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Wellness Wednesday for January 4, 2023

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

Jump in the discussion.

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I've been reading about attachment styles recently, and I'm starting to think my attachment style may be hindering me in my interpersonal relationships (particularly romantic relationships, but also platonic).

Does anyone have any resources they can recommend for how to work on (and ideally change) one's attachment style? I would prefer resources in the form of hard-copy books, as I want to spend less of my free time this year looking at screens, but recommendations for digital resources are also welcome.

I'm starting to think my attachment style may be hindering me in my interpersonal relationships (particularly romantic relationships, but also platonic).

How so? I'm curious to hear what you mean.

I've noticed this pattern over the last few years of my life in which I'll meet an attractive woman who I quite like and get along well with, and initially everything is going smoothly and I'm having a great time. Then all of a sudden, usually after a few weeks, I'll become overcome with anxiety and panic, and will get an unbearable urge to push away the woman in question, even though I still find her attractive on a physical and interpersonal level. If this had happened once or twice it could be chalked up to personal incompatibility with that specific person, but the same pattern has recurred practically verbatim with so many different women that I eventually came around to the idea that it must be a problem at my end.

In attempting to resolve this issue (spending hundreds on therapy sessions in the process), it occurred to me that, while I do have friends, my relationships with them are rather shallow. There's really no one in my life with whom I feel I have a really close, emotionally intimate personal relationship. I used to have relationships meeting that description, but not anymore, not for years.

I recently encountered the concept of attachment styles, and reading the definition of "fearful-avoidant" was like looking into a mirror. I've done a few of these attachment style quizzes, and they consistently diagnose me as fearful-avoidant. Being someone who uses this forum every day I'm naturally mindful of Forer statements, but my understanding is that fearful-avoidant is actually rather uncommon, so presumably descriptions of this attachment style wouldn't resonate with everyone.

Anyway, that's the issue I'm describing in a nutshell, if it makes any sense to you.

I can really relate to your post, especially the first paragraph. Throughout my 20s I would repeatedly get into relationships where I liked the guy but after a few weeks or months I would make up some excuse to end the relationship. Half the time I just didn't like the guy, but the other half of the time it was because I didn't have the confidence or self esteem to believe that the guy I liked liked me back. So basically it was a self esteem issue at the end of the day.

I have also diagnosed myself with fearful avoidant attachment style and just reading about it from reddit searches and psychology clickbait blogs was interesting and illuminating to me, but I don't have any recommendations for hard copy books or academic research or anything like that.

I found the following video pretty helpful, it was pretty game changing for me when it made me realize that I'm not single because it's other people's fault, it's really my own fault (which sounds bad but actually made me hopeful because I realized I could change myself and my relationship with others, taking back the locus of control rather than feeling like a victim which I had done before)

Thanks, I'll watch this video later.