Make a Fearful Avoidant Miss You

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘How To Make A Fearful Avoidant Miss You’ by Chris Seiter

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
Dismissive avoidants value independence, while fearful avoidants fear abandonment. They vacillate between avoidant and anxious tendencies, needing space but being triggered by unreciprocated longing. Inconsistent caregivers shape their emotional value, and understanding their need for space and secure attachment helps foster a healthier relationship dynamic.

Key Insights

  • The video discusses the difference between dismissive avoidants and fearful avoidants in relationships.
  • Dismissive avoidants have a core wound revolving around independence, while fearful avoidants have core wounds related to both independence and fear of abandonment.
  • Fearful avoidants experience emotional pendulum swings between their avoidant and anxious sides.
  • Like dismissive avoidants, fearful avoidants also need space to miss their partner and process their feelings.
  • However, if fearful avoidants do not feel their longing for them reciprocated, their anxious side is triggered, leading to intense behaviors like excessive calls or texts.
  • Fearful avoidants have experienced emotional value changes throughout their lives, resulting from inconsistent or frightening behavior from caregivers.
  • To make a fearful avoidant miss you, it's important to understand when to give them space and when to show them secure attachment behaviors.
  • Attachment styles are not fixed and can change throughout a person's life, allowing fearful tendencies to evolve into secure ones through proper relationship experiences.

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So last year I talked a lot about avoidance, specifically what causes an avoidant to miss you after a breakup. I’ve been on record a nauseating amount of times stating that most of our clients believe that their former partners are avoidants. I mean, it’s literally to the tune of like 70%.

But today we’re going to be talking about something far more complicated. We’re going to be talking about how to make a fearful avoidant miss you. But of course, in order to do that, we need to first talk about some of the major differences between a dismissive avoidant and a fearful avoidant.

So there are two types of avoidance. You know, you have the dismissive one and you have the fearful one. Now everyone seemingly has a different definition of what separates the two.

I’ve always found it easier to look at the difference between the two by taking a look at their core wounds. You know, like a core wound is basically a thought or a vent or an action that triggers the insecure attachment to come to the forefront.

Now in truth, I can’t take credit for this idea. One of our former coaches, Tyler Ramsey, was the first to simplify the very confusing terminology of attachment styles. So here’s the way it was explained to me.

A dismissive avoidant has a core wound usually revolving around independence. So if they feel that their independence is under threat, their avoidant side will trigger.

A fearful avoidant is actually trickier to explain because you need to also understand that they contain anxious attachment tendencies as well as avoidant attachment ones. So really the fearful avoidant has two core wounds, the typical fear of losing independence and the fear of abandonment, the avoidant core wound and the anxious core wound.

Now I’ve always made the analogy of fearful avoidance being like the pendulum of a grandfather clock. Life events happen that trigger their avoidance side and they avoid. Then life events happen that could swing that operating attachment back to the anxious side. Back and forth they go. This is often while I’ll get clients in support or in our community talking about mixed signals or an ex being hot and cold. Why?

So how the heck do you make a fearful avoidant miss you? How do you cut through all of that and understand what the heck is going on? Well, once again, we need to look at the approach that typically works with the dismissive versus the fearful.

So what works on dismissive avoidance? One of my favorite YouTube videos that I’ve ever filmed has to be the one I did on how to make an avoidant ex miss you. And basically the reason I love that it’s for us, I feel like it was a game-changing moment where we learned something about attachment styles and avoidance and exes that has had super great results for our clients.

And it’s also the one where I first mentioned the idea of what actually works to make dismissive avoidance miss you. In a nutshell, they want silence. They want space. In fact, they prefer it. Now to quote one of my favorite avoidant attachment resources, “free to attach,” avoidants are free to long for an ex once that person is unavailable out of a relationship. Blah, blah, blah. I’ve talked about this a ton of times. Basically give your ex space and they give themselves permission to miss you and grieve the loss and regret their decision. We’ve all been there. It’s kind of contrary to what you’d expect, right? But it turns out the best way to make a dismissive avoidant miss you is to simply give them that space, project that you are moving on from them, and then usually that’s what kind of triggers them to miss. This is actually why we’ve seen longer periods of no contact, i.e. 45 days, be extremely effective with dismissive avoidance.

