Tag: <span>Communication</span>

anxious, communication

What Anxious Attachment Looks Like in Relationships

Attachment styles are based on a theory that your early connections in childhood with your caregivers directly impact how you approach relationships today. If we – as children – believe that our needs cannot and won’t be met by those closest to us, we are likely to exhibit attachment issues throughout our lives. 

big family in kitchen and man feeding baby in feeding chair
Photo by Vanessa Loring on Pexels.com

It’s an intriguing psychological framework to make sense of why you behave the way you do in intimate relationships and even at work. Yes, attachment patterns can impact our daily lives beyond our family.

A lack of attunement or connection between parent and child can contribute to anxious attachments in adulthood, which is the focus of this blog. Anxiety is one of the most common experiences, with  1 in 13 people worldwide experiencing anxiety, including children. Those who tend to be more anxious and worry extensively about relationships are probably engaged in an anxious attachment style.

Anxious Attachment Style

People with this attachment style are often insecure in their relationships, with a high need for reassurance from their partners to know that they are still wanted or loved. 

This style of attachment can also show up as:

· Overthinking and analyzing what others say or do 

· Negative view of themselves and anxious or stressed out about how others perceive them 

· Overinvested in relationships (at work and outside of that)

· Worry that you are “too much” or need alot from others

· Strong fear of rejection and evaluation 

· Sensitivity to abandonment or being left out

· Trouble working independently and a heavy dependence on their partner or team to finish tasks

· Often feel underappreciated or dissatisfied 

The Power of Anxious Thinking

Our thoughts (in this cause anxious thoughts and overthinking), can impact how we feel and respond. We often don’t realize this dynamic is quickly happening in our minds. 

Anxious thoughts

Where do I go from here?

If you recognize these issues in yourself or someone you love, the good news is attachment styles can change with time, effort and support. Self-development starts with awareness and approaching yourself with self-compassion and not criticism. 

Some tips to continue to strengthen how you show up in relationships: 

  • Continue to look for patterns of responding or shutting down. Write them down. Being mindful of them will make it easier to shift how you respond. 
  • Work on it with your partner
  • Realize that past experiences do not have to hold you emotionally hostage
  • Develop new ways of communicating and asking for what you need. The more you can express what you need, like saying I need regular reassurance, the more empowered you can feel

Psychotherapist, Coach for Women

Amanda Fludd,LCSW-R is a licensed Psychotherapist, Corporate Trainer, and Mindset Coach to support the mind of the woman behind the business. In all avenues of life we have to learn to navigate fear and get to the root of our anxiety.

Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission to fund our tea-drinking habits if you use these links to make a purchase. We only recommend products, tools, and services that we think would be beneficial to our audience.  

Intimacy, communication, anxious

Do We Need Therapy? Couples Edition.

The secret’s out, therapy can be a life-changing experience for individuals and couples navigating new or established relationships. Couples therapy aims to help a couple improve or better understand their style of relating and connecting. Healthy relationships don’t necessarily just happen; it results from applying skills like boundaries and practical communication approaches, which sometimes requires a professional.  

Couples therapy can be helpful because an objective party can potentially close the gap between you and your partner. It can be used for new couples, couples preparing for marriage, married couples, and even couples considering divorce.

Why should you participate in couples therapy?

Communication. The number one reason most couples go to therapy is for support with communication. As you may know, communication is a key element in any relationship’s success, but especially for intimate relationships.  

Have you ever had a conversation with your partner that immediately turned to arguments or quickly escalated into a shouting match? Maybe you’ve left an encounter feeling manipulated or dismissed? Or worse, feeling alone or disappointed with the quality of your relationship. 

That is where couple’s therapy can come in to lend the tools to navigate the intense emotions that come into communication dynamics. The goals are to help create space to explore more understanding and empathy between partners and foster fulfilling partnerships. For minority couples, therapy is an excellent resource for validating the black and brown experience, with opportunities to experience restorative conversations. 

For example, historically, many Black men have learned messages that certain emotions are not ok to express and are a sign of weakness. This is similar for many minority groups who culturally may not have been taught how to be vulnerable or have that role modeled in their lives. Black women may be more open with their emotions but are also taught to be superwomen and hide their struggles, even when overwhelmed and falling apart. These dynamics within a relationship can easily lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.  

Expressing your feelings doesn’t diminish your masculinity or weaken your strength as a woman

You need to know that expressing yourself doesn’t diminish your masculinity or weaken your strength as a woman. Relationship dynamics can challenge that at times, and we can’t stress enough, you are not alone in that experience.  

Trauma. Trauma is a profound loss of control. By the time we come into adulthood, most of us have had to experience at least two traumatic events, if not more. Events such as a significant loss, experiencing a parent incarcerated or subjected to alcohol or substance use, sexual trauma, lingering intergenerational family trauma, witnessing community trauma, experiencing abuse or neglect.  

Trauma directly impacts our ability to trust and connect with others. It affects intimacy, one’s ability to know and express your emotions, and even your ability to be emotionally available to others. Couples therapy can be a valuable tool for couples where one or both partners are looking to heal. 

Passion/ Sex Related Issues. Sex is still a taboo topic in most cultures and most relationships. Couples who struggle in the bedroom need not be ashamed. Many factors can affect a couple’s sex life. At times there are emotional aspects of that (such as trauma mentioned above or other fears or anxieties) that can be addressed with the support of a couple’s therapist. 

Intimacy

Infidelity. Infidelity often alters the trajectory of a relationship and can lead to issues related to trust, intimacy, and forgiveness. Many couples seek therapy as a sincere effort to save the relationship and heal from the damage infidelity can cause, or even to resolve these issues and amicably separate.  

While there are many other reasons to engage in couple’s therapy, like boundary issues, differing parenting styles, navigating the health of a spouse, finances or just wanting core skills to support your relationship- whatever the reason it can be especially validating to hear from a professional.  

If you are experiencing any of the above or other relationship concerns, please contact the practice as we have several openings for couples. Additionally, keep an eye out for future couples’ workshops hosted at Kensho Psychotherapy Services, where couples can come together to learn tips and strategies to make their relationships stronger. 

Written by Alyssa Heavens, MFT Intern and edited by Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor & Mental Health Consultant 

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anxious, communication

What Anxious Attachment Looks Like in Relationships

Attachment styles are developed in childhood and are the blueprint for approaching relationships today, even at work.