Episode 84 – Attachment Styles in Action: Anxious and Avoidant Types

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Do you know your attachment type? Would you say that you’re afraid of intimacy? Do you tend to distrust or lash out at people who try to get close to you?

In this episode of The Shrink Think podcast, Nathan and Aaron answer all these questions and more as they discuss the anxious and avoidant attachment types.

In This Episode


  • What is the anxious attachment type?
  • What is the avoidant attachment type?
  • How does this affect the relationships of those who have these attachment types?

What is the anxious attachment type?

  • This type develops in early childhood – due to mistuned and inconsistent parenting.
  • Low self esteem, a strong fear of rejection, and clinginess in relationships are common signs of this attachment style.
  • Lesser common risk factors include abuse and early separation from the caregiver.

What is the avoidant attachment type?

  • This type also develops in childhood, but oftentimes due to the parent or caregiver not showing responsiveness past providing essentials like food and shelter.
  • The child will tend to disregard their own struggles or needs in order to maintain peace and keep their caregiver close by.
  • Common signs of this type include never asking for help, avoiding eye contact and physical touch, and eating in abnormal ways.

How does this affect the relationships of those who have this attachment type?

  • If you have an avoidant attachment type, you’ll find yourself having difficulty expressing emotions and show discomfort with physical touch.
  • If you have an anxious attachment type, you may find yourself experiencing extreme jealousy and needing constant reassurance.
  • Both types can cause anxiety, stress, unhappiness, and low satisfaction in relationships.

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aaron potratz and nathan hawkins therapists standing smiling

Meet Nathan & Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

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Episode 84