When it comes to relationships, be it romantic, work-related or friendships, people exhibit attachment styles. And although attachment theory has been associated with the relationship between a primary caregiver and a child, this has extended onto adulthood with the fearful avoidant attachment style being one of the four. According to experts, this attachment style classified under insecurities and is considered a disorder which could have developed from losses or trauma in childhood.
What Is Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Disorder In Adults?
Adults with Fearful-avoidant attachment disorder have ambivalent feelings when it comes to having relationships. These are the types of individuals who fear intimacy in relationships and keep away from opening up to their partners while lacking affection but at the same time have a strong desire to be in relationships. This is a result of the fear of being hurt or left by the people they love and being emotionally hurt by their partners.
While in a relationship, a fearful-avoidant person feels that his or her partner might have dwindling feelings when the latter is distant. Conversely, when a partner is getting too close or showing affection, the fearful-avoidant individual will feel smothered or trapped. Moreover, this person finds it hard to express feelings that he or she tends to withdraw and walk away when faced with problems in the relationship. As a result, a person who has fearful-avoidant attachment disorder often gets into abusive relationships.
Fearful-avoidant attachment disorder is also known as anxious-avoidant attachment disorder in which a person finds it difficult to trust his or her partner but at the same time feel inadequate and does not deserve to be loved. This is the type of person that gets into one relationship after the other but which are short-lived. When the fearful-avoidant feels that intimacy is setting in or commitment is being asked of the relationship, he or she immediately wants out of the relationship and finds fault on his or her partner.
Symptoms of Fearful-avoidant Attachment Disorder in Adults
- Difficulty trusting other people
- Afraid of rejection, abandonment and intimacy
- Low self-esteem
- Inferiority to others
- Having negative view of other people
- Difficulty in ending relationships for fear of not being loved again
- Dependence on partner
Dealing with fearful-avoidant attachment disorder can be difficult because it is characterized with negative views of oneself and other people as well as fear of rejection. However, a fearful-avoidant person can improve if he or she gets into a relationship with a secure person. It is also important to have a support group or seek the help of a therapist for guidance and treatment. For a fearful-avoidant person who is in a relationship, it is important to create a list of the positive things about the relationship and his or her partner. It will also help for the fearful-avoidant person to be aware of his or her tendency of making negative interpretations of a partner’s actions and thoughts so as to rationalize the situation in a positive way.