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Why do I need Constant Reassurance? | Anxious Attachment Style in Relationships

The Anxiously Attached Child

  • Often feels drained due to the caregivers’ neediness

  • Tends to worry about their caregiver and cling to them, they can also feel guilty, feeling as though they need to take care of them

  • Anxious while away from their caregiver and hard to console once they’ve returned

  • Exploring less than children their own age

  • Appearing generally anxious

  • Not interacting with strangers

  • Having problems regulating and controlling negative emotions

  • Displaying aggressive behavior and poor peer interactions

  • Risk factors: early separation from a caregiver, abuse, instances of neglect, caregivers who ridiculed them when the child was in distress

Parents of Children with an Anxious Attachment Style:

  • Typically experienced this attachment style from their own caregivers while growing up

  • Inconsistent parenting: sometimes the caregiver is supportive and responsive and others they are misattuned

  • Interactions are unpredictable

  • Seek emotional/physical closeness with their child as a means of satisfying their own needs (i.e. intrusive, overprotective, appearance of being the perfect parent)

Anxious Attachment in Adulthood

  • Think highly of others but have low self-esteem

  • Strong fear of rejection or abandonment - can cause jealousy or suspicious of partners

  • Clinginess in relationships - preoccupied with relationships

  • Sensitive and have strong sense of others’ needs but are often insecure and anxious about their own worth in relationships

  • Need constant reassurance that they are loved and cared about, they are worthy, and good enough

  • Afraid of or incapable of being alone

  • Seek intimacy and closeness and are highly dependent on others

  • Presence of loved one is remedy to their fears and insecurities

How to Develop a More Secure Attachment Style

  • Keep developing the things you are already good at and zone out

  • Take some measured risks - get out of your comfort zone

  • Get physically strong - it also translate to being mentally strong

  • Seek a relationship with a securely attached individual - can facilitate closeness and emotional security - gives a sense of calm

  • Therapy - 1) can help you make sense of how you interact with your loved ones at present 2) understanding how things from your childhood affect current relationships

How to Parent a Child with Anxious Attachment

  • Show your child that you are reliable in meeting their needs

  • Balance freedom with guidance

  • Focus less on certain types of parenting practices (i.e. natural childbirth co-sleeping, breastfeeding) and focus more on consistency

  • Seek professional help - many children who have come from abusive backgrounds and now live in a secure environment will need counseling to help adjust. Family counseling is best for both child and caregiver

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Blue Sage Counseling and Wellness, and the information provided by Ashley Francis, is solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Ashley Francis is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.

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