How to Cope with Attachment Anxiety

Sherry Lee
7 July, 2020

Have you ever had moments when you find yourself unreasonably attached to someone? You find yourself staring at the phone, waiting for that notification, and expecting them to reply within seconds so you can do the same. If they act slightly distant, you immediately jump to the worst conclusions possible. Do you believe it’s your fault they’re acting distant, and when you’re by yourself, your mind spirals out of control with paranoia?

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Hit that snooze button! It’s probably attachment anxiety.

What is Attachment Anxiety?

Now don’t be alarmed. Just because the word “anxiety” is attached to it doesn’t mean it’s devastating. According to Mark Manson, the author of NYTimes Bestseller: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, attachment anxiety often stems from how people have a lack of connection with their parents, causing them to grow up and be insecure about love and themselves. This would then be their reference to how they face people outside of their family, namely, their friends and lovers.

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Attachment anxiety might not be easy to pinpoint, especially when you tend to persuade yourself otherwise. However, insecurity is the biggest issue. Behaviors like being extremely possessive, overanalyzing every detail into something negative, thinking you’re not worthy of love, being terrified of getting hurt and abandoned show the anxious side of this attachment style, needing constant reassurance and affection.

You might be uncertain of how important you are in your partners’ lives, unable to establish stability in your relationships in fear of personal losses, or give excuses subconsciously to persuade yourselves this relationship isn’t as bad as it seems. Acts like pretending to be busy or indifferent to not seem desperate, purposely ignoring your partner to make them jealous or attract their attention, and needing to know what your partner is doing every second of the day are ways of self-protection.

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It might seem bad, but there are ways to prevent the paranoia from taking control and crowd people’s minds with bizarre negative thoughts.

How to Ease the Anxious Feelings

1. Distract yourself

Try to focus on something other than your partner. Change your focus from love to other things, like your hobbies, your work, your friends, your family, or anything you will be passionate about. It may be hard to divert attention from your partner at first, but once you have found what you’re enthusiastic about, you’ll realize that they’re only a part of your life instead of your everything.

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2. Lower your expectations

Expectations are not your definite life standards, more like your self-drafted set of rules. Not everyone has the same way of expressing “love” as you do, so do not push your anticipations onto someone else’s boundaries. Lower your expectations to a level where everyone is more comfortable with. It’ll be a great surprise when your partner fulfills them.

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3. Communicate instead of sulking

Sulking will only build up into emotional explosions over time. Whenever you feel irked by your partner, or they did something to upset you, just talk to them. “Communication is key,” as they always say. Through reasonable communication, you and your partner will be able to understand what each other wants or is upset about to prevent it from happening again, also relieving your frustrations.

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4. Give your partner some space

No matter how patient your partner is, they are going to have limits on how much they can handle. Do not force them to only revolve around you. Allow them to have their personal life while including you as a part of it. By forcefully trapping them by your side, you’re only forming their need to escape. Let them go. If they belong to you, they will come back.

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5. Evaluate your relationship

Is your relationship actually healthy? It might seem like all these troubles derived from you, but are they taking advantage of your insecurities? Are they putting you down and adding to your insecurities? If yes, then you might have to rethink this relationship. Not only is it toxic, but it isn’t helping your complications in the least. Toss that baggage away and start with yourself.

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6. Bring up your self-confidence

Being insecure is the most common symptom of people with attachment anxiety. They believe they do not deserve love, causing them to distrust their partner’s feelings for them. So replenishing self-confidence is a requirement. If it’s difficult to build it up from within, you can still do it through physical appearance as a start. Feel good by looking good.

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Be Who You Want to Be

Nobody, not even you, should be the hindrance to expressing who you are. You must love yourself before allowing anyone else to love you. Only by loving yourself can you find who you really are, then allow others to love your true self. Listen to your own voice sometimes because you deserve to be pampered, too, especially by you. If the relationship is holding you down, it’s best to let go and step on the journey to discover what you’re more than capable of doing.

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