Wake up and Thrive

093:The Journey from Anxious to Secure Attachment with Carly Ann

May 13, 2024
093:The Journey from Anxious to Secure Attachment with Carly Ann
Wake up and Thrive
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Wake up and Thrive
093:The Journey from Anxious to Secure Attachment with Carly Ann
May 13, 2024

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Experience a profound transformational conversation in understanding your emotional bonds as Carly Ann, an esteemed attachment therapist from London, joins me, Bridget, in a deep exploration of how we forge secure relationships. Together, we shed light on the journey from anxious to secure attachment, an endeavor both personal and universal. Delving into our vulnerabilities, Carly and I unravel the threads of mental health and substance misuse, and how these intricacies are woven into the fabric of our relationships, affecting our self-esteem and ability to love.

One thing every relationship will face whether you are secure or insecure is conclict. We dive into the art of conflict resolution through the lens of attachment theory is not just about managing disputes; it's about transforming them into opportunities for growth and connection. Carly share strategies that honor our diverse attachment styles, understanding that the terrain of conflict is fraught with the potential for learning about ourselves and our partners. By embracing the power within to navigate the complexities of relationships, this episode illuminates the path to a secure, healthy partnership, and a more profound connection with oneself. Join us on Wake Up and Thrive for a conversation that's not just heart-opening, but potentially life-changing.

Connect with Carly:

Carly Ann is a certified CBT & Somatic Attachment Therapist and Trainee Psychotherapist, Carly Ann shares her personal triumph over anxious attachment to inspire and guide women towards becoming secure. For over a decade, Carly Ann has helped individuals not just cope, but thrive. Specialising in attachment, she teaches people to self-soothe, develop self-esteem, and reshape their nervous system from insecure to secure. The proud founder of The Attachment Recovery Gym, she has crafted an online membership to assist individuals on their attachment healing path, providing invaluable education, practical tools, and a supportive community network.
You can find Carly here!


Let's Connect.

Free guide: 5 ways to find Calm: Get the guide here
Come find me on Instagram: @findherwildcoaching
Check out my website and my offerings here



Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Experience a profound transformational conversation in understanding your emotional bonds as Carly Ann, an esteemed attachment therapist from London, joins me, Bridget, in a deep exploration of how we forge secure relationships. Together, we shed light on the journey from anxious to secure attachment, an endeavor both personal and universal. Delving into our vulnerabilities, Carly and I unravel the threads of mental health and substance misuse, and how these intricacies are woven into the fabric of our relationships, affecting our self-esteem and ability to love.

One thing every relationship will face whether you are secure or insecure is conclict. We dive into the art of conflict resolution through the lens of attachment theory is not just about managing disputes; it's about transforming them into opportunities for growth and connection. Carly share strategies that honor our diverse attachment styles, understanding that the terrain of conflict is fraught with the potential for learning about ourselves and our partners. By embracing the power within to navigate the complexities of relationships, this episode illuminates the path to a secure, healthy partnership, and a more profound connection with oneself. Join us on Wake Up and Thrive for a conversation that's not just heart-opening, but potentially life-changing.

Connect with Carly:

Carly Ann is a certified CBT & Somatic Attachment Therapist and Trainee Psychotherapist, Carly Ann shares her personal triumph over anxious attachment to inspire and guide women towards becoming secure. For over a decade, Carly Ann has helped individuals not just cope, but thrive. Specialising in attachment, she teaches people to self-soothe, develop self-esteem, and reshape their nervous system from insecure to secure. The proud founder of The Attachment Recovery Gym, she has crafted an online membership to assist individuals on their attachment healing path, providing invaluable education, practical tools, and a supportive community network.
You can find Carly here!


Let's Connect.

Free guide: 5 ways to find Calm: Get the guide here
Come find me on Instagram: @findherwildcoaching
Check out my website and my offerings here



Speaker 1:

Hi, my name is Bridget and this is my podcast. Wake Up and Thrive.

Speaker 2:

My intention for this space is to help women around the world live more awake, aligned and truly alive. I believe wholeheartedly that we are designed to live, feel and experience the full range that life has to offer, and in doing so, we can live fully turned on in all areas. My story began with sobriety and has since been an initiation into rediscovering parts of myself that I forgot about or had abandoned. Learning to reclaim all of who I am has been the greatest gift of living awake, and together we will go on a journey of helping you to do the same. You can expect to learn practical tools to help you connect deeper to yourself, your purpose and those in your life. All you need is an open heart and an open mind. So if you're ready, it's time. It's time to wake up and thrive. Hello everybody, and welcome back to Wake Up and Thrive.

Speaker 2:

I have an amazing guest with us today. I have Carly Ann coming all the way from London to talk to us about attachment theory. Carly is a certified cognitive, behavioral and somatic attachment therapist. We love somatic work on this podcast and she is a trainee psychotherapist. She shares her personal triumph over anxious attachment to inspire and guide women towards becoming secure For over a decade, carly Ann has helped individuals not just cope but thrive. Specializing in attachment, she teaches people to self-soothe, develop self-esteem and reshape their nervous system from insecure to secure. She is the proud founder of the Attachment Recovery Gym. She has crafted an online membership to assist individuals on their attachment healing path, providing invaluable education, practical tools and supportive community network. So, carly, welcome. Thank you for being here. Thank you for having me. You are so welcome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I would love to just start with having you introduce sort of who you are. I know that's a broad question, but who you are and how you got to where you are today day.

