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Here’s how to recognize an anxious attachment style in your relationship, according to experts (part 1)

You’ve probably heard the term “anxious attachment style” circling the internet lately—but what does it actually mean outside the context of social media jargon? Technically, anxious attachment is a term used by psychologists to describe a way that someone acts in various relationships, whether that be with family, friends, or romantic partners.

In general, anxious attachment is one that’s “fueled by the insecurity of being abandoned,” says Jenni Skyler, PhD, a certified sex therapist, sexologist, and director of The Intimacy Institute. An anxiously attached person might feel like they “need” their significant other, friend, or family member in a more intense way than normal, Skyler explains. In the absence of this connection, they feel out of control and unstable.

Basically, even if they’re in a secure relationship with someone by definition, an anxiously attached person never feels quite comfortable where they stand. To them, there’s always a chance that the other person could leave—even when they least expect it.

And though someone may not intentionally be anxiously attached, it can still cause a breadth of issues in a relationship such as unhappiness, resentment, and more, says board-certified sexologist Debra Laino, PhD. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to heal an anxious attachment style. It just takes time and patience (more on that later).

Wondering if you (or your partner, or someone else in your life) might have an anxious attachment style? It’s time to replace your worry with knowledge. Here’s everything you need to know about anxious attachment, according to experts in love, sex, and relationships.

What is an anxious attachment style?

Overall, an anxious attachment style is characterized by the fear of being abandoned, Skyler explains. That said, it can typically be broken down into two different categories, since anxiously attached people tend to express themselves in two specific ways.

Anxious ambivalent: This style usually looks like a person who is needy and has low self-esteem, Laino explains. “They tend to be hyper-focused on being rejected,” she says, maintaining that this kind of person tries to get even closer to a partner when their anxious attachment is triggered.

Anxious avoidant: Because those with this attachment style fear rejection, they will evade connection with others, Laino says. “They find emotions to be pretty difficult. While they may want to have a partner, their behavior might say the opposite to the person they’re with,” she explains.

In short, both of these behaviors are the anxious attachment style at play—but expressed in opposing ways.

Source: Womenshealthmag



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