As a combination of both the anxious attachment relating style and the avoidant, a conflict is taking place within us between two very important internal systems: the Threat System and the Attachment System.

For those of us with a Fearful Avoidant attachment style, we have competing needs in these moments when our attachment insecurity is triggered.

1. Intimacy = Threat
We feel threatened by relationships. The very thing that we want so much... to have a relationship, to connect, to have intimacy, is also the thing that we are most frightened of.

2. Freeze Response
It’s so difficult for us we go into freeze.

3. "Come Here, Go away"

4. Controlling Features
We feel out of control a lot of the time & will control everything we can.

5. Worst-Case Scenario
We imagine we're going to be left, or going to lose our jobs, or going to be destitute.

6. Dysregulation

7. Dissociate / Disconnect
With the avoidance there's a dissociation. We zone out.

8. Memory Blocks
We might be nonchalant, thinking it doesn't matter as our partner is just talking nonsense. That’s when we're in our dismissive avoidant. In fact, survival is about not remembering.


*Boundaries - What boundaries do we need with people? Is it a time limit? Being somewhere safe?

*Self-soothing and Emotional Regulation - Dan Siegel talks about "The Window Of Tolerance". We all have our window of tolerance where we can be relatively relaxed, receptive, we're open, we can problem solve, we can have compassion, we can have empathy.

*Communication - Often it's our behaviour that communicates for us. When we're withdrawing, when we're leaving, when we're shut down, those are all powerful communications. We need to take responsibility for how we communicate, our language and intention: be direct and keep it respectful, simple and make it clear. We want to keep everyone in their window of tolerance.

How To Be Less Fearful Avoidantly Attached

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