The Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Style is Harder to Recognize

I am an avoidant. I love meeting people and getting to know them. and I have been married three times. I recognize now that (1) was to an anxious, (2) was to an avoidant, and (3) was to an avoidant. I just finished watching Mare of Easttown on HBO. She is an avoidant We have few close relationships but can be loyal friends

From Dr. Jennifer Rhodes

“People with avoidant attachment are biologically more sensitive and are easily overwhelmed physiologically. Research has shown that young children with this style have higher abnormal cortisol rates — the behavior is an attempt to regulate the body. Most of the time, since we are so disconnected, we don’t understand what is happening. Avoidant types do better with activities and physical intimacy because it downshift the nervous system. If you want intimacy with an avoidant — go do an activity.”

The avoidance cluster of PTSD symptoms is categorized as the attempt to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings as well as external reminders such as conversations about the traumatic event or people or places that bring the event to mind. Avoidance behaviors are effectively an effort to withdraw from situations and feelings that produce trauma-related symptoms.

Moreover, people engaging in avoidance may have emotional numbing symptoms such as feeling distant from others, losing interest in activities they used to enjoy, or having trouble experiencing positive feelings such as happiness or love. Avoiding emotional experiences is common among people who have PTSD.

From Understanding the Avoidant Attachment Style:

Unlike their anxiously attached counterparts who often question and doubt the fidelity and love of their partner early and consistently throughout the relationship, avoidantly attached partners are usually comfortable around others. They tend to blend into new environments easily and enjoy the excitement of new, and casual relationships.

For avoidants, the thrill of the chase is the exciting part; emotional intimacy, not so much.

But, it goes much deeper than this. Some research suggests that avoidantly attached people struggle with emotions and are both out of touch with their own emotions and the emotions of others.

So, if you’re the partner of someone who’s avoidantly attached, you’re probably on a roller coaster as much as they are. Things may start out exciting and fun and vibrant. Then, as the relationship progresses, they may back off and become more avoidant, or indifferent. They may spend more time at the office, at the gym, out with friends, or more time anywhere you’re not.

Because of this, a partner may label an avoidantly attached person as dismissive, calloused, egotistical, heartless, manipulative, unfaithful or untrustworthy.

2 comments

    • Thanks. So true. We like to think that this attachment style business is a myth. But I am learning that being dismissive doesn’t mean I have been a good friend and lover. I just didn’t choose partners who were interested in intimacy.

      Like

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