Understanding Our Attachment or Anxiety Avoidance

So, you went and did again. You might have caught feelings, or maybe someone else did, confessed, and now you’re freaking out. 

Sound familiar? 

Attachment avoidance or anxiety is a real issue that millions of people struggle with. Sometimes, we may not even know how badly our attachment fears affect us until we are faced with relationship problems.

Attachment theory, which describes how children develop bonds with caretakers during infancy, has lifelong impacts on adult happiness and connection.

We know that having close social ties is important, and for many of us, romantic relationships play a large role in our social lives. This is where attachment anxiety and avoidance tend to appear the most, likely because these relationships can trigger the same type of vulnerability we had as children. 

You might worry that attachment is a fixed aspect of who you are, and in some ways, it may be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to understand yourself better, heal from unhelpful beliefs, and adopt new behaviors that allow you to experience healthy, meaningful relationships with others. 

What Is Attachment Theory? 

Attachment theory derives from the work of two psychologists – John Bowby and Mary Ainsworth. 

Bowby initially wished to explore how separation affects infants, and Mary, working under him, began to expand his initial research. 

Through a number of material deprivation studies and observational research, Ainsworth went on to develop three primary attachment styles that therapists and psychologists still reference today:

  1. Secure
  2. Ambivalent-insecure
  3. Avoidant-insecure

A fourth attachment style, disorganized-insecure, was added in 1986 by researchers from New Jersey, who discovered this pattern of attachment among infants. 

Today, we can look at attachment through the lens of vulnerability and willingness to connect. 

But because everyone’s idea of what constitutes a “close” relationship can differ, this isn’t always easy to do.

But what we do know is that if you tend to push people away, if you have a fear of abandonment, or if you struggle to open up or trust others, you may have attachment avoidance or anxiety. 

Signs of Insecure Attachments

As children, we need our parents or caregivers to show up 100% of the time. If they don’t, and some emotional need goes unmet, we may grow to believe no one will ever really be there when we need them.

This inner self trauma can lead to the development of attachment anxiety as well as low self-worth. You might believe that deep down, you are unlovable, and that anyone who gets too close will eventually realize how worthless you are and leave.

This fear tends to color every interaction you have with others, especially close relationships or romantic ones. It can stop you from ever truly being yourself — and cause you to push away intimacy when you need it the most. 

Some signs of attachment avoidance include:

  • Finding faults in people and using them as excuses to cut ties. 
  • Pushing people away when they start to get too close. 
  • Often finding people “needy” or “clingy” 
  • Craving closeness but being terrified of it.
  • Wanting to end a relationship when it starts getting serious. 
  • Preferring the “game” of dating rather than a stable relationship.
  • Being more open to one-night stands or friends with benefits over a committed partnership.

Signs of an anxious attachment include:

  • Low self-esteem, especially in relationships or dating.
  • Worrying about being “too forward” or coming off as desperate. 
  • Difficulty asserting opinions and defending yourself. 
  • Fear of abandonment and being alone.
  • Feeling incomplete without a romantic partner. 
  • Staying in unhealthy relationships or justifying a partner’s toxic or abusive behavior. 
  • A deep-rooted fear of rejection and heightened sensitivity. 

Avoidant people are more likely to shut others out, but an anxiously attached person may always try to seek validation. They always worry they’ll be too much or not enough for their partner, so they tend to constantly seek affirmation. 

Some might even “test” their partners to see how much they really care. 

A lot of anxious and avoidant types tend to find each other naturally. The anxious person is constantly chasing after someone who refuses to be fully available. For an avoidant person, this brings a sense of validation without needing to be vulnerable. 

On the other hand, the anxious person is used to always going after something they fear they can never truly have. Every romantic action is an effort to prove themselves (or have their worth proven to them). 

So, although both people may feel at home in this toxic cycle, it ultimately deprives them and the avoidant partner of ever having a truly equal, whole relationship. 

