30 Telltale Signs Someone Has Abandonment Issues

By Rio Dennis 11 months ago

1. Being overly eager to please

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This is probably one of the most common attributes a person with abandonment issues will have. From an outsider's perspective, they may come across as extremely reliable and overly helpful. This overly helpful nature occurs when a person feels as though people will abandon them, if they don't put everyone else's well being before their own.

2. Jealousy in relationships

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Jealousy can happen in any relationship, whether it is platonic or romantic. It is part of human instinct and nature, however it can reach an extreme nature when abandonment issues are involved. Extreme jealousy can occur when a person has low self-esteem/confidence (as a result of abandonment issues).

3. Trouble trusting your partner's intentions

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Trouble trusting your partner usually connects with having strong feelings of jealousy. You may be overly wary of your partner's intentions, and will overthink potential ulterior motives they could have. This overthinking can lead to a complete disruption of trust between you and your partner.

4. Feeling insecure about your relationship

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Feeling insecure about your relationship is another thing that can stem from jealousy and overthinking. Feelings of insecurity, especially within a relationship, may be linked to your relationship's sexual dynamics and the overall intimacy you share with your loved one.

5. Having difficulty with emotional intimacy

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Emotional intimacy is a key element of any functioning relationship. However, when a person has abandonment issue, emotional intimacy can be a very difficult thing to develop and maintain. Despite a person fearing the departure of people from their life, they will often try to avoid being emotionally vulnerable, and forming a strong emotional bond with their romantic partners.

6. Needing to control/be controlled by your partner

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Control within a relationship can quickly become toxic, harmful and above all dangerous. Now the desire to control and/or be controlled by your partner can be a common attribute for someone with abandonment issues, and it links back to a fear of loss and personal insecurity.

7. Settling in unsatisfactory relationships

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If a person has abandonment issues, they may find themselves consistently settling in unhealthy and unsatisfactory relationships. This is due to their belief that it is the standard of relationship they deserve, and that they aren't worthy enough to strive for something much better.

8. You attach too quickly

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Another common behaviour, of someone with abandonment issues, is the ability to attach very quickly to someone. As with many other behavioural responses, this links to their fear of rejection and general loss of people within their lives. This quick attachment is often paired with intense emotions.

9. You move on too quickly

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On the flip-side of the last point, people with abandonment issues also find it extremely easy to move on quickly within relationships. They may be involved in multiple relationships, across a shorter time-frame. Their fear of abandonment causes them to seek out intimate connections, no matter how long they may last.

10. You look for flaws in your partner

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Focusing on certain flaws your partner have is something that happens in most relationships. Whether it's their inability to put down the toilet seat, or clean up after themselves, there is always something that may irritate you. However, you tend to look past these habits, because your love for them outweighs everything. People with abandonment issues will focus on these flaws with extreme scrutiny, which can cause major disputes.

11. You're reluctant to fully invest in relationships

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An issue with commitment is another common trope of someone with abandonment issues. Their abilities to attach and move on quickly, often mean that they find it increasingly difficult to build a deep enough connection (to be able) to fully commit (emotionally) within a relationship.

12. You feel unworthy of love

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Feeling unworthy of love can be a common experience amongst all people, but it is much more likely if you suffer from abandonment issues. The hyper-fixation, and focus on minor changes in a relationship, often cause the person to become hyper-critical of their behaviour, and to reduce a relationship down to any/all negative experiences.

13. You struggle to trust

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Similarly to lacking trust in a partner's intentions, abandonment issues will usually cause a person to have general lack in trust. This lack in trust can affect all aspects of their life, both personally and professionally. It is also a contributing factor to their inability to fully commit within relationships.

14. You get separation anxiety/blues

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Separation anxiety/blues are often a result of a high intensity connection/overall relationship with someone. This anxiety can be heightened when you spend a prolonged period of time with someone, and it is then quickly followed by an even longer period of no physical contact e.g. meeting up with the person/spending time with their in-person.

15. You visualize your partner leaving you

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Visualizing a partner leaving is a major sign that someone has abandonment issues. This type of visualization will manifest itself within a person's dreams, and general subconscious. If they have previous trauma that involves a loved one leaving e.g. a parent or close friend, this kind of visualization can/will be extremely convincing and believable.

16. You overanalyze things

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Over analyzing certain experiences and elements of a relationship is a repetitive, and often damaging, cycle that someone with abandonment issues will suffer from. This behaviour can take the smallest issue or change, and completely blow it out of proportion. Again, this is a very damaging behaviour for both the person and their partner.

