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Why you have an Avoidant Attachment Style

One of my clients had an amazing insight: having an Avoidant Attachment Style means you don’t trust your own “police force”.

Avoidant attachment is where you resist and prevent intimacy. The oversimplified definition: you have trauma from childhood because people close to you hurt you in some way, which you took to mean “don’t let people get close to you”.

Common Avoidant tactics include: self-isolation, having impossibly high standards, deliberate sabotage of connections (e.g. ghosting people you actually like), erectile dysfunction, excessive use of humour, cheating, people pleasing and false agreeableness, contrarianism (being obnoxiously disagreeable), and emotional numbness, to name but a few.

Avoidance is basically running away from the potential pain that somebody might cause you if they were to become intimate with you, and you only run away because you don’t believe in yourself.

You don’t believe in your own ability to protect yourself from such pain, or to recover from it. You have a deep sense that any intimate connection would only end in suffering for you, and so therefore there’s really no point in letting someone in.

The problem is, you’re still thinking like a traumatised child, rather than a full-grown and much more capable adult.

So the key to dealing with an avoidant attachment style is to learn how to be confrontational and assertive in a healthy way, to learn how to maintain healthy boundaries that protect the long-term relationship, and basically to learn how to courageously protect yourself from manipulation and painful things that other people do.

If you know for certain that you won’t let people harm you, then you don’t have to worry about getting intimate with people because your police force will protect you from them if they turn out to be someone bad.

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One Response

  1. I should also note that you may need to simultaneously work on improving the health of your social circle. Avoidants tend to surrounded themselves with bad fits (to prevent intimacy)

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