Avoidant Attachment Style: In Relationships
By: Brianna Richardson
Avoidant Attachment Style
Bowlby conceptualized four attachment styles that result from a child’s relationship with their primary caregiver. One of these three attachment styles is known as avoidant (also known as dismissive) attachment style. A child develops avoidant (dismissive) attachment style, when their primary caregiver is emotionally unavailable, or unresponsive to their child’s emotional needs.
Avoidant attachment style develops in children when his/her primary caregiver neglects or discourages their child’s outward expression of emotions.
This can look like:
- Minimizing the child’s feelings.
- Mocking the child while he or she is crying.
- Ignoring the child’s expressions of emotion.
- Displaying annoyance towards the child’s expressions of emotion.
- Rarely or never displaying affection.
How Avoidant Attachment Effects Relationships
As a result of a parent’s disregard for their child’s emotions, their child may portray avoidant attachment style by…
- Detaching from their emotions and feelings.
- Refusing to rely on anyone for emotional or physical support.
- Distrusting others.
This can cause difficulty in forming new or in preexisting relationships during adulthood. Here are some examples…
- Avoiding emotional closeness within their relationships.
- Refusing emotional or physical help from partners.
- Withdrawing during times of distress or during difficult conversations.
- Never opening up about personal hardships or emotions.
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