If you’re anxiously attached:
you tend to quickly get flooded with negative emotion and think in extremes.
You do not expect your partner to respond positively.
You perceive the relationship is fragile and unstable, and can collapse at any moment.
These thoughts and assumptions make it hard for you to express your needs effectively.
When you finally talk to your partner, you often do it in a way that is explosive, accusatory, critical, or threatening.
Rather than giving you the assurance you’re seeking, your partner may withdraw.
After expressing your needs in a way that pushes your partner away you then protest that they moved away, expressing your need for closeness and reassurance by acting out. By doing so, you miss out on all the benefits of this powerful tool
Protest behavior doesn’t give you the opportunity to address your concerns.
Your partner may respond negatively, so you don’t know if they’re responding to your need or to your protest behavior.
Often effective communication brings about huge relief by showing you just how strongly your partner feels about you, and by strengthening the bond between you.
**Try not to do the protest behavior.***
(That is the biggest take away for people whose style is anxious attachment.)
In some instances, the response may not be what you hoped for and you might be convinced that you ruined everything. It is still worth raising an important issue.
Effective communication helps you to discover that more often than not, the reasons why people behave unkindly towards you have nothing to do with your attractiveness or desirability.
If you have a avoidant style, the first step is to acknowledge your need for space, whether emotional or physical, when things get too close, and learn how to communicate that particular need.
**Explain to your partner in advance that you need some time alone when you feel things getting too mushy, and that it’s not a problem with him or her rather than your own need an any relationship, make sure you mention any relationship.**
(This is the biggest takeaway for someone who sees themselves doing avoidant style attachment.)
This should quell their worries and somewhat calm their attachment system.
They are then less likely to intensify their efforts to draw closer to you which is what makes you uncomfortable.
Thus, there is a better chance yyou will avoid a full-blown pursue-withdrawal dynamic with your partner.
With effective communication, you win either way. *
If you ignore my request and change the subject, I learn something very important.
I might get a red flag, but it’s based on reality.
This person might not be able to respond to my needs and sensitivities.
Or they will be able to meet my needs and sensitivities.
Either way I get important information.
When should you use effective communication?
*If you’re anxious, you might need a day or two to calm down before you can respond without overreacting.
Make sure that you address the little things because stuffing them down will not work for you if you’re anxiously attached.
*If you are avoidant, the sure-fire sign that you need to use effective communication is when you feel an irrepressible need to bolt.
Use your communication to explain that you need some space.
“I’d like to find a way of doing so that is acceptable to both of us.”
Make sure that the other person’s needs are also taken care of. By doing so, you’re more likely to get the breathing space that you need.