Have you ever found yourself obsessing over how others perceive you? Do you constantly worry that you’re not good enough and live in fear of being rejected or abandoned? 

Or maybe you dread reading messages from clients or bosses wondering if they’re going to call you out on how you’ve done an awful job? 

If so, you may be dealing with an anxious-preoccupied attachment style.

Attachment theory describes the different ways we form emotional bonds and relationships based on our early childhood experiences. The anxious-preoccupied attachment style is characterised by a deep-seated insecurity and a real need for validation from others.

At the core of this attachment style is a negative self-view and a positive view of others. People with an anxious attachment style often see themselves as unworthy or unlovable, while simultaneously putting others on a pedestal. This dynamic can lead to a constant preoccupation with how others perceive them and a fear of not measuring up.

The Driving Forces Behind the Need for Approval

Several factors contribute to the intense need for approval and fear of rejection that comes with an anxious attachment style:

  • Fear of Abandonment: Rooted in early childhood experiences, there is a deep-seated fear of being abandoned or rejected by loved ones. This fear can drive people to seek constant reassurance and validation from others.
  • Low Self-Esteem: Anxiously attached individuals often have a negative self-image and struggle with feelings of inadequacy. They may believe they are not worthy of love or acceptance unless they meet certain standards or expectations.
  • Dependency on External Validation: With a negative self-view, anxiously attached people rely heavily on external validation to feel good about themselves. They may base their self-worth on how others perceive and treat them.
  • Hyper-vigilance to Social Cues: Those with an anxious attachment style may be hyper-vigilant to social cues, constantly scanning for signs of rejection or disapproval from others.

This preoccupation with others’ perceptions and the fear of rejection can have a significant impact on relationships and overall well-being:

  1. Boundary Issues: Anxiously attached individuals may struggle to maintain healthy boundaries in their relationships, becoming overly dependent or clingy.
  2. Jealousy and Possessiveness: The fear of abandonment can lead to jealous or possessive behaviors, which can strain relationships.
  3. Emotional Distress: The constant worry and need for validation can lead to high levels of anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues.
  4. Difficulty Trusting: With a deep-rooted fear of rejection, it can be challenging for anxiously attached individuals to fully trust and open up in their relationships.

As a spiritual business coach and MindBody Reconnect therapist I often see how this insecurity manifests in both the personal and professional lives of my clients with an anxious-preoccupied attachment style.

In their personal relationships, I’ve had clients endlessly over worry and over think, the slightest change in their partner’s behavior or tone. A delayed response to a text message can send them spiraling into self-doubt: “Why haven’t they responded? Did I do something wrong? Do they not love me anymore?”

In business, an anxious-preoccupied attachment style can be equally disruptive. Clients have freaked out over their own client canceling or rescheduling an appointment, interpreting it as dissatisfaction with their services: “What did I do wrong? Are they going to leave me for another provider?”

Similarly, being summoned to an unexpected meeting can trigger negative thoughts: “Am I in trouble? Are they going to fire me? I must have messed something up.” These thought patterns stem from that underlying fear of rejection.

Breaking the Cycle: Developing a Secure Attachment Style

While attachment styles can be deeply ingrained, they are not set in stone. With the right support and personal growth, it is possible to develop a more secure attachment style and overcome the fear of rejection and the excessive need for validation.

👉🏼 Building Self-Esteem: Engaging in activities that boost self-esteem and self-worth can help reduce the reliance on external validation.

👉🏼 Setting Healthy Boundaries: Learning to set and maintain healthy boundaries in relationships can foster a greater sense of independence and promote more balanced connections 

👉🏼 Mindfulness and Self-Compassion: Practicing mindfulness and self-compassion can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and feelings and respond to them with kindness and understanding.

👉🏼 Therapy and Self-Reflection: Working with a therapist, counselor or coach can help individuals explore the roots of their anxious attachment style and develop more positive self-perceptions and coping strategies.

Remember, you are worthy of love and acceptance, not because of how others perceive you, but because of your inherent value as a human being. With time and effort, it is possible to break free from the grip of anxious attachment. ❤️


Did this article resonate with you? 

Please feel free to share with someone who may find this article helpful or comment below with your own experience or questions if it feels aligned to do so.

Here are 3 ways you can work with me:

1. As a practicing MindBody Reconnect therapist and energy healer I support my clients in getting out of symptom state and back into a sense of safety, fun and joy! Especially if you suffer from chronic symptoms, ME, IBS, anxiety or other similar physical symptoms. For more information on MBR Therapy download my PDF info pack here. 

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3. Join me for an in-person 3 day VIP Healing Immersion, where we will combine MBR therapy, somatic practices, energy healing and activations and so much more to recalibrate your entire system. 

Get in touch: hello@nataliakomis.com if you’re interested in learning more. 


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