17. You're hypersensitive to criticism

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Hypersensitivity to criticism can be a debilitating trope for someone with abandonment issues, as they are in constant fear of failing to impress people, within both their professional and personal lives. It can negatively affect their self-confidence and overall self esteem, as they take any form of criticism extremely personally.

18. You have repressed anger

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Repressed anger, whether a person has abandonment issue or not, often has hugely disruptive consequences. This anger may be a result of unresolved trauma, and can make a person overly wary of opening up, and being vulnerable in general. This often means the person will have a shorter temper when it comes to minor disagreements.

19. You pick unavailable partners

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Similarly to involving themselves in unsatisfactory relationships, people with abandonment issues tend to go after seemingly 'unavailable' partners- whether this is emotionally or physically. These potential partners may show absolutely no interest in the person at all, or just aren't looking for the same style of relationship as them.

20. You sabotage relationships at every opportunity

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Relationship sabotage is very much a self-inflicted form harm. This kind of sabotage can come in many forms, and at times, is not easily identifiable to the person's partner. It may present itself as picking the smallest things to argue over, giving their partner mixed signals when it comes to their feelings and just being overly cold with their partner.

21. You blame yourself for every break-up

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Blaming yourself for a break-up is something everyone has done at least once in their life. However, it is a regular occurrence for people with abandonment issues. When their fear of abandonment comes to fruition, it further depends their primary issues, and causes them to rapidly decline into their cycle of self-sabotage and hate.

22. Low self-esteem and insecurity

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This next tell-tale sign links back to many, if not all, of the signs discussed in this article. Low self-esteem and high insecurity are key side effects of clear abandonment issues. These attributes will often be heightened, and deepened further, when a person is trying to invest within an unsatisfactory relationship.

23. Heightened anxiety

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Anxiety is a horrible mental health condition to suffer from, even more so, when you have underlying issues which are the primary cause of it. This anxiety is often heightened considerably for some people, and it is often paired with their lack of self-esteem and trust in people.

24. You have a short-temper

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As mentioned previously, a short temper is a common attribute for someone with abandonment issues. This short fuse stems from the person's lack of trust, extreme insecurity, need for control and quick attachment to another person. It's no surprise, that this often sabotages the majority of a person's relationships.

25. Fear of conflict

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Despite all the signs pointing to, a person with abandonment issues, having severe anger issues, they have the contradicting fear of conflict as well. This fear is often rooted in past trauma from relationships, via family and past lovers. Conflict will often cause their anger issues to worsen, and will disrupt their ability to overcome them effectively.

26. Constant emotional isolation

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Emotional isolation will often follow a break-up, or any form of disruption within a relationship. This isolation can be pretty extreme when a person has abandonment issues. They may shut themselves off emotionally for days, or even weeks, at a time (so it is important that they have friends that can check up on them, if necessary).

27. Emotional outbursts

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As we've explored, a person's abandonment issues can/will cause the person to have extreme, erratic emotions and reactions. So, it is no surprise that emotional outbursts are fairly common for these people. These outbursts can vary from complete rage, to hysterical crying and complete nervous breakdowns.

28. Feeling the need to apologize constantly

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Apologizing is something that happens everyday, all around the world. However, when abandonment issues are involved, the personal need to apologize, increases ten-fold. Again, their fear of loss and rejection, takes over their rational thinking and hinders their ability to not feel like a victim within their situation.

29. Sudden/constant change in personal style and aesthetic

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Everyone loves a makeover from time-to-time, and it is sometimes necessary for someone's personal growth and development. For someone with abandonment issues, they may use this as a form of coping mechanism. A sudden change in their overall appearance can consist of a variety of things e.g. drastic hair cut/change of colour, a completely different sense of style or general change in habits.

30. Weak boundaries

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Setting clear boundaries within a relationship is a very important element to have for a healthy, fulfilling connection with a partner. A weak, or non-existent ability, to do this is unfortunately very common with abandonment issues. Due to the person's extreme 'people-pleasing' trait, they find it increasingly difficult to set strong boundaries (emotional and physical) within their relationships.

31. You hyperfixate on people

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This can come from the 'attaching too quickly' mentality, where not only do you attach too quickly onto a person you're falling for or who you're in a relationship with, but you then hyperfixate on that person, which can lead you to thinking you have stronger feelings than you do because it overwhelms you all at once.

32. You never speak about your needs in relationships

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You might always go along with what you're partner wants and never, ever talk about you being unhappy, or you needs being unmet, because you think if you vocalize your worries, they're going to leave you or think you're not worth bothering with. So you stay quiet instead.

33. Or, you may jump ship too quickly because of it

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If you actually do talk about your problems out loud, you may then panic. Even if your partner is showing openness to listen and work through what you're saying, you think you should just end it there and then because it's better than them doing it first (even if they're not going to!).

