Anxious Avoidant Attachment Style: Understanding the Fear of Intimacy

If you’ve ever felt like no one understands you, or struggled to have healthy and satisfying relationships, you might have an anxious-avoidant attachment style. Understanding your attachment style can help you recognize why you act the way you do in relationships and assist you in developing a healthier sense of intimacy. In this article, we’ll cover everything from how to know if you have an anxious-avoidant attachment style to tips for developing secure attachments in adulthood.

What is an anxious-avoidant attachment style?

An anxious-avoidant attachment style is an attachment style characterized by a fear of intimacy. People who have this attachment style constantly worry about being abandoned and are uncomfortable with others getting too close. They are likely to have a low sense of self-worth and feel anxious when imagining being in a committed relationship. They try to avoid relationships altogether to avoid being hurt

How can you know if you have an anxious-avoidant attachment style?

If you have an anxious-avoidant attachment style, you might experience any of the following: 

  • Difficulty trusting others 
  • Fear of abandonment 
  • You may experience extreme anxiety when imagining losing a loved one. 
  •  Avoidance of intimacy 
  • Difficulty identifying and expressing emotions

Why do people develop an anxious-avoidant attachment style?

Attachment theory describes the process of how infants begin to learn how to connect with others. When infants are born, they are unable to care for themselves and must rely on a caregiver for survival. As infants interact with their caregivers, they look to them for safety and security. When caregivers are responsive, infants develop a sense of trust in them and feel safe. When caregivers are insensitive or rejecting, infants experience a lack of safety and security. When infants are not responded to promptly and sensitively, they either cry endlessly or stop crying altogether. These infants show a lack of discrimination between themselves and their caregivers, and they are often unable to be soothed.

Tips for Developing Secure Attachments as an Adult

Anxious-avoidant attachment can be overcome with time and effort. If you recognize yourself in this description, keep these tips in mind: 

  • Start by accepting yourself 
  • Be open to therapy. Working with a therapist can help you address any issues you have with intimacy and learn to trust yourself and others.
  • Be patient with yourself. It can take a long time to develop new, healthier relationships. 


Anxious-avoidant attachment is a fear of intimacy that is characterized by distrust, indifference, and avoidance of others when they get too close. Anxious-avoidant attachment can be overcome with time and effort. By exploring past traumas and working with a therapist, you can overcome your anxious-avoidant attachment style and develop more secure attachments.

Related Posts