In any relationship (romantic or not) we all have our own attachment style, shaped primarily by past experiences. There are four attachment styles: Secure, Anxious, Fearful, and Avoidant.
Here, we’ll take a look at some signs of an Avoidant attachment style and how it’s developed:
What are some signs of Avoidant attachment?
An avoidant attachment style is typically characterized by a need for emotional space and independence. People with this attachment style might be uncomfortable with strong displays of emotion or conflict. Some possible signs you have an Avoidant attachment style include:
- Preferring to keep quiet and let issues resolve themselves
- Trouble talking about how you are feeling or expressing vulnerability with partners or close friends
- Feeling like you aren’t sure how to respond when your partner is displaying strong emotions or seems distressed
- Sometimes giving people the impression that you aren’t interested
- A need for personal space (and feeling suffocated if you have to spend all your time with your partner)
Avoidant attachment is considered a low-anxiety, high-avoidance style.
How does someone develop Avoidant attachment?
A person’s upbringing plays a key role in developing an Avoidant attachment style. Maybe their family didn’t express emotions very often or emotional needs weren’t met.
As adults, those with an Avoidant attachment style often struggle when they need to talk about things like sex, communication, parenting, or emotions (since they may have never done it before).
What is the best way to manage Avoidant attachment?
If you or your partner have Avoidant attachment, there are many things that can help! Here are a few:
- Raising Awareness: Those who are Avoidantly attached may not realize how it’s impacting them. It’s important to address and try to understand each other’s emotional preferences to find the right balance in your relationship.
- Open Communication: Relationships need a safe place to raise issues and express emotions without fear of judgment or resentment. (Which is key for someone avoidantly attached.)
- Personal Space: Avoidantly attached people need personal space (which is totally fine!), so it’s important to respect their boundaries and remember it’s not a reflection of their feelings for you.
- Relationship Training: A relationship involving different attachment styles needs a little help sometimes, and a supportive, compassionate relationship coach can help address and resolve recurring issues.
Can Avoidant attachment be cured or changed?
A term like “cure” can make you think there’s something “wrong” with an Avoidantly attached person, but that is far from the case. Your attachment style is simply that — a style and a preference.
That said, there are certainly ways to help change this type of attachment style if it’s something you’d like to do. The change doesn’t necessarily occur within the person, but in the relationship. For example, you might be able to improve how you manage communication and conflict.
If you or your partner are Avoidantly attached, remember that it’s okay. Your attachment style is not permanent. It can always be altered to improve your relationships, whether you use therapy, a relationship coach, or the support of your partner. A trusting, stable relationship is the key to overcoming any attachment issues — which is something we can all benefit from, regardless of attachment styles.