Are you so afraid of being left alone that you cling to your loved ones? Or perhaps you push them away when the relationship gets too close. Both of these stem from a really common thing: a fear of abandonment.
It can be frightening to live with and, with social connections so crucial for our wellbeing, a fear of abandonment can take it’s toll on us. Fortunately, despite how common this fear is, every single one of us can cope with it and find joy in our relationships. That includes you.
At one point in time, being abandoned was a threat to our survival, so we learned to associate it as one of the worst things we could experience. Fear is a protective emotion—it keeps us away from dangerous things. When we saw being alone as a threat, we evolved a fear of abandonment.
It evolved to protect us, but this doesn’t mean it’s easy to live with. Sometimes the fear is a bit too on guard.
For a long time I struggled with this. I was so afraid to share what I was feeling with my loved ones, especially when those feelings were tough. I feared they’d walk away, as soon as they saw I wasn’t an “easy” and “totally put together” person. It took me a while to realize that my emotions and needs were never a flaw and that it was always okay to express them. The people I really deserved would respect them.
A fear of abandonment is not a character flaw
When we recognize that this fear had its role in our life, then we can take conscious steps to overcome it. Through growing our resilience, we can realize we are strong enough to stand alone. By accepting the impermanence of all relationships, we can treasure love every second it’s in our life.
When we refuse to blame ourselves for the actions of others, we free ourselves from the burden of feeling like it’s our fault when someone leaves. Overcoming a fear of abandonment only requires us to trust in ourself. You will start to feel safe, even in the midst of intense emotions.
If you, once upon a time, felt threatened by being abandoned, this episode will show you how to heal from it.
Related episode: How to Make Friends that Really Love You
It is always worth pursuing loving relationships. Love is a beautiful thing. Even if one day we lose that person, it’s worth embracing them while they are a part of our life. In order to truly do this, we have to work on overcoming our fear of abandonment.
So, what holds you back from forming meaningful relationships? What is a step you can take today to overcome this fear?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Your story is important and it’s always an honor when I get to hear a snippet of it. Plus, when you think about these questions, you’re already working on deepening your important relationships!
The fear of abandonment is so incredibly common, so please consider sharing this blog with a loved one or peer you know is struggling with this. Today, they may need to hear that they’re not alone and that they can pull through this.
As always, thank you for journeying with me. It’s my sincere hope that this blog has helped you deepen your relationships and treasure those who deeply love you, knowing you can survive no matter how long those relationships last.