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5 Best Ways of Dealing With The Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Style

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Jan 29, 2024
Dismissive Avoidant Attachment Style

Have you ever known someone who acts like they’ve just seen a ghost when the topic of commitment is brought up? 

Or perhaps you’re more familiar with that special someone who treasures their “me time” more than a pirate treasures gold. 

Welcome to the world of the dismissive avoidant attachment style, where closeness often feels like a code word for claustrophobia.

One second, the conversation might be flowing. And you’re thinking, “Hey, this might be something special.” 

Suddenly, your date starts talking about their cat’s birthday party next month. 

Wait, what? Next month? That’s practically a lifetime commitment in the world of dating! 

If you suddenly want to run for the hills, I have news for you. You might just be an owner of a dismissive avoidant attachment style.

In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know. You’ll learn the best ways to deal with this attachment style and reach a place of secure attachment.

Before continuing, watch my full video guide below:

What is an attachment style?

Our attachment style defines how we relate to other people. 

It’s at the heart of how we relate to other people. 

There are different adult attachment styles, such as the following:

  • Anxious attachment style
  • Fearful avoidant attachment
  • Secure attachment

Understanding your own attachment style can be the difference between finding emotional closeness or suffering from the anxiety that often stems from insecure attachment styles.

Why does my attachment style matter?

All of us have our own attachment style. 

In fact, a whole branch of social psychology looks at attachment theory. 

This also considers the attachment pattern we each bring from our childhood experiences into romantic relationships once we reach adulthood, as stated on NCBI

“Experiences in childhood have a relevant impact on the type and quality of relationships that individuals develop as adults”

Our adult attachment style informs the way we behave in an adult relationship. 

Understanding how we respond to emotional intimacy is key to a successful emotional relationship.

The roots of our own attachment style are typically found in childhood experiences. 

Our experiences as a child set a template for the rest of our lives.

If we enjoy a secure attachment to our parents, we learn from a young age to trust others. We learn to accept that they love and care for us and will act in our best interests. 

However, some people will have had a more difficult childhood than others because of experiences like the following:

  • Suffering abuse
  • Unhealthy relationships with the mother, resulting in the mother wound
  • Seeing your parents divorce

All of which can affect childhood trust. 

If you’ve had negative experiences as a child, you may develop what’s known as an anxious or avoidant attachment style.

What is the dismissive avoidant attachment style? 

The dismissive avoidant attachment describes someone as independent to an extreme extent. 

As the term suggests, they dodge any opportunity to get close or intimate with another person. It’s the opposite of what a person with an anxious, preoccupied attachment would do. 

Why? Because they have a deep-rooted fear of emotional intimacy. This leads them to instinctively protect themselves by creating emotional distance in all types of relationships. 

In other words, emotional distance is a dismissive avoidant’s defense mechanism. 

They’re the type who might seem super self-sufficient and like they don’t need anyone else. 

However, this whole lone wolf act usually comes from a deep-seated need to protect themselves. Usually because they got burned in past relationships or grew up in a way where getting too emotionally attached felt unsafe.

6 signs of a dismissive avoidant person

Here are a few of the most common signs of an avoidant dismissive attachment style:

  • Avoiding emotional closeness in relationships
  • Feeling as though your partners are being clingy when they simply want to get emotionally closer
  • Withdrawing and coping with difficult situations alone
  • Suppressing emotions and seems uncomfortable when expressing negative emotions
  • Avoiding complaining, preferring to sulk or hint at what is wrong instead
  • Enjoys spending time together but doesn’t want to talk about what that means
signs of the avoidant attachment

What’s it like having a romantic partner with a dismissive avoidant attachment style?

Dating someone with a dismissive avoidant attachment style will often feel like an emotional rollercoaster.

the emotional roller coaster of loving a dismissive avoidant

It may feel like a strange situation because you’re constantly reaching out to someone who’s emotionally distant. 

They typically seem independent to the point of pushing you away, especially when things start to get more intimate. It’s like trying to get close to someone who has built a wall around their feelings. 

A dismissive-avoidant may seem uninterested in your emotional needs and keep away from having any type of deep conversation. They’d rather keep things light and may even stop themselves from being put into a position of commitment. 

Truth be told, it can be frustrating and lonely. 

You might find yourself often questioning their commitment and feeling like you’re the only one investing emotionally in the relationship.Understanding what matters to them and being able to respond can be the foundation for a stronger relationship.

How to deal with the dismissive avoidant attachment style

Here’s how to deal with the dismissive avoidant attachment style:

  • Honest communication
  • Don’t take things personally
  • Accept who they are
  • Unconditional support
  • Validation

Let’s go through each of these steps below.