34. How to overcome abandonment issues: it's okay to speak to a therapist

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A therapist is a great option if you keep sabotaging every relationship you're in because of it. A therapist will help you to understand where these issues first came from and if there was a person or situation in your childhood that caused it. They can then help you to work to more healthy relationships.

35. Be vulnerable with people

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It can take baby steps to open yourself up to people, but this is what is going to help in the long run. It could begin by telling a friend something personal about yourself, a secret you've never told anyone, and then you can begin to strengthen relationships when you can see people actually do care when you tell them something personal.

36. Be more open to trusting people

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This is another crucial step as it will help you to open up your emotions to people without worrying they'll let you down. Start being more open to saying 'yes' to when people offer to do things for you, or asking questions, that will all require you to trust them with what they're offering to do. When they prove themselves, it won't be so bad!

37. Find your own way to express yourself

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When you have abandonment issues keeping you from expressing your real thoughts and feelings out of fear, you need to find an outlet to release them. A good first choice is a journal, as this will allow you to let everything out without fear of judgement from others.

38. Find an outlet you can show to other people

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A journal is a good choice for something you can do for yourself privately. But it might be a good idea to also have something that will let you open to others. If you can use art or music as a way to express yourself, for example, you can show that to other people. When they give you positive feedback and ask you things about it, it'll show that they're interested in you as a person - and not going to run away!

39. Find something that requires a team

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This could be a team sport, or a new job that makes you work in a team. This will help you to start depending on other people more, but also means people need to depend on you as a key part of the team. You will feel like an important cog in the whole machine that way and it'll build your confidence.

40. Whatever you think or feel - OWN IT!

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Your thoughts and feelings are always valid, and it's important to learn that and wear them with pride. You shouldn't ever feel like you have to hide your own feelings for the sake of keeping a person around. If that person is going to leave because of how you feel, they weren't worth keeping in your life to begin with.

41. Surround yourself with the right people

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If you're only ever around people who make you feel really bad for how you feel, or put you down all the time, this is only going to make it more likely you're going to keep everything inside and it can be a downward spiral. Surround yourself with the right people who actually encourage you to open up.

42. Don't push down bad thoughts

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If you have abandonment issues, you might be used to pushing down every single negative feeling and bad thought you have. But it's important to face it and sit with it for a while so you can actually work out what triggered it and where that feeling is coming from. Only then can you work past it!

43. Reflect on your embarrassing behavior

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It can be a really difficult thing to do to self-reflect on something that makes you uncomfortable, but it's so important for people with abandonment issues. If you behave in a difficult or clingy way, reflect on that. Remember all the times you phoned a partner a million times because you thought they were leaving, or those times you've done something unhealthy in relationships. If you cringe at yourself, it's a good thing - it's the first step to not doing it again!

44. Then think of this before falling into old habits

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If you're in a new relationship and find yourself reaching for your phone to send clingy text messages because you're worried they're going to leave you, this is your chance to stop and reflect again and remind yourself that you cringed when you remembered you did that last time! So don't do it again.

45. Trust someone to call you out on things

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Sometimes you might find it hard to recognize when you're falling back into bad habits, so you may have a friend or family member you trust enough to tell you honestly when you're showing signs of abandonment issues again. They can call you out on it in the moment so you can reflect on it.

46. Practice mindfulness

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We know, we know: meditate and mindfulness are everywhere these days, it's starting to sound like cliched advice, but it's true - it can help! Practicing mindfulness will help you to better understand your thoughts and feelings in that very moment so that you can get a better grip on yourself and how you're feeling.

47. Practice being alone

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Some people with abandonment issues might constantly surround themselves with people, which is also why it's likely clinginess with a partner can become a thing. This can be because you don't want to face up to how you're feeling. But you need to practice spending time with yourself so you can hear your own thoughts and get to know yourself better.

48. Analyze the relationships in your life

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It's a good idea to take a step back and think about your current relationships, because there's a risk some of them might not actually be doing you any good. If you're constantly worried about people leaving you, it could be because they're not making you feel good about yourself.

49. And don't be scared to get rid of any that are toxic

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It's better to have one good relationship than a million toxic ones. If you've realized upon reflection that there are certain friends or people that just never make you feel good and always put you down, it's time to let them go so that you can work on yourself and not waste time with people who don't appreciate you.

50. Be honest with new partners

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If you're on a healing journey with getting over abandonment issues, be honest with new people you're dating. It's much worse if you're asking in a certain way that might scare them off simply because they don't understand why you're being so clingy, or never talking about your feelings. Explain to them what's going on and - more importantly - that you're working to overcome it!

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