How Fearful Avoidant Attachment Affects Relationships?
Fearful Avoidant Attachment (FAA) is a type of attachment style characterized by fear and avoidance of closeness or intimacy. FAA may result from early life experiences such as abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other traumatic events. FAA may also develop due to genetic factors and developmental issues. FAA is associated with a variety of negative outcomes including depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, relationship problems and sexual dysfunction.
The Fearful Avoidant Attachment Quiz:
What are the symptoms of FAA?
Awareness of one’s own fears and anxieties. Feeling anxious when around others. Being overly cautious and avoiding close relationships. A tendency to withdraw into oneself and avoid social situations. Difficulty trusting others because they might betray your secrets or disappoint you in some way. Feelings of guilt or shame if one does reveal their secrets or disappoints them. Feeling inferior to others because they have no secrets or disappointments. A feeling of being inadequate in relationships and unable to connect with anyone. Feeling like a failure if one cannot make someone feel special and loved.
What are the symptoms of Dispositional Avoidance?
Avoiding close relationships altogether. Not showing emotions easily. Having difficulty expressing feelings in a meaningful manner. Avoiding social gatherings and large social groups. Having a tendency to be shy or introverted. Showing restraint when it comes to intimacy and physical contact. Not sharing secrets or life history with anyone. Difficulty expressing anger directly. Holding grudges and being unforgiving if one feels betrayed in any way.
How is FAA treated?
Awareness: The first step in overcoming fearful avoidant attachment is awareness of your own thoughts and actions.
Affection: Giving and receiving affection can help you with the awareness step.
Avoidance: Avoiding close relationships altogether can lead to fear, anxiety, and depression.
Affect: One’s ability to express emotions is an important part of having close relationships.
Closeness: Sharing life experiences, hopes, and ambitions with another person can make a relationship intimate.
Confidence: Avoiding relationships altogether is rarely the best solution to fearful avoidance issues.
Trust: Having confidence in your own abilities to handle rejection, betrayal, or loss is important for overcoming fear and anxiety.
What are the causes of Fearful Avoidant Attachment?
Genetic factors: A person’s genetic makeup may predispose him or her to fearful avoidant attachment.
Infancy and toddler years: The way an infant is held, touched, fed, changed, and spoken to can affect his or her ability to develop secure attachment as he or she grows.
Lack of parental love and attention: If parents are depressed, anxious, or have fearful avoidant attachment themselves, they may not provide the affection, care, and nurturing that a young child requires.
Neglect: Being ignored, left alone to cry, or deprived of basic needs (food, water, shelter, clothing) can lead to fearful avoidant attachment.
What are the treatments for Fearful Avoidant Attachment?
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is a common and effective treatment for fearful avoidant attachment.
Medication: Medication may be prescribed by your doctor for anxiety, depression, or other disorders that accompany fearful avoidant attachment.
Long-term therapy: Therapy can take more than a year and involve many different approaches.
Short-term therapy: A few sessions with a therapist will not overcome fearful avoidant attachment, but it can help identify some of the issues involved.
Behavioral therapy: The behaviorist perspective believes that people acquire certain behaviors as a result of rewards (or punishments) for their actions.
Cognitive therapy: The cognitive approach believes that certain beliefs dictate a person’s thoughts and feelings which in turn affect their behavior.
12 Step Programs: One of the most well-known programs is Alcoholics Anonymous, which was based on the 12 steps created by Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson.
Support groups: Support groups provide a non-judgmental place where people with fearful avoidant attachment issues can talk about their feelings, fears, and anxieties.
Drugs: Certain drugs may be able to reduce fear and anxiety. However, these drugs have potential for abuse and can cause severe harm.
What is the prognosis of Fearful Avoidant Attachment?
Outgrow: Children typically outgrow fearful avoidant attachment by entering their teenage years.
Suppressed: If the fear, anxiety, and avoidance are successfully repressed or masked by a different personality, they may not re-emerge until later in life.
Chronic: If fearful avoidant attachment has been present since early childhood, it may continue to be a feature of personality.
Prognosis: The prognosis for fearful avoidant attachment is fair. With treatment, people can learn to manage their feelings of fear, anxiety, and avoidance so that they are able to engage in basic social situations.
Medical Attention: People with fearful avoidant attachment should seek medical attention if they experience any physical symptoms. These include chest pains, headaches, stomachaches, frequent urination, diarrhea, and vomiting.
What is fearful avoidant attachment disorder?
Fearful avoidant attachment disorder is a condition in which a person feels extreme anxiety when faced with social situations and relationships. A person with fearful avoidant attachment disorder will consistently avoid social or interpersonal contact despite the desire for company.