1. Honest communication paves the way to success

Firstly, a dismissive avoidant will often feel slightly detached emotionally. This means that communicating clearly is essential. Moreover, it’s one effective self-soothing technique

Don’t be afraid to share your wants, needs, and feelings. 

The dismissive-avoidant wants simplicity and clarity. Ambiguity and uncertainty will only cause anxiety.

Don’t just assume that they will know how you are feeling or what you want because of your actions. You absolutely have to spell it out.

They truly believe that we would all be the happiest and most content selves if both parties directly communicated their needs.

And, because they are clear on their own needs (since they don’t trust anyone else to understand and respond to them), they expect others to be clear about their needs too. 

It comes down to accountability. 

They think you should also be, as they believe they are entirely accountable for their own needs.

Think twice before trying any of the following:

  • Sulking
  • The silent treatment
  • Passive-aggressive responses 

Why? Because these do not work with these types of people. 

Instead, you must be open, honest, and clear.

2. Don’t take things personally

the dismissive avoidant dont rely on you

The dismissive-avoidant will struggle to trust you fully.

Don’t take this personally because the dismissive-avoidant doesn’t rely on anybody.

Remember what we said earlier about how childhood experiences can shape adults with an insecure attachment style? 

Well, this is what happens when those children grow up and get into an intimate relationship with a romantic partner. They look after themselves, and they expect you to do the same.

This can cause tensions in relationships. 

Over time there are ways to overcome this. It’s definitely possible to do the following:

  • Build a concrete level of trust
  • Offer reassurance that you can count on one another
  • Teach them that it’s okay to be vulnerable

But be prepared for bumps along the way. 

Every time you get close, they may push you away either by what they say or how they act.

Essentially, dismissive avoidants are terrified of closeness and intimacy. 

They are scared of the idea that their happiness could be tied up with someone else’s actions. Perhaps this was instilled in their mind when they were younger, and they had an emotional need that was not fully met. 

Or, maybe this trait developed later in life when they realized that relationships can let you down.

The key thing is for you to understand and accept this. 

If someone has been hurt before, then it stands to reason that they will take steps to avoid being hurt again. 

So, act with empathy and patience. Take time to build trust.

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3. Accept the dismissive-avoidant for who they are

Another specific trait of people with a dismissive avoidant attachment style is that they want to feel accepted for who they are as individuals.

Now, what does that mean?

It means that they aren’t good at accepting any type of criticism. 

When you shame or criticize them, it simply confirms their deep-rooted emotions. 

Sometimes, with their fear of criticism, they’ll believe they are being criticized even when they are not.

Again, it all started when they were younger, which usually means their needs were ignored at some point. 

Maybe the dismissive-avoidant had an experience like one of the following:

  • Parents were too critical
  • Caregivers weren’t helpful in ways they needed to be 
  • Lack of emotional or physical care

It can be something as simple as a statement or question that evokes a feeling of being judged, even when you had no intention of doing so. 

It’s simply the way their brains receive the information.

4. Support the dismissive-avoidant unconditionally

support the dismissive avoidant unconditionally

A dismissive-avoidant person wants to feel supported. 

To them, the feeling of support means their wants are being fully heard and that you care enough to understand them as they are. 

No matter what they choose to do, they want to feel like they are being unconditionally understood by the other partner. 

They never want to feel that their emotions are being misunderstood or that their motives, feelings, desires, or choices are questioned. 

It’s important to be there for them but let them do their own thing when needed. 

More importantly, make sure that their independence and space are always respected.

To be specific, here’s how you can show support:

  • Basic acts of care for them
  • Helping out with tasks
  • Asking them about themselves
  • Giving suggestions to show you care

All of these are essential to a healthy relationship with a dismissive, avoidant. 

You can show that you actually care by being there for them in important times and setting aside time and space meant especially for them. 

They will, in turn, take notice and feel special. 

Being supported in these ways is what makes them feel the most loved and comfortable in a relationship.

5. Validate the dismissive avoidant attachment style

People with this insecure attachment style want to feel safe and receive validation from their partner. 

Sometimes this attachment needs to take in all of the positivity. 

But because of their nature, learning how to give it back can take some time. 

The feeling of having their needs met by someone who truly understands them is a new concept. 

So, they can’t properly reciprocate until they learn how to meet your needs. 

They have to know that it’s safe to rely on you and that it’s safe to give in and be fully vulnerable. That comes with understanding how to give them the things they need. 

They need to feel affirmed to feel safe and confident in the relationship.

When it comes to opening up or being vulnerable in a romantic relationship, they only want to do so with people they feel safe with. 

You need to be always accepting of them. Never judge them.  