So the same approach should work for fearful avoidance, right? Well, sort of.

So here’s how a fearful avoidant misses. Like a dismissive avoidant, what ultimately will make a fearful avoidant miss you is space. If they get it, then they give themselves permission to feel their feelings, which can ultimately end up in the exact same place as a dismissive with them missing or longing you. Sounds good so far, right? So what’s the rub?

Well, if they don’t see their longing for you reciprocated, if they don’t feel or believe that you are missing them as well, it triggers their anxious side. Remember that pendulum swing I was talking about earlier? Well, it gets triggered. They become super anxious and then do stuff like this during a period of silence or no contact. Well, my ex called me 72 times in five days over Facebook Messenger, his work phone, his personal phone, his Google voice account. You get the picture.

If you don’t acknowledge them or make them feel reciprocated in some way during that missing moment, the pendulum swings back the other way and they shut down and go into protection mode.

This is actually why with fearful avoidance, we find shorter periods of no contact being a little bit more effective, 21 to 30 days, as opposed to the longer periods of no contact that are favored by the dismissive avoidance, 45 days.

But what’s happening on a deeper level? What is the thought process of a fearful avoidant when they shut down like this? I think it’s important for us to sit down for a moment and walk a mile in their shoes.

I want you to pay attention to how many emotional value changes that a fearful avoidant is going to experience in a short span of like a no contact rule.

So the fearful avoidant triggers a breakup. This is sort of like a minus value change. They’re emotionally going to be sad and grieve the breakup and try to, you know, ignore it. It’s bad, basically. But then they’re happy to be alone. They have their independence. Their avoidance side gets triggered. They’re getting exactly what they want. That’s a positive.

So you give them space and silence, which causes them to miss you. It’s kind of a negative. Positive for you, but a little negative for them. You continue to give them space, which causes them to grow terrified of their own feelings. Another negative. They’ll grow anxious and need to do something to let it all out. So then they, you know, spit the word vomit out of calling you or texting you a bunch of times. And weirdly enough for them, this is sort of a cathartic release of the pent-up emotions. It’s a positive.

Of course, if you’re still in no contact and you’re continuing to give them space, this can frighten them. That’s a minus. So they shut down and protect themselves. That’s a plus.

Now, can you imagine living a life where every few days it seems like your whole world is falling apart? That’s similar to what it’s like to be a fearful avoidant in a breakup type situation. But really, fearful avoidance have had a tough time all of their life.

My wife, who actually got her degree in early childhood education, was the first person to turn me on to attachment styles. It was once thought that your attachment style is formed in early childhood. However, I’ve actually heard stories of researchers believing that it can start as early as when you’re in the womb.

But fearful individuals, they’ve really just had a rough go of it pretty much their entire lives. According to Very Well Mind, fearful avoidant attachment is often rooted in childhood, in which at least one parent or caregiver exhibits frightening behavior. This frightening behavior can range from overt abuse to more subtle signs of anxiety or uncertainty. But the result is the same. When the child approaches the parent for comfort, the parent is unable to provide it because the caregiver does not offer a secure base and may function as a source of distress for the child. The child’s impulse will be to start to approach the caregiver for comfort, but will then withdraw.

So from childhood, someone with a fearful avoidant attachment style has been subject to these insane emotional value changes. Thus, they’ve never seen or probably experienced or been in a relationship that wasn’t subject to these dramatic emotional swings. So for them, this is normal.

And the way they’ve learned to cope with it is to flip between anxious behaviors and avoidant ones. The key to making them miss you isn’t as simple as giving them space. It’s about learning when to give them space and when not to give them space.

But the work can’t just be done by you. It’s also about showing them a better way to progress in a relationship by using secure attachment gravity. With you exhibiting secure behaviors, they can actually learn what it’s like to be in a loving, committed relationship.

That’s the part no one talks about. Attachment styles are fluid, and throughout our lives, they are capable of changing. Sure, your childhood affects your core attachment style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in turning your fearful tendencies into secure ones.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘How To Make A Fearful Avoidant Miss You’ by Chris Seiter