People with fearful avoidant attachment disorder experience intense fear, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness when faced with social situations. These fears typically develop in childhood and may severely limit the person’s ability to have meaningful relationships or hold a job. The fears are usually out of proportion to the actual situation and prevent people from living a normal life.
Fearful avoidant attachment disorder is related to autism spectrum disorders, mental retardation, schizophrenia, and certain forms of brain damage. It is also related to personality disorders such as schizoid personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and anxious personality disorder.
Fearful avoidant attachment disorder typically appears in childhood but can begin at any time in life. In some cases, fearful avoidant attachment disorder develops as a result of a negative or traumatic social experience. The condition is often worsened by a lack of social support, such as living in a foreign country where you don’t know the language or culture.
Treatment of fearful avoidant attachment disorder may include:
Drug therapy: Drug therapies can reduce anxiety and fear. These generally include antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT teaches people to identify, evaluate, and alter negative thoughts. This method is useful for treating fears, phobias, and social anxieties.
Psychodynamic therapy: This therapy focuses on the relationship between unresolved conflicts from the past and present behavior. It explores relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Systematic Desensitization: This therapy is based upon the principle that fear is learned. By learning relaxation techniques and controlled exposure to a feared object or situation, people can unlearn their fear.
Graded Exposure: This treatment gradually exposes the person to increasing fear triggers until the fear goes away.
Skatepark of Tampa
You arrive in a skatepark that is pretty packed with skateboarders showing off their skills. This place reminds you of when you were younger and would come here to show off your own skills but that was such a long time ago. You see that a lot of things have changed about this place but some things will always stay the same. You grab your board and head out towards the half pipe to see if you still got it.
You’ve had a lot of time to think about things and you’ve realized that you need to make some changes in your life. You can’t go on the way you have been. You’re either going to turn things around or continue on a path that will lead to nowhere, It’s all up to you.
Will you return to your old destructive habits or have you learned enough from your mistakes to change your ways?
Make your choice.
You decide to…
It’s been a long time but you are still pretty good at skateboarding. You remember all those hours you used to spend in your garage that your dad turned into a mini skate park. He was really supportive of you and always bought you all the new gear. You loved skateboarding and it was a big part of your life until…well that’s not important now.
What matters now is how you move forward into the future.
Returning to skateboarding is a good starting point for you because it gets you back into doing something you used to love and was also a big part of your youth. That in itself is a good thing because it allow you to reconnect with yourself and your past on a deeper level. Who you are is very important and sometimes we lose track of that because of the bad choices we make. Those bad choices can often cloud out who we are at our core and we begin to falsely believe those bad choices are who we really are.
You need to find your passion again and keep living.
You decide to…
Get a job at the local coffee shop
You decide you might as well get a job since you do need something to do while you look for more mainstream acting work. You go in to apply and they seem pretty enthusiastic about you working there even though you have no real experience.
You discover that the manager is a bit of a prick though. He acts like he’s doing you this big favor by giving you this job. The job is basically taking orders, making coffees, and cleaning up messes. This is something you could have done at starbucks and they would have paid you more.
You soon find out the reason the manager is acting like he’s doing you a favor by giving you this job is because he puts the squeeze on all his employees to buy lottery tickets from him on a weekly basis. He says it’s for the good of the business but you know it’s just another way for him to make money off his employees.
You begin to regret taking this job but you stay because you need the money and this place is close to your apartment. As the months go by you save up to gain more independence in your life and to move out of your parents house.
Eventually you save up enough and you quit your job at the coffee shop. A week later the coffee shop is closed down by the health department for numerous health code violations.
You feel a little guilty for helping contribute to the closure of an establishment but it was either that or keep working there until the manager ran you into the ground or you were successful at standing up to him and getting fired which would have happened eventually anyway.
Sources & references used in this article:
How anxious and avoidant attachment affect romantic relationship quality differently: A meta‐analytic review by T Li, DKS Chan – European Journal of Social Psychology, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
How your attachment style impacts your relationship by L Firestone – Psychology Today, 2013 – newbeginningsfamilycounseling …
How avoidant attachment influences subjective well-being: An investigation about theageandgender differences by T Li, HH Fung – Aging & mental health, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
Dimensions of adult attachment, affect regulation, and romantic relationship functioning by KA Brennan, PR Shaver – Personality and Social Psychology …, 1995 – journals.sagepub.com
How does attachment styles relate to ıntimate relationship to aggravate the depressive symptoms? by M Altın, Ş Terzi – Procedia-social and behavioral sciences, 2010 – Elsevier