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Avoidant Attachment Style: Causes, Signs, Triggers & How to Heal

Avoidant Attachment Style: Causes, Signs, Triggers & How to Heal

Anna Drescher is a freelance writer and solution-focused hypnotherapist, specializing in CBT and meditation. Using insights from her experience working as an NHS Assistant Clinical Psychologist and Recovery Officer, along with her Master’s degree in Psychotherapy, she lends deep empathy and profound understanding to her mental health and relationships writing.

Saul Mcleod, PhD., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years of experience in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Julia Simkus is a graduate of Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness in . Julia’s research has been published in peer reviewed journals.

Avoidant attachment style refers to a psychological and emotional pattern characterized by an individual’s tendency to avoid emotional closeness and dismiss the importance of intimate relationships, often as a self-protective measure.

Avoidant individuals tend to have a negative view of others and a mostly positive view of themselves. They believe other people are untrustworthy and dishonest, whereas they themselves are confident and capable and do not need the support of anyone else.

Individuals with an avoidant attachment style often have difficulty forming and maintaining deep emotional connections with others. They may feel uncomfortable with intimacy, fear dependence on others, and strongly desire independence and self-reliance.

Avoidant Attachment Signs in Adults

There are several common characteristics of adults with an avoidant attachment style. These characteristics include: valuing independence over emotional closeness, suppressing or downplaying emotions, distrusting others, relying on themself for emotional support, and struggling to share their thoughts and feelings with others.

While outwardly these individuals often come across as confident, fun-loving, social, and easy-going, they tend to have acquaintances and sexual partners rather than close friendships and committed relationships.

Here are some signs in more detail:

  • “I am comfortable without close emotional relationships.”
  • “It is very important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient.”
  • “I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me.”

People with this attachment style may not openly or consciously experience distress or the need for comfort, but their attachment insecurity is a sign of low self-worth. These individuals often display symptoms of poor mental health, such as depression and anxiety.

Personal Account

“I have known I’m a dismissive avoidant for some time now and the main thing I really want to stress is that this avoidance is almost entirely subconscious on our part unless someone brings our attention to it.

I had no idea I was doing this for years and years and the result was that I truly hurt a lot of people. In college, I started having unexplained physical symptoms (stomach ache, vision changes, heart palpitations, chest pain) which were later determined to be anxiety and depression after the doctors ruled literally everything else out […]

I would be dating a guy who I initially really liked, but as the relationship wore on I would decide they were not good enough due to some fatal flaw and they couldn’t possibly be “the one.” This decision always happens to coincide with these men wanting more commitment.

I loved casually dating, mene tГ¤lle sivustolle but the second someone wanted to make things official or get emotionally closer, I would suddenly end it, much to their surprise […]

Interestingly, I would become deeply lonely and sad during single periods but would continue the same process or pull away as soon as I started to get close to someone.

Following that I’d become lonely and sad again. I thought my problem was that “the one” was not out there […]”


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