An Anxious Attachment Style centers around the heart’s cry of “Don’t Abandon Me!”
People with an anxious attachment are preoccupied with whether or not people love them as a result they are under the constant fear of rejection.
Every attachment styles center around love.
We all want an answer to these 2 questions.
- Am I worthy of love?
- Are others capable of loving me?
Ephesians 3:17-19, the Apostle Paul prays for us so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith; that we are rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend the width, length, and depth of the love of Christ so that we may be filled with the fullness of God.
This is the foundation of a person securely attached to God, they are rooted and grounded in the love of Christ.
In 1 John 4, John says several times in that chapter that God is love. We are created in His image therefore, He created us to love and be loved. The primary source of our ability to give and receive Love is Father God, Himself.
A person with an anxious attachment style does not believe that God loves them. They are fearful that they will never add up or do enough to receive love.
Anxious Attachment in Childhood
An anxious attachment begins in childhood and centers around a deep fear of abandonment.
- Raised in an emotionally brittle environment that was unpredictable.
- Experience the anger of a parent followed by excessive loving from that parent.
- Develop 2 core beliefs.
- I’m poor at getting the love and comfort I need.
- I have to please my loved ones or I will be worthless and unlovable.
- Generally there is a parent-child role reversal in the formative years.
- They have a deep fear of rejection.
- Become perpetual people-pleasers, mold themselves to their parent’s expectations and later to the expectations of the ones they love
Three fundamental beliefs
- I must be the center of attention or I am not worthy/lovable
- I need someone, especially a strong man (father figure), to constantly offer me assurance and praise, or I will feel awful about myself.
- In order for others to want to be around me, I must always be fun and exciting.
Anxious Attachment in Adulthood
The core belief of this attachment style is the fear of abandonment. Everything a person with an anxious attachment does revolve around being accepted and seeking their value in others.
- Preoccupied with the feelings of those closest to them.
- Are tentative and never know where they stand.
- Sometimes they feel intense love and sometimes they feel intense hate.
- Believe they have no inherent value and cannot stand on their own.
- Terrified to assert their own beliefs, desires, limits, and opinions, because they might anger their attachment figures.
- Fear of Rejection.
- Very low self-confidence.
- Fear of making decisions, looking to others to make major life decisions.
- Rarely expressing disagreement with others.
- Frequently seeking assurance, nurturance, and support.
- Feeling obsessed with the fear of being left alone (fear that your spouse will suddenly die).
- Feeling helpless when alone.
- Desperately seeking new relationships when others end.
- Frequently subordinating themselves to others.
- Perpetually seeking advice.
- Often working below their ability level.
- Accepting unpleasant tasks to please others.
- Having a tendency to express distress through medically unexplainable physical symptoms rather than emotional pain (develop headaches rather than saying, I can’t do this).
The person with an anxious attachment style struggles with negative thought patterns. The fear of abandonment and rejection is the core of their negative thinking.
The following negative thought patterns are common.
- I feel flawed, no one could possibly like me
- Every failure verified that I am flawed
- If someone rejects me, it proves that I am flawed
- Those who like me must not really know who I am or else they are poor judges of character
- If I feel embarrassed, it will be overwhelming and unbearable.
There is hope for you if you struggle with these negative thought patterns. As you work through the course, we will uncover the root or source of the negative thinking and break the strongholds that seem to keep you down.
Our focus will be on having a deep revelation of the Father’s Love which includes believing that we are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6) and knowing that He will never leave or forsake us.
Scriptures for Meditation
- Ephesians 1:6
- Psalm 139
- Song of Solomon (Passion Translation)
- Visit the Rejection teaching in the Spiritual Roots of Human Behavior Class.
Further Reading on Attachment Styles
There is hope for you, His name is Jesus!
Adapted from Attachments by Drs. Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy and God Attachment by Drs. Tim Clinton and Joshua Straub.
This article is intended as a general overview of the anxious attachment type. It is not a diagnostic tool. Please consult a trained Christian Counselor for more detailed information.
Contact me at Michelle@findinghopejourney.com if you have any questions