You might read all this and think it sounds terrible, but people with either attachment avoidance or anxiety aren’t bad people. They’re just afraid. They need to learn how to heal themselves so they can feel whole within and, eventually, allow someone else to share that wholeness. 

How Do You Heal an Attachment Style? 

This is a large task, but you’re up for it. Just by reading this, you’ve already shown up for yourself. 

And that’s where healthy attachments really stem from — a healthy relationship with yourself. By building confidence, you come to appreciate the person you truly are. 

When you love who you are, you no longer have to fear being enough. You don’t enter relationships like a trial, hoping that you pass if someone sees your worth and failing if they don’t.

Just like any behavior, attachment patterns can change. And just like any mental health problem, they require a lot of reflection, the right tools, and an optimistic outlook. 

Your self-growth has to stem from a desire to live a more fulfilling live for you. You’re not going to make yourself loveable or worthy. You already are loveable and worthy. 

Instead, you are going to work on learning why you think you aren’t these things and focus on building on strengths. You gain confidence through achievement and demonstrating reliability to yourself.

A lot of people who struggle with attachment struggle to show up for themselves, too. Depression and anxiety are the only two constants they tend to count on.

You know, without a doubt, that your fear or anxiety will be there. But how often are you there for you? How often are you there to make yourself happy, to celebrate yourself, to support your own growth? 

You may not even have any idea where to begin. And that’s okay. This is a starting point you can always come back to.

Therapy Is Your Friend

There used to be a huge misconception that therapy was only for broken people. People who are crazy. Someone who has major issues that only a professional can cure. 

That idea couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Therapy is for everyone, because we’re all human, and we all need help sometimes. 

Therapists are not magicians who wave a magic wand and make your life awesome. Instead, they’re like mentors, offering guidance as you work through your own trauma and insecurity to  a happier version of you.

They won’t feed you BS, though. Therapy is a place to gently ask hard questions, work through difficult answers, and learn what it means to truly be an ally to yourself. 

You may find it helpful to look for therapists near you who have experience in healing attachment wounds, trauma, and anxiety. Most are always open to consultations, answering emails, and giving you the info you need to feel comfortable before booking a session.

Microdosing

Can magic mushrooms really help you be a happier person? Can a fungus that grows out of the Earth manage to reshape your attachment style? It sounds pretty strange, we admit, but there is some science to back up the notion. 

The main ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin, which has been shown to help curb anxiety, lower depression, and help people feel more confident and inspired in life. Research also shows that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy may be able to reduce attachment anxiety. 

This is due to its ability to lower mental health symptoms — which many attachment issues stem from. 

By healing from your own inner self trauma, such as helplessness, hopelessness, and a fear of being worthless, you can grow to love yourself and, eventually, let others love you, too. 

If you’re interested in trying microdosing, you can do it on your own or find a therapist who will factor psilocybin into your therapy. This is a great opportunity to get the greatest results from microdosing. 

Practice Healthy Relationship Behaviors With Yourself

It might feel strange at first, but think about how you would care for yourself in a loving relationship.

What actions could you take today that would make you feel loved and secure? 

You may leave yourself an uplifting note on your bathroom mirror, so you start your morning off with a smile.

Maybe you make yourself a feel-good playlist, or you cook yourself a delicious, healthy dinner. 

You might do yoga, practice breathwork, or journal your feelings without judging them 

Showing up for yourself, learning to hold space for your anxiety and fears, is an act of self-love. These small actions help you realize that true security comes from within, and that by embracing vulnerability within yourself, you can accept it and nourish it in others, too. 

Magic Mushrooms and Your Attachment

You can lead any life you want, whether you choose to go to therapy or not, microdose or not. You have everything you need inside of yourself, and if you think you don’t, there are ways to discover it.

If you think magic mushrooms and psilocybin may be helpful to you as you heal, we would love to assist by providing plenty of information on dosing. Schedule35 is more than just your friendly neighborhood shroom shop — we’re your ally. 

As you navigate mental health, self-growth, and happiness, let us know if we can provide you with any information that could benefit your journey. 

P.S. You’ve got this. 

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