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A British psychologist has revealed five signs you may have an anxious attachment style in your relationships.  

Dr Julie Smith, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Hampshire, has more than 4.2 million followers on TikTok, where she shares videos on mental health related topics.  

In a recent video, she shared some signs you may have an anxious attachment style, as well as some advice on what to do if the signs she outlines in the video feel familiar.

Attachment styles refer to the way people relate to others. Originally coined by British psychologist John Bowlby in 1969, an individual’s attachment style is thought to be influenced by their early years relationship with their primary caregiver.

A psychologist has revealed a list of signs you may have an anxious attachment style in a recent video on TikTok (stock image)

A psychologist has revealed a list of signs you may have an anxious attachment style in a recent video on TikTok (stock image)

There are four attachment styles: anxious, avoidant, disorganised, and secure. 

Anxiously attached individuals tend to have low self-esteem, a negative self-image and a positive image of others, and a need for greater contact and intimacy from their relationships with others. 

Captioning her video, Dr Smith wrote: ‘If some of the points in this video sound familiar, it’s worth reading up on anxious attachment styles in more depth. 

‘The first step is to build awareness of where these patterns came from and how they are affecting your adult relationships now. 

@drjuliesmith

Unfortunately No.1 is very common 😞 👉MORE TIPS BELOW ON THIS • If some of the points in this video sound familiar, it’s worth reading up on anxious attachment styles in more depth. • The first step is to build awareness of where these patterns came from and how they are affecting your adult relationships now. • It is worth remembering that you didn’t choose this. But you also don’t have to be at the mercy of it. • The patterns helped you to feel safe as a child but are now outdated and tend to cause problems in adult relationships. So try not to be too hard on yourself when you follow the old patterns. They are hard cycles to break because they worked for many years. 👉For more on attachment styles see the link in my bio for my book, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

♬ original sound – Dr Julie | Psychologist

‘It is worth remembering that you didn’t choose this. But you also don’t have to be at the mercy of it.’ 

She added that ‘the patterns that helped you to feel safe as a child…are now outdated…and tend to cause problems in adult relationships’. 

What are the four attachment styles?

Attachment theory was developed by psychologist John Bowlby to explain how the emotional bonding shared by infants and their caregivers can influence how they form romantic relationships.

Attachment styles refer to the way people relate to others. There are four attachment styles: anxious, avoidant, disorganised, and secure.

Anxious attachment, which occurs when the infant’s needs are sometimes, but not always, met results in individuals who crave intimacy but are anxious about having their emotional needs met by romantic partners.

Avoidant attachment results from the caregiver ignoring the emotional needs of the infant. These individuals often prefer to avoid intimate relationships.

Disorganised attachment can often be the result of growing up in a chaotic household. These individuals tend to keep their partner at a distance, so as to avoid emotional intensityl

Secure attachment is the result of the caregiver meeting an infant’s emotional needs, and securely attached individuals tend to have positive image of both themselves and others. 

‘So try not to be too hard on yourself when you follow the old patterns,’ she said. 

‘They are hard cycles to break because they worked for many years.’

When it comes to the five signs of an anxious attachment style in your relationships, Dr Smith listed the first as finding it difficult to trust your partner.

She said: ‘So you constantly seek reassurance, but sometimes your partner sees that as controlling or clingy.’

Another sign the psychologist listed was feeling dependent on your partner, meaning that ‘when you don’t have full access to them, it can bring up feelings of anxiety, or even jealousy’.

A further sign listed by Dr Smith was having a low opinion of yourself, and feeling worthless sometimes.

However, she notes, ‘you see your partner in a much more positive light’.

According to Dr Smith, another sign of anxious attachment style in relationships is ‘only feeling enough when you have your partner’s approval’.

Finally, in the video, the psychologist listed as her final sign tolerating ‘unhealthy behaviours that you know are toxic, because you feel like if ends that would confirm that core belief that you’re somehow worthless and unlovable’.

The clip seemed to strike a chord with numerous viewers.

Some took to the comments section to open up about their own experiences with the signs listed by Dr Julie Smith in her video, with some saying they were currently experiencing, or had experienced, these signs in the past.

One revealed: ‘Just explained my relationship and I didn’t even realise.’

Another added: ‘Wow , this is exactly how I feel in my relationship.’

And a third said: ‘That was my previous relationship in a nut shell. My current relationship has none of that.’ 

A further wrote: ‘This is me. Hard to admit but this is my flaws.’ 

According to another viewer: ‘Oh, I definitely have an anxious attachment style.’ 

The video seemed to chime with a number of viewers who revealed that they recognised the signs listed by the psychologist

The video seemed to chime with a number of viewers who revealed that they recognised the signs listed by the psychologist

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