Dismissive Avoidant Attachment What It Is and How to Deal With It

Do you struggle to form close and intimate relationships with others? Are you more concerned with your independence and autonomy than anything else? Do you avoid emotional vulnerability and intimacy at all costs? If you answered yes to these questions, you might have a dismissive avoidant attachment style.

In this article, we will explore one of the four primary attachment styles that characterize how people relate to others in their daily lives: dismissive avoidant attachment. Attachment styles are formed in early childhood based on the quality of the bond with the primary caregiver. They also influence how we perceive ourselves, others, and relationships throughout our lives.

Why Do People Dismissive Avoidant Attach?

When someone tries to avoid developing an emotional bond with or becoming emotionally attached to, other people, this behavior is known as dismissive avoidant attachment. The typical behavior of someone with dismissive avoidant attachment is to actively avoid romantic relationships. They tend to be highly self-sufficient, independent, and secretive. They may also have a low opinion of themselves and others.

The following are a few indicators of dismissive avoidant attachment:

  • Preferring solitude and isolation over socializing
  • Having few or no close friends or confidants
  • Being emotionally distant and detached from others
  • Being uncomfortable with expressing or receiving affection
  • Having difficulty trusting or relying on others
  • Being dismissive of other people’s feelings, needs, or opinions
  • Being defensive or hostile when criticized or challenged
  • Having a high need for control and autonomy
  • Having a strong sense of self-reliance and independence
  • lacking in emotional intelligence or empathy
  • Tending to rationalize or intellectualize emotions
  • Having a fear of commitment or intimacy
  • a propensity for abrupt breakups or for ghosting people 

What Causes Dismissive Avoidant Attachment?

Early childhood inconsistent, negligent, or abusive caregiving is frequently the root cause of dismissive avoidant attachment. As a result, a child with a dismissive avoidant attachment style learns to suppress their natural to seek out their caregiver for comfort and support. Consequently, they learn to cope by relying on themselves and avoiding emotional attachment to others. They may also develop a negative view of themselves as unworthy of love and care, and a negative view of others as unreliable or untrustworthy.

How Does Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Affect Relationships?

Relationships can suffer from dismissive avoidant attachment in a variety of ways. Some of the common challenges that people with dismissive avoidant attachments face in relationships are:

  • Difficulty forming and maintaining close and intimate bonds with others
  • Difficulty expressing or receiving love and affection
  • Having trouble expressing their needs, wants, or expectations
  • Difficulty trusting or depending on their partner
  • Difficulty resolving conflicts or compromising
  • having trouble accepting criticism or feedback
  • Difficulty dealing with stress or emotions
  • Tendency to withdraw, avoid, or shut down when faced with intimacy or vulnerability
  • Tendency to sabotage or end relationships when they get too close or serious

How to Cope With Dismissive Avoidant Attachment?

If you have a dismissive avoidant attachment style, you may find it hard to change your patterns of behavior and thinking that have been ingrained since childhood. However, it is possible to overcome your attachment issues and develop healthier and more fulfilling relationships with others. Here are some steps that can help you cope with dismissive avoidant attachment:

Recognize your attachment style and how it affects your relationships. 

A crucial part of overcoming dismissive avoidant attachment is to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, your fears and desires, your triggers, and your coping mechanisms. Furthermore, learn more about attachment theory and how it can help you understand yourself and others better.

Seek professional help if needed. 

Another important step to take if you have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, or other adverse childhood experiences that have contributed to your dismissive avoidant attachment style, is to seek therapy or counseling. By doing so, you may benefit from the help of a qualified mental health professional who can help you heal from your past wounds, process your emotions, challenge your negative beliefs, and develop new skills and strategies for relating to others.

Work on your self-esteem and self-compassion. 

One of the root causes of dismissive avoidant attachment is a low sense of self-worth and self-love. To overcome this, you need to work on building your self-esteem and self-compassion. Some ways to do this are to practice positive affirmations, gratitude, mindfulness, self-care, and other activities that can help you boost your confidence and happiness. Additionally, learn to accept yourself as you are, without judgment or criticism.

Seek out healthy and secure relationships. 

Dismissive avoidant people may have few or no close friends or confidants. They may also be attracted to other insecurely attached people who reinforce their negative beliefs about relationships. To overcome this, you need to seek out healthy and secure relationships that can provide you with positive examples of intimacy, trust, and mutual support. Look for people who are consistent, reliable, respectful, and caring. Learn from them how to be more open and vulnerable in relationships.

Challenge your deactivating strategies.

 Dismissive avoidant people use deactivating strategies to distance themselves from their partners and avoid intimacy. These are behaviors or thoughts that make them feel less attached or more independent. For example, they may focus on their partner’s flaws, idealize their exes, keep secrets, avoid physical contact, or minimize their feelings. To overcome this, you need to challenge your deactivating strategies and replace them with activating strategies that can help you feel more connected and engaged with your partner. For example, you can focus on your partner’s strengths, appreciate their presence, share your thoughts and feelings, initiate physical contact, or express your emotions.


Dismissive avoidant attachment is a term for when someone tries to avoid emotional connection, attachment, and closeness to other people. It is usually caused by inconsistent, neglectful, or abusive caregiving in early childhood. It can harm relationships in various ways, such as difficulty forming and maintaining close and intimate bonds with others, difficulty expressing or receiving love and affection, difficulty trusting or depending on others, difficulty resolving conflicts or compromising, difficulty accepting feedback or criticism, difficulty dealing with stress or emotions, tendency to withdraw, avoid, or sabotage relationships when they get too close or serious.

However, dismissive avoidant attachment is not a permanent condition that cannot be changed.  To conclude, one can overcome dismissive avoidant attachment issues and develop healthier and more fulfilling relationships with others by following these steps: becoming aware of their attachment style and how it affects their relationships, seeking professional help if needed, working on their self-esteem and self-compassion, developing their emotional awareness and expression, seeking out healthy and secure relationships, challenging their deactivating strategies, practicing mindfulness and self-regulation, seeking feedback and being open to change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *