It is normal to be afraid of losing someone you love. If you worry that others will leave you, even if there is no evidence to the contrary, it could be abandonment anxiety. Fear of abandonment refers to a deep-rooted fear of being abandoned, cheated on, left alone or not finding the right person. This fear is most evident when someone becomes vulnerable in a romantic relationship. It can be traced back at least to a trauma in childhood. However, it can also form later in life. There are many different experiences that can lead to a fear of abandonment, but usually neglect, abuse, devaluation, inconsistent attachment or intimacy, emotional and/or physical rejection in the closest relationships we grew up with.
Although fear of abandonment does not constitute a mental illness, it can be related to mental disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). It is a form of anxiety that can take many forms. Fear of abandonment can lead to insecurity in relationships, and people may need constant reassurance from their partners. This is called an anxious attachment style. These are the relationships that people have. As they get older, people develop an attachment style.
Fear of Abandonment is in form of:
Fear of abandonment can showcase in form of an anxious attachment style which can lead to:
- Fear that their friends and partners might leave you
- Always look out for signs that other people don’t like you
- They need to be reassured that they are loved by others often
- Always try to please other people, even if it means paying more.
- Don’t give up on relationships or don’t set boundaries
- Fear of being alone makes it easy to stay in unhealthy relationships.
Ways to get rid of the fear of abandonment
Don’t be so focused on the needs of others that you neglect your own.
To heal fear of abandonment, the first thing to do is to get back on track. You must learn to take care of yourself consistently. Many people who have suffered the profound pain of abandonment are now people pleasers and/or co-dependents. Both situations make the other person priority. Your needs are neglected while they are placed on top. You can heal by reclaiming your power and focusing on you and what you need.
Safe relationships are important.
Safe relationships are the second way to heal fear of abandonment. Fear of abandonment is a common fear among those who have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, or instability in their close relationships. It is crucial that adult survivors seek out and invest in relationships that will support and respect them. These relationships will help you see that safety and security is possible.
Relax and take care of your inner child.
Learning to connect with your inner child is the third way you can heal fear of abandonment. You feel unsafe and threatened when you are triggered. This is your inner child’s cry for the attention, love and nurturing they have never received. It is important to be able to calmly sit with yourself and remind yourself that you are safe no matter what. This can be done by reciting affirmations, journaling about your fears, or visualizing comfort.
Heal your trauma.
Integrating yourself with your trauma is the fourth way to heal fear of abandonment. Emotional integration is simply looking back at the most difficult events in your life and saying, “That made me stronger. They made me stronger. It didn’t last. They didn’t last. They are not the whole of me. Although it was something I experienced, it is not who I am.”
Do not take your fears or feelings as facts.
I want you to understand that your fear and feelings do not constitute facts. These are often taken at face value by many people who don’t question them. However, it is important that you can learn to feel your fears and feelings without always acting on them.
Challenge those negative thoughts and limitative beliefs. You can make sure you are seeing the good in your partner by actively practicing gratitude and showing appreciation for their efforts. You must find a way for your negative beliefs to be broken, even if you don’t have any evidence that they will leave or have cheated.
How to seek help for Fear of Abandonment
The first step in treating abandonment issues is to understand what triggers you. Next, learn how to withdraw from triggers. It is important to be more comfortable talking about your fears in calm, respectful ways. This can be done with a friend, family member or partner. Although it may seem difficult at first, you will soon find that it becomes easier.