If they discover the “real me”, they’ll abandon me. This is the deepest fear a person with an anxious attachment style has.
They feel that something within them is rotten and shameful. This creates immense tension as they navigate the already intricate and complex paths of any romantic relationship.
Romantic relationships are challenging
Being in a relationship is challenging. Doing it well requires emotional maturity, empathy, taking responsibility for our own sh*t, and high-level skills, such as conflict resolution. (And that’s without touching the minefield of parenting styles—a topic I don’t speak on.)
Relationships are challenging for people with a secure attachment style, and they can be a nightmare for those who have avoidant, anxious, or disordered attachment styles.
Everything exists on a scale, the higher the level of insecurity an individual brings into the relationship, the more likely it will negatively impact everyone: the couple, the relationship itself, and the community everyone is embedded in.
Relationship conflicts inflated
So if someone brings a deep-seated conviction that something is wrong with them, they will want to protect this “secret” and they might perceive any trivial disagreement as an existential or marital crisis.
Conflicts are daily occurrences in all relationships. We’re different, have different needs, and bring our current mood, level of focus, and capacity into any and every situation. If you are hungry, you’re much more likely to have a short temper. It’s normal.
And we tend to treat such things as normal, unless any little disturbance is a potential confirmation that something is wrong with us. Then we go into our default mode, which could be hiding, shouting at the other person, freezing up, or any other ways we disconnect from the situation when severely threatened.
The body: the key to change
We tend to dissociate from the body when we are in survival mode, therefore the way back to safety and a more secure attachment is through the body.
Practices that help you focus on the body when you’re stressed by a situation allow you to shorten the life cycle of the survival mode and to choose how you respond. For example, you’ll be able to speak instead of staying silent, or stay calm instead of shouting like a lunatic.
Once you feel at home in the body and it is a place where you can regain a sense of safety and calm, you’ll be able to proceed with changing your way of thinking: bringing awareness to distorted thought patterns, such as something is wrong with the “real me”, and replacing them with critical and mature thinking patterns.
Your default attachment style can weaken
Anxious attachment style might still continue to be your default mode, but you will have better choices in the kind of partner you choose—e.g., instead of being attracted to someone with an avoidant attachment style, you might choose a partner with a secure attachment style—and choices in how you show up daily in your romantic life.
Looking for coaching?
If you’re interested in honing your embodied relational intelligence skills to build a loving, mature, and enduring romantic relationship either with your current partner or the one you commit to next, reach out or simply buy one of my coaching and or hypnotherapy services and I’ll meet you on Zoom.