field. By speaking to them, you will learn more about insecure attachments, and you will be able to identify your own. During your sessions, you will also be taught techniques that will further guide you on identifying attachment behaviors in the future.
Another benefit of counseling is that it enables you to actively work on the way you view yourself whilst aiding you in feeling more positive about yourself. Moreover, while licensed counseling has a proven track record of helping individuals overcome insecure attachment, it also has the ability to help you develop secure and positive patterns, which in turn, will take the place of past unhealthy attachments.
Now, not everyone has the luxury of time to sit in traffic and make their way to their counseling appointment. Alternatively, a lot of people are not comfortable sitting amongst others in a waiting room. This is where online therapy comes in. With this form of counseling, you can access the service from the comfort of your own home. It is also an affordable alternative that does not require any travel. Here are some additional benefits of virtual therapy:
- Flexible scheduling
- Variety of qualified therapist to choose from
- Great alternative for remote arrears
- Anonymity and convenience
- Speed of service
- Personal connection
- Convenient for individuals with physical limitations
- Treatment may be more approachable
- No waiting rooms!
- Therapy from the comfort of your own home
- Online assessments are as reliable as face-to-face assessments
Evidently, there are many factors that contribute to one developing an insecure attachment. These attachments often stem from neglect within an individual's childhood.
Evidently, there are also helpful ways of overcoming your insecure attachment, including therapy. However, in order to be completely successful in overcoming your insecure attachments, you have to be willing to put in the required work.
Therefore, if you are struggling with attachment-related issues, we encourage you to seek any kind of therapy. Online therapy is also a safe and comfortable way of receiving help. If you are considering taking the online therapy route, we are here to help you.