Traits of dismissive avoidant attachment

Dismissive avoidants tend to resonate with statements like:

  • I pride myself on independence. I spend a lot of energy on my career aspirations and tend to put my attention on success over my close relationships.

  • I often lose interest after 'the chase'

  • I keep others at 'arms length' - intimacy feels uncomfortable/ overwhelming.

  • I dislike opening up and talking about my emotions. I'm slow to let others in.

  • I move through the dating process slowly. It takes me a long time to want to be exclusive and commit to another person.

  • I look for a relationship that is easygoing and doesn't ask too much of me. I notice I am strongly turned off by partners being pushy, dramatic or emotional.

  • I sometimes feel guilty that I don't know how to be there for my partner when they are upset. I am aware i am less emotionally available than others - it's like others picked up a skill somewhere that I just don't seem to have. I get overwhelmed, confused or frustrated when others are expressing strong emotions and I don't know how to help.

  • Underneath my tough exterior I secretly feel defective and ashamed. I try to push these feelings away but sometimes they catch up to me.

  • I'm afraid of being exposed and my flaws on display for others to see

  • I process my feelings in private - its rare to see me cry or for me to share what's really going on inside.

  • I trust logic more than emotions. I often don't really understand what's going on inside of me and it feels like a dark endless hole I don't know how to get out of if I 'fall in' so I'll distract myself when I'm upset with TV, alcohol/drugs, sex, work or another activity that will keep my thoughts off what's bothering me.

  • The 'negative' emotion I display most on the outside is anger.

  • I've been told I appear as cold/distant/aloof to others.

  • I often attract partners who want a lot more of my time and energy than I am willing to offer.

  • I don't trust others easily. People let me down and hurt me so I've learned to rely on myself.

  • I have a tendency to feel trapped in a relationship - it's important to me to be with someone who respects my freedom.

  • Sometimes I'm not sure if relationships are 'worth it'. An easygoing relationship would be the dream!

  • I can be suspicious of signs I might be being controlled or criticised. Important people in my life have treated me that way before and I am hyper-aware of when I feel attacked or trapped.

  • After the initial attraction and chase is over I quickly see a partner's flaws and the negative aspects of the relationship.

  • After a breakup positive feelings about the relationship often return after a few months or so and regret sets in.

  • I cope with feeling emotionally unsafe by withdrawing rather than expressing my fears and needs .

  • If I'm honest with myself I probably choose friends who are also avoidant... (which validates my worldview on relationships and keeps me safe from being 'seen too deeply')

(Attachment styles are a spectrum - take what resonates for your healing journey!)

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