10 telltale signs of attachment issues you should never ignore!

Attachment issues are not limited to childhood. They can also be seen in adult relationships. Here are some signs of attachment issues.
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Attachment issues can be seen in adult relationships too. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 29 Dec 2023, 02:30 pm IST
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You can be attached to your parents, siblings, romantic partners, friends, or pets. An attachment is basically an emotional bond between individuals. Do you find it difficult to form healthy relationships? Is it too much for you to emotionally bond with someone? Sometimes, people experience difficulties in forming and maintaining healthy emotional attachments with people, regardless of age. If you’re not sure, you need to know the signs of attachment issues if you want to maintain a healthy relationship.

What are the different attachment styles?

Typically, a secure attachment is considered a healthy one wherein the individual feels confident that their needs shall be met by the relationship. It sets the stage for a healthy social and emotional development, says clinical psychologist Roshni Sondhi Abbi.

Happy couple
A secure attachment is considered a healthy one. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

On the other hand, insecure attachment styles could be avoidant, anxious or disorganised. They are characterised by either an indifference, resistance, or inconsistency in their behavioural reactions. It’s important to note that these styles are not rigid categories, and people may display a combination of features from different styles.

What are the causes of attachment issues?

Attachment issues often stem from early life experiences, especially during the formative years of development. Further, an individual’s temperament, personality traits and resilience also contribute to these feelings. These issues can have profound and lasting effects on mental health, influencing various aspects of emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, behavioural patterns, and beliefs about self and others.

What are the signs of attachment issues?

If there are attachment issues, you won’t be able to have a healthy relationship. Here are some signs of attachment issues:

1. Difficulty in setting boundaries

Setting some boundaries are important to have a long-lasting relationship. But some people can struggle to identify their own personal boundaries.

2. Need for constant reassurance

In cases of an insecure attachment in a relationship, one could be seeking constant reassurance and validation from one’s partner. They need affirmations of their attachment, says the expert.

3. Difficulty trusting others

A sense of distrust could be a sign of an insecure attachment. The individual basically does not feel a sense of security in the relationship.

4. Fear of intimacy

Some people might struggle with emotional closeness and find it challenging to open up to others. This can be in terms of physical or emotional intimacy.

5. Difficulty sustaining relationships

There are times when there is instability in interpersonal relationships. It could also be a sign of attachment-related challenges.

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6. Emotional dysregulation

Particularly in the interpersonal context, there could be difficulties in regulating emotions. There could be unpredictable responses which are difficult to control.

7. Low sense of self-worth

Feelings of inadequacy, with self-doubts or negative beliefs could also be a result of attachment difficulties, says Abbi.

Unhappy couple
People with attachment issues have low sense of self-worth. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

8. Insecurities related to abandonment

One could be afraid of being rejected, let down or left alone, which can lead to clingy behaviour or, conversely, emotional distancing.

9. Unresolved emotional baggage

A lot of times, past experiences of dissatisfaction or distress either in early childhood years or in prior relationships, can get carried forward if unresolved.

10. Maladaptive coping mechanisms

Social withdrawal or isolation, suppression or numbing of emotions, or other maladaptive coping mechanisms can often be consequences of attachment difficulties in a relationship.

Therapeutic interventions including various forms of psychotherapy, involving children, adults or families can be helpful in addressing such concerns, says the expert. It can help identify attachment patterns, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and work towards building more secure relationships.

Both in the case of a child or an adult, early intervention is crucial to prevent the long-term impact of attachment issues on mental health and well-being.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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