For the insecure anxious-avoidant dynamic, there are various factors that perpetuate the pursuer-withdrawer dance that tends to happen. In addition, there are behaviors which block connection and get in the way of a secure attachment and relationship. See examples of these behaviors on both sides below.
3 common behaviors of anxiously-attached partners that block connection
1. Picking fights.
When their partner does show up and is present, they can tend to hone in on the issues and want to hash it out in order to get validation from their partners.
2. Batting away compliments and comments providing love and validation.
Anxious partners can be mistrusting of “the good” in order to shield themselves from potential hurt if they gave in and believed it, and it gets taken away.
3. Starting sentences with “Yes, but…”
Sometimes it’s like anxious partners are allergic to hope. They’ll say, “Yes that went well, but what about this thing over here that didn’t…” “Now that that’s covered, let’s move on to fixing this…”
3 common behaviors of avoidantly-attached partners that block connection
1. Deflection, such as not answering the question asked, for example.
Avoidants are sensitive to any perceived criticism or conflict in general, so they may prefer to change the subject or may get defensive and change the focus to what they did do right (or what you did wrong).
2. Minimizing their partner’s needs or their own.
Avoidants will minimize their partner’s needs because they had to minimize their own growing up. They prioritize harmony.
3. Being suspicious about their partner’s motives.
Avoidants tend to do this. They had to go into a fantasy in their head growing up, so they tend to default to creating a story rather than approaching their partner to talk it out.
It is important to remember that attachment styles are fluid and you can work to build a secure attachment.
Further, becoming aware of your patterns and those of your partner can help you navigate differences with more ease and connection, and communicate with more grace. This is what I help my clients with.
If you want help with this, I’d love to help you.
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