Characteristics of Anxious “Clingy” Attachment Styles Discussion”

While different relationships have different boundaries, it’s important to notice certain characteristics and mindsets that can make creating healthy relationships more difficult. Knowing our mindsets and motivation can really help us understand why we act the way we do, especially being “clingy.”

Clinginess has different forms. For some, it’s almost possessive of their partner. Others are selfish about not sharing their partner with anyone / the world and want to be with their partner all the time. And there’s different ways of being clingy too! Some are assertive and demand attention. Others are more insecure and get their partner’s to reassure them by making their partners feel bad.

Those who experience being clingy treat the relationship almost like a drug. You can’t get enough of the other person – leading to obsession. This clinginess can apply to all relationships – friends, family, and partners!

The underlying trait is needing reassurance. This can either be physical (wanting them to always be with you) or emotional (needing them to respond to you all the time), or something else. It’s the insecurity, fears, and desire for consistent reassurance that causes people to behave in an overbearing and “clingy” way.

Proximity Maintenance – We love hanging out with them and appreciate their company, but a degree of individuality is also important for a healthy attachment style. Someone with an anxious attachment style wants to be much closer to the other person and often feels like their feelings aren’t being reciprocated with the same intensity.

“A partner can complete you, but they shouldn’t define you.”

Safe Haven – There’s a pattern of relying on the other person as a savior, and needing their help / assurance. It’s good to have a Secure Base, but when you need them all the time and you require constant reassurance, then it becomes an unhealthy relationship. Social support is a good thing! However, becoming overdependent on a relationship isn’t helpful – too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

“Maybe when you can’t enjoy yourself, then you become clingy?”

Secure Base – the higher your self esteem, the more able you are to create stable and healthy relationships!

Separation Distress – it’s okay to miss someone when they’re gone, and it’s important to be able to deal with their absence in a healthy way. It’s about reassurance.
STABLE: missing the other person but knowing that they miss you too.
CLINGY: missing the other person but NEEDING REASSURANCE that they miss you as well. Same with trust!
Stable is trusting the other person.
Clingy is needing constant reassurance that you are correct in trusting them.


Overcoming Attachment Anxiety

1: Having a strong social support network. If you have multiple friends who you can rely on it’s easier than having only one friend. Same deal on 7 Cups! Having multiple listeners can be extremely helpful.
2: Start by loving yourself and developing self-esteem! You can learn to love others after you learn to love yourself.
3: Letting go! You’ll have insecurities, resentments, fears – but it’s better to let them go rather than holding on to them.
4: Find things you’re interested in! It’s easy to be clingy when you have time but if you’re constantly busy then you don’t have as much time to ruminate!