What does Anxious Attachment look like in real life?

What does Anxious Attachment look like in real life?

We all have all of 4 of the attachment styles within us; we just tend to lead with one in particular.  Anxious attachment is more than just generalized anxiety, and learning its nuances can empower you to create change within.

People who run anxious have almost a chronically dysregulated nervous system.   This means the survival response system is often primed and ready to react.  Look for ways you respond in fight, flight, freeze, or fawn (people pleasing). 

Anxiety can look like:

-checking the time when in an appointment

-difficulty focusing


-obsession about someone

-rumination about an experience

-saying yes when you mean no or doing something when it isn't a yes! (what I mean by this is perhaps kissing someone when you feel mixed or lukewarm, but feel like you should or perhaps you were just responding to their lead)

-constant worry

-difficulty being or staying present in a situation

-feeling deep bonds with people very quickly

-body/food obsession

-the need to control

-the need to be right

-low tolerance for another's perspective


-"pick me" mentality

-need for others to constantly understand you

-feeling like you are constantly more thoughtful than others (you might be thinking of them more because of anxiety)


-constantly tired

-difficulty relaxing

-thought jumping

-gut problems

-believing you are always the problem/self-blame

-high pressure to have others meet your needs


-chronic pain/illness

-holding back opinions when fearing controversy

-lack of boundaries/merging with others

-a need to fix other people's problems


In order to create change, once you recognize one of these symptoms in the moment, try slowing down, regulating your nervous system, then practice secure attachment before responding.  Doing this consistently over time can shift the anxiety into a place of security.