There are a lot of different factors that go into making a person feel as if you are a safe choice for them. 

But once they do trust you, then that can create a bond of intimacy and connection that is uniquely strong.

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Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.

The avoidant is one of the main insecure attachment styles

People with the dismissive avoidant attachment style fear emotion so much that they will often avoid emotional connection

In fact, they are so wary of closeness that they take steps to avoid emotional connection with others. They hate relying on other people. 

Even more, they hate other people relying on them. At an extreme, this can become a fearful avoidant attachment where people simply withdraw from having relationships.

Maybe this sounds like you? 

Or maybe it sounds like the person you are in a relationship with? 

I have spoken to many guys who are with someone who is a dismissive-avoidant. 

It can be tough. 

Sometimes it can feel like living in a minefield where the wrong word is used as criticism. 

Or, the person can feel distant and unreachable.

Can I change my avoidant dismissive attachment style?

As a wise man once said: 

“The past is a statement, but the future is a question.” 

You cannot change your past, but you are much more in control of the future. 

If you commit to understanding the past and the circumstances that have helped to shape you, it can help you better understand the following:

This can help all of us develop positive and healthy adult relationships.

Understand your past to improve future relationships

You may have spotted a pattern in your relationships where you seem to spend all your time keeping the other person happy and paying little attention to your personal happiness. 

Understanding why this happens is really important, whether it’s a close relationship with a friend or a romantic relationship with a lover. 

This is because once it is understood, you are better able to change those patterns and develop a more secure attachment style.

As we go through life and experience intimate relationships, we are always trying to understand things better. 

If properly harnessed, this learning can lead to improvement. 

This is especially relevant in the early stages of a relationship but true even in long-term relationships. 

Couples who are constantly working on themselves individually and within their relationship are often much stronger.

You can build a great relationship with a dismissive avoidant

finding harmony in a dismissive avoidant relationship

It is perfectly possible to have a great relationship with someone with a dismissive avoidant attachment style. 

If you have different attachment styles, then it can take some work to get it right.

However, it’s certainly not impossible to work together to develop secure attachment traits.

You must understand how you and your partner are programmed differently and how you’ve grown into your attachment style. 

Moreover, learning about attachment theory in the first place certainly helps. 

Conclusion

As with most issues, increasing your self-awareness and working on understanding the relationship on a deeper level can help make positive changes. 

That is about learning about yourself and your partner. 

Guys who do not understand this, and do not seek to understand this, will often find themselves trapped in relationship patterns that repeat themselves. 

Or they might struggle to find and connect with their soulmate in the first place.

And that’s why I put together a free masterclass: to help men deepen their understanding, break free from these patterns, and show up as the very best partners they can be. 

This will help you understand why your partner might act in certain ways at certain times.

It will give you a level of insight that can make your soulmate feel understood and safe – which in turn can lead to a level of intimacy and trust that can be truly mind-blowing in the bedroom and beyond.

So, do you want to develop your own masculine understanding to take your relationship to another level with epic sex and love? 

Perhaps you’d like to transform that dismissive avoidant attachment style into a secure attachment style?

Or would you like to find a soulmate to work through life with? If so, then I urge you to check out this powerful free training.

FAQs

What are signs of dismissive avoidant attachment?

The biggest sign is preferring to be alone almost all the time. You feel uncomfortable getting close to others and putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Pulling away when things get serious or when emotions are involved is common for a dismissive avoidant to do. 

Do dismissive avoidants ever fall in love?

All attachment styles in the attachment theory are capable of falling in love. However, a dismissive avoidant has a different approach. The difference is that they’re typically more guarded and self-protective. They may experience deep feelings and genuine affection, but their fear of vulnerability and intimacy can make them appear distant. 

How do dismissive avoidants act in love?

Dismissive avoidants show love more practically, not emotionally. They’ll express their compassion through actions rather than words. For example, doing favors, solving problems, or helping with tasks. However, they’re not big on showing affection verbally. 

What are the habits of a dismissive avoidant person?

Of all attachment styles, they prioritize alone time. It’s not uncommon for them to avoid deep conversations. They want to maintain self-sufficiency. Moreover, they may downplay the importance of relationships.

WATCH FREE TRAINING NOW

Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

I am the founder of The Tantric Man Experience™, a pioneering transformational coaching program for men. With over 1500 hours of certified tantra training in India and Thailand and 7 years of experience helping hundreds of men worldwide save their marriages and reignite passion in their love lives.

I have over 8 million views on YouTube and have been featured on VICE and Newstalk Radio for my life’s work - helping men unleash their full masculine potential.

My holistic FLT method seamlessly integrates ancient tantric philosophy with my modern expertise in relationships, sexuality, dating, and men’s health.

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