JAN 18, 2023 AT 11:05 AM
Are you the type that enjoys crushing on people from a distance, then becomes a nervous wreck the second they make the first move? Maybe the glitter around them fades when you realize they like you too? You'll then be ready to move on to wanting another inaccessible individual from a safe distance, right?
Well, whatever is bothering you is most likely rooted in your childhood. Hint: Almost all of our issues can be traced to our developmental stages. By young adulthood, most of us are usually fully baked. Recognizing and correcting negative patterns usually takes a lot of work. Well, here is the good news, since you have figured out your problem, we have compiled a list of causes.
You may come across an attachment style that you can relate to. You are not alone. Many people struggle with the weirdness of being infatuated with someone one day and then feeling very uncomfortable when they reciprocate those feelings.
Meet The Number One Culprit - Insecure Attachment Styles
Insecure is a label that floats around with little thought being given to it. It is just slapped on people as a disclaimer—an approach-at-your-risk situation.
It would be much easier if the insecure could CRSPR it out of their psyche without getting to the issue's root. What causes insecurity? If you guessed childhood issues, you got it right. Luckily scientists have gone the extra mile to ensure we know more about the psychology of insecurity and why it causes us to be low-key uncomfortable when someone likes us back.
What are Attachment Styles?
Attachment styles describe how people form emotional and intimate bonds. The theory was conceptualized by John Bowlby's psychoanalysis study of children. The study was later used to lay the foundation for adult attachment research. It was found that as we age, we develop attachment styles based on our upbringing.
The attachment style you learned in childhood will likely affect how you initiate and maintain relationships as an adult. It is not your fault that you often do the same thing you regretted last time. Insecure attachment styles are probably to blame for the less-than-perfect state of your romantic life.
Secure Vs Insecure Attachment Styles
Anyone with emotionally unavailable parents who rarely pay enough attention to them is likely to develop an insecure attachment style. These attachment styles cause them to stop expressing their emotions gradually. Then some were only loved on condition they toed the line and treated poorly when they didn't. Such become overly needy and eager to please people who give them attention.
Depending on where you fall, you may stop seeking emotional connections altogether or keep jumping into bad relationships. It should now make sense that when the crush who lives in your fantasies seems to like you back, your psyche will not let you enjoy it.
You have never indulged in emotion and find it awkward to begin now. It could also be that you are afraid of getting into the emotional roller coaster of devoting yourself to someone and feeling that they do not like you as intensely as you like them.
While this is not the only cause of discomfort when around a person who is into you, it is often responsible for other reasons, e.g., self-esteem issues. Children who have warm and responsive caregivers will develop a healthy attachment style and have a template for future relationships. Such children develop better high self-esteem, confidence, emotional regulation, and empathy.
On the other hand, children who form unhealthy attachment styles with their caregivers are destined to have complicated relationships. Their default setting is to suppress their emotions or go into overdrive. The former is because they are likely to be ignored or unpleasantly received, and the latter is because they are afraid they aren't good enough for their love interest.
Types of Insecure Attachment Styles
If your caregivers did not adequately meet your needs as a child, you likely have one of these insecure attachment styles. Though caused by different factors, all these attachment styles prevent individuals from feeling safe in relationships. You don't trust your partner will be there for you, a real deal breaker!
These attachment styles should help you make more sense of why it is so uncomfortable to have someone like you back.
1) Anxious Preoccupied Attachment - The Needy Insecure Type
Some people need constant reassurance even after forming an intimate bond. Do you still love me? You should have replied to my text more quickly. Why did you turn your head? Such people want to be the center of their partner's universe.
It is a wonder they manage to lure anyone into a relationship because their attachment style is likely to suffocate their partners. They exhibit insane jealousy and can obsess over the minor details of their relationships.
Neediness is rooted in fear of abandonment. As children, needy people did not have their physical and emotional needs met sufficiently. Perhaps they were given doses of conditional love. Their parents only acknowledged them if they were helpful or passed specific tests.
As adults, they bend backward to feel needed and must be constantly reassured to feel secure. Their biggest fear is getting dumped, and they keep an obsessive eye out for any signs of trouble ahead.
2) Dismissive Avoidant Attachment - The Lone Wolves
These are the opposite of anxious attachment types. Lone wolves do not crave intimacy as fiercely as most people do. What they prefer is independence. They often feel like close relationships may be more trouble than they're worth. This causes them to choose to be alone most of the time.
Such people actively resist efforts to draw them in. They will smirk at grand gestures and stand up their dates. This protective mechanism ensures the person does not try to lure the wolf from their seclusion.
People with this attachment style learned to self-soothe early in life because their needs are not predictably met. They adapt to distancing themselves emotionally and physically. As adults, they have a hard time getting close to others because they are unlikely to compromise on their need for independence. Their primary objective is to protect themselves and achieve self-sufficiency.
3) Fearful Avoidant Attachment - The Hot and Cold Type
Having a fearful avoidant attachment style explains why you feel uncomfortable around people who are into you. People in this category cannot sort out their feelings. They crave emotional bonds but are dominated by fear of being hurt or abandoned.
This means that they will suppress their emotions whenever they arise. Eventually, they will be unable to fight their feelings and give in to them. Afterward, they will regret their weakness and resolve to keep things cold, only to fail after some time. Such relationships are very overwhelming and feature dramatic highs and lows.
Most people with a fearful avoidant attachment style were raised by caregivers suffering unresolved trauma. Their parents blew hot and cold. They were a source of comfort one day and feared the next. Resultantly they acquired a confusing sense of normal that haunts their adult relationships.
Common Causes of Insecure Attachment Styles
Consider some of these causes for your current predicament:
- Physical or sexual assault
- Emotional or physical neglect
- Caregiver suffered from mental health illness or lack of social support
- The caregiver suffered from substance abuse disorder
- Caregiver suffered a traumatic event, e.g., accident or illness
- Separation from caregivers, e.g., due to death, divorce, illness, or adoption
- Frequent placements or moves
- Lack of a consistent primary caregiver
Treating Insecure Attachment Styles
Treating insecure attachment styles through therapy will improve your romantic relationships and parenting skills. Take the necessary step and find a therapist to help you sort out your feelings. Your love life and future kids - if you want them - thank you in advance.