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A Complete Guide On How To Overcome An Irrational Fear Of Abandonment

Human beings depend on each other for more than just physical support. They are connected with other people on a deep, emotional level as well. However, this emotional dependence, like any other relationship between two people, has to be in moderation, because nothing is permanent, and the people they are connected so deeply with will also leave at one point in time or the other. This may be because of differences, misunderstandings, physical distance, or even death. Some people are able to handle this separation and move on, but some people suffer from a fear of abandonment, which is when this separation tends to affect them more permanently than others.

Fear of abandonment is when a person is unable to come to terms with people leaving them, for whatever reason, and they tend to impose this fear on every other relationship they have in their lives. Here is a guide to explain to you what a fear of abandonment means, and what one can do to overcome it.

Suggested read: 9 telltale signs you have a real fear of abandonment

What causes fear of abandonment?

1. Childhood trauma

There are a lot of things which can cause fear of abandonment to develop in a person. However, one of the most common reasons is childhood trauma. People who suffered emotional trauma in the past, like watching their parents get divorced, or watching them die, or get separated for some reason or the other, usually develop a fear of abandonment later on in their adulthood as well.

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2. Lack of emotional care

Childhood trauma can also be caused when children had both their parents, but were devoid of emotional care and attention from them. For a person to feel secure and loved, it is important to give them the emotional support that they need. Lack of it can lead to an insecurity which develops into an irrational fear of abandonment.

3. A feeling of constant insecurity

Some people are inherently insecure, because of the lack of enough people in their lives who give them exclusive care and attention. This insecurity, which may start out directed towards someone in particular, can later get transferred to all the other people in their life, making it impossible to maintain normal relationships.

4. Self-esteem issues

A self-esteem problem is one of the main causes for a fear of abandonment. In this case, people think they are not good enough for their loved ones, which is why it is natural for them to leave at one point or another, because they feel they are not deserving of their love.

How do people who suffer from fear of abandonment behave?

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1. Inadequate social skills

People who suffer from an irrational fear of abandonment display certain characteristic behaviors. One is the inability to act normally in social situations and interact with people. They cannot speak to people spontaneously, or maintain a conversation; simply because they feel that the entire process is futile, because they are going to be left alone anyway. It stems from the feeling of inadequacy about themselves, which renders them handicapped when it comes to social skills.

Suggested read: 12 ways your abandonment issues affect your love life

2. Constant feeling of distrust

A person suffering from an inherent fear of abandonment will not be able to trust people very easily. They have had people abandon them at one point or another, and once they have realized that, they have transferred that fear onto every other person, whether they are or aren’t in their lives. This causes them to not trust a person very easily, for fear of emotional betrayal once again.

3. General pessimism regarding people and situations

People who suffer from this irrational fear also are in general, pessimistic and withdrawn regarding people and situations. They have come to terms with their own lack of self-worth and are convinced that people will leave them at one point or the other. This makes them incapable of having a positive outlook towards life and new relationships.

4. Clingy and overbearing towards the people in their lives

One characteristic behavior that people who are afraid of being abandoned display, is their general clinginess towards the people they have trusted with their emotions. They are clingy and overbearing, which drives the people in their lives away, which further reinforces their fear of abandonment, leading to the initiation of a vicious cycle.

How to overcome your fear of abandonment

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A fear of abandonment is very different from any other emotional anomaly. It is more permanent and can affect all the relationships in your life as an adult, even if the trigger for this fear happened way back in your past. Even though there is no easy and guaranteed way of getting over this fear, there are some steps you can take to make yourself feel better about yourself, which is bound to help you treat your relationships better. Here are some things you can do.

1. Face your fears and come to terms with it

People everywhere have been left or abandoned by loved ones. Children have abandoned their parents, spouses have abandoned their partners, and friends have abandoned friends. Ignoring the initial cause of this fear is not going to make your fear go away. In fact, sweeping things under the rug is only going to make you more conscious of the fact that there is a chance that people will leave you. Face your fears and tell yourself why it developed in the first place and try to come to terms with it.

2. Do not generalize your fear

Generalizing their fears is also a typical behavior pattern displayed by those who suffer from an irrational fear of abandonment. If your boyfriend left you, it doesn’t make all men in the world bad. This kind of generalizing can lead to serious trust issues and prevent you from building relationships that could potentially help you overcome this fear. You need to understand the people, circumstances, situations, and reactions are different, so just because one person did it, doesn’t mean every single other person will.

3. Pamper yourself and remind yourself of your self-worth

One of the best ways to get over your fear of abandonment is by focusing on yourself instead of focusing on others. Do things that convince you of your self-worth because you are generally good at them, and that is how you can deal with your self-esteem issues. Do things that you know you are good at and take time out specifically to take care of yourself. The moment you start feeling important to yourself, you will find people automatically gravitating towards you instead of away from you.

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4. Change your behavior towards other people

Channelize that energy somewhere else. If you need to vent, meditate or keep a journal. You must realize that your behavior is what is pushing people away, leading to your irrational fear of abandonment. By changing your behavior towards other people, you will be able to draw them closer instead of pushing them away by constantly obsessing about your fears.

5. Think about people’s actions logically

If you feel like people are leaving you and would rather do without you in their lives, you must think why it is happening, if it is happening at all. People do not abandon you because it is fun. It might be because of something you are doing, and if you can put your finger on that problem and manage to solve it, you will see that people are not leaving you anymore.

Suggested read: 12 tips on how to cope with abandonment issues in relationships

6. Increase your social network

One of the reasons you don’t have too many people in your life is because of your inability to engage people in social situations. People who have a fear of abandonment do not have too many friends, because they push them away and then feel like everyone leaves them, which only seeks to make their fears worse. In order to overcome this fear, it is important to work on your social skills, and trust people, even if they look like they could potentially leave you. The more you increase your social network and the more friends you have, the lesser you will develop this fear. Having many people in your life prevents you from focusing on that one person who you care about and constantly clinging to them afraid of their imminent departure from your life. If you have a lot of friends, you will lose some, but not all at once, helping you focus on the people you have in your life, instead of the people you don’t.

A fear of abandonment is a very real fear that can disturb people’s peace of mind. However, it is not an incurable problem. The trick is to focus on the good things in your life instead of the bad, because everyone is emotionally dependent on other people, some more and some less. This fear is more about yourself than about the people who leave you, and herein lies the solution. Once you are able to come to terms with yourself, you will learn to accept the concept of abandonment in the future.

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Article Name
A Complete Guide On How To Overcome An Irrational Fear Of Abandonment
Fear of abandonment is when a person is unable to come to terms with people leaving them, and they tend to impose this fear on every relationship they have.
Aishani Laha

Aishani Laha

Bibliophile. Feminist. Unreasonable optimist. I am dangerously obsessed with the English language and the stage is my second home. I still believe in fairy tales and happy endings, and more importantly, that there is nothing that good music and a cup of coffee can’t fix.