Fearful-Avoidant Attachment – What Is It and How to Overcome

Fearful-Avoidant Attachment

How do you understand about “Fearful avoidant attachment“. We learn how to connect with others as humans by observing how we connect with our early caretakers. If a kid is raised in a warm, loving, and emotionally gratifying environment, he or she will grow up to have stable, trusting, and compassionate relationships with others. Those who had caregivers who were absent or emotionally unavailable, who invalidated or discouraged their needs, would carry this dynamic into adulthood and have an impact on their relationships.

John Bowlby explored how each of these affects the way we connect, build, and relate to people in his book “The Attachment Theory.” The fearful-avoidant attachment is the rarest and most difficult to cope with of the four attachment styles. Follow PowerPAc plus to learn more!

Fearful avoidant attachment

What is Fearful-avoidant attachment?

Fearful-avoidant attachment is a disordered, insecure attachment that commonly comes from childhood trauma. People who have a fearful-avoidant attachment view themselves and other people negatively.

Fearful-avoidant attachment is a pattern of behavior in relationships characterised by excessive anxiety and avoidance, in which a person seeks connection yet is afraid of getting too close to others. It’s the most uncommon of the four attachment forms, also known as disordered attachment.

What is Fearful-avoidant attachment?

The fearful-avoidant attachment style is considered to be a combination of the anxious/preoccupied attachment and the avoidant attachment styles. People with an anxious attachment style are constantly seeking more intimacy and reassurances in their relationships, often coming off as “needy” partners, whereas people with an avoidant attachment style tend to do the opposite and push others away out of a fear of intimacy.

But the fearful-avoidant attachment style involves a combination of both feeling anxious for affection and avoiding it at all costs. 

How fearful-avoidant attachment developed

Early childhood attachment styles are assumed to develop as a result of a person’s relationship with their primary caregivers. People who grew up with dependable caretakers who interacted in consistent ways with them (with a lot of love and attention) have a secure attachment style, which means they have typically good relationships in which they feel comfortable, loved, and capable of loving back. Those with unreliable, nonexistent, or problematic parental ties are more likely to develop one of the three insecure attachment styles: anxious, avoidant, or fearful-avoidant.

How fearful-avoidant attachment developed

According to Favez and Tissot, several studies imply trauma is a critical element in the formation of fearful-avoidant attachment. Fearful avoidants react to stress as youngsters with “seemingly illogical actions,” such as aimlessness, fear of their caregiver, or hostility against their caregiver, according to the researchers. Previous research has suggested that this conduct stems from their caregiver’s mistreatment or other traumatic experiences. As a result, the youngster is “constantly trapped between deactivation (because the attachment figure is unable to provide reassurance) and hyperactivation (because the ‘frightening’ figure constantly awakens attachment demands).”

In other words, a child who is terrified of their caregiver want intimacy and comfort but has learnt that they cannot trust the one who provides it to them. In adulthood, this manifests as a need for intimacy in your relationships, as well as an instinctive fear of it and a desire to avoid it.

How would a fearful-avoidant partner behave in a relationship?

Relationships with people who have scared avoidant attachment are prone to be rough and dramatic. These situations may help you understand how and why people with this attachment type behave.

They may prefer casual sex

While people who suffer from scared avoidant attachment desire to be in a relationship, their instincts work against them. They don’t want to be intimate in a relationship, so casual sex may feel safer.

They may be unpredictable

People that have this attachment style are afraid of being abandoned. They also don’t want to be stuck in a relationship. As a result, they experience emotional highs and lows. It may inhibit a long-term meaningful relationship. Others may perceive them as unstable or reactive.

They may shut down rapidly

Partners learn about each other’s likes, dislikes, worries, concerns, and more in the natural course of a relationship. When a person with scared avoidant attachment feels compelled to express their emotions and private ideas, they may completely block down contact. This is to keep them safe and to alleviate their dread of being overly exposed. Fearful avoidant attachment can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:

  • Relationships that are tumultuous and full of emotion
  • Relationship feelings that are conflicted (both wanting a romantic relationship and being fearful of being hurt or left by a significant other)
  • a proclivity to look for flaws in lovers or friends in order to use them as an excuse to quit a relationship
  • resistance to intimacy and commitment
  • Fear of being unsuitable as a companion or in a relationship
  • When things get intimate or emotional, people withdraw from relationships.
They may shut down rapidly

Coping strategies

These coping methods can help you learn to deal as you begin to better understand and remodel your relationships if you have scared avoidant attachment or are in a relationship with someone who has this attachment style.

Encourage openness — but don’t push it

People who suffer from scared avoidant attachment have a strong yearning for intimacy. They’re also frightened to death by it. Encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling or what they’re afraid of, but don’t push them. They may be forced to shut down as a result of this.

Be reassuring

If your partner or loved one has this attachment style, they are afraid that you will abandon them or that you will abandon them. Be reassuring and encouraging. Seeing that you’re there for them during this period of growth and transition will help them feel more confident.

Value yourself

Low self-esteem is common among people who have unstable attachments. In many partnerships, this can be problematic. Allow yourself the room to realize that some relationships are worth your time and effort, while others aren’t. You can gradually improve your communication skills. It is possible to have an intimate, long-term connection.

Define boundaries

People with this attachment style have a natural tendency to set boundaries, most of which are not obvious. They may not always be aware of where they are or why they are occurring, but these boundaries provide children with a sense of security in emotionally charged situations.

Trying to vocalize those boundaries might be beneficial to others in your life. Tell them what makes you nervous and what makes you fearful. This can assist you in avoiding them all at once.

Understand your instincts

Your relationship with your family member, friend, or partner is unique. You have diverse reactions to each other. Recognizing your patterns and actively working to correct them needs a lot of self-awareness.

Understand your instincts

A partner can actively push you to be open if you tend to shut down when emotional conversations begin. You can use techniques to promote tranquility if your partner becomes highly agitated. You can keep each other accountable and improve your communication skills. A therapist may be able to assist you in the first stages of this process.

Consider therapy

People with this attachment style are frequently unsure of how to react in emotional situation.
A therapist can assist you in having difficult conversations with yourself and loved ones about how you or they are feeling. A therapist can then assist you in relearning healthy ways to interact with one another.


The primary way humans learn to engage and communicate with one another is through attachment. Some people have strong attachment types that are healthy. Others may have a less stable attachment technique. This can lead to self-destructive tendencies such as avoiding relationships or being afraid of intimacy.

The good news is that you have the option of changing your attachment style. It may require time, effort, and a lot of patience from the people in your life. It is, nevertheless, possible for you to form close, secure relationships that will satisfy you and make you feel safe.

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