Speaker 3:

I work as a high intensity psychotherapist trainee at the moment, so I'm really working with people who present with different mental health issues, depression, different anxieties. In my business I'm working with people as you've outlined already, particularly where those difficulties are showing up in relationships, how they attach to others and, in terms of like, how I got here professionally. I just went down the path of working in mental health. I worked in substance misuse for many years and personally, after a very colorful childhood, shall we say, I stepped into adulthood with a very insecure attachment. So my relationships were very chaotic, unpredictable. I was very codependent, you know, relied externally for self-esteem, those kind of things, at the same time as being this quite confident person who had it all together and was building this career. So they almost didn't go hand in hand.

Speaker 3:

But actually that's something that's very, very common and essentially what happened is I had this dream to start a business, to be a coach. What happened is I had this dream to start a business, to be a coach and I went through a big breakup at 29, which highlighted all of the relationship difficulties I'd had and, to be honest with you, just bringing together my career and what I was learning professionally then being in this kind of rock bottom space and really diving into therapy and coaching properly for the first time personally, these worlds just kind of collided and I just absolutely discovered that I was extremely insecure and I guess the journey for me personally was to figure out how I go about having healthy, secure relationships, cause I really, for me it's like I really believe we all deserve to have a healthy, happy, secure relationship in our lifetime, no matter what how we started. So I just went on this absolute mission to figure that out.

Speaker 2:

I love that. I love when the professional journey collides with the personal. Those are the women.

Speaker 3:

I want to love.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, because you're helping them on such a different level, because you personally walked this. Why don't we start with? You know that word insecure is thrown around a lot, but it's not always related to attachment, right? We hear this quite a bit of I'm insecure in relationships, so could you define attachment theory and maybe briefly sort of give an overview of I think I believe there's three types.

Speaker 3:

Maybe there's more yeah, for three primarily we could talk about.

Speaker 3:

For sure, okay, yeah yeah, so yeah, and overviewed yeah, so attachment theory itself we really are looking at I'm looking at it from the perspective of adults, I have to say, um, so we're looking at how our earlier experiences, particularly with caregivers but it doesn't have to be solely with caregivers influences how we then go on to attach, form connections, have bonds with people in adulthood and, typically speaking, we are looking at romantic relationships. But again, this is that's all quite typical. Um, it can play out into other relationships, it can play out into our finances, how we show up at work, um, but ultimately, as you were saying, we tend to develop certain styles of how we attach to other people, and that's typically insecure styles and secure style. Well, there's, there's one secure style, yeah the ultimate goal for all of us the ultimate goal.

Speaker 3:

I think it's worth saying that all of us are so. The three that we're thinking about is secure, anxious and avoidant um. The fourth one is um, disorganized, which is basically anxious and avoidant that was me um push four, push four, same um.

Speaker 3:

So with secure, yeah, we all have elements of all of them, absolutely there is no doubt. And so if anyone finds themselves really making the avoidant the villain, I would say be careful, because we've all got some avoidance in us. But yeah, we primarily tend to lean towards one attachment style more than the other. And just before I go into them, what I will say as well is your attachment style will influence who you're attracted to in the relationships you have, but also the relationships you have, the people that are in front of you they're also going to influence your attachment style. So you could be around one person and feel extremely anxious, and you could be around another person and feel very secure, so secure go on.

Speaker 2:

No, that's just, that's an important that's important for me to know. Just I know personally. It showed up in friendships, um. So I love, I love that you sort of differentiated. It could show up in lots of areas.

Speaker 3:

So sorry, I interrupted oh no, no love it because I think that we, we, we need to tune into who and what makes us feel secure. So I think just knowing that is really key, um, but secure attachment typically, um, they're people who feel more confident in their needs being met. Uh, their expectations in relationships are quite balanced. They're able to, you know, express themselves, communicate, walk away from something that is poor treatment. They recognize poor treatment, they recognize low standards, they recognize red flags and have no problems with saying no, thanks. That doesn't feel good. Usually they did grow up in environments where their needs were met enough, conflicts and ruptures were repaired enough, that kind of thing. And I say enough because it's not like these perfect family dynamics, it's just it was secure enough that they were able to grow up and have secure enough relationships.

Speaker 2:

Okay, okay, yeah, because I was going to say we're all raised by imperfect people, so I have yet to find someone.

Speaker 3:

Have you met people that grow up and okay, I think I've met people who believe that they have, but I think probably you're looking at a bit of avoidance there. But yeah, with secure it's healthier relationships, healthier dynamics. Another quite significant thing with secure is they're quite confident and calm with separation and time apart from that person and coming back together. So being together is really lovely and time apart isn't going to freak them out either and they're not going to go making assumptions about what that means. Insecure attachment styles really coming from experiences that are perhaps a lot more inconsistent, unavailable, unresponsive in terms of having your needs met, and obviously the severity of that can completely range. But you have anxious attachment. So typically anxious attachment, driven by that fear of abandonment, really show up in exactly how it sounds anxiety, feeling quite like you need to be around that person, you need that person for self-esteem. Um, quite challenging expectations of what comes with relationships being left, being cheated on, being hurt, um, especially if I'm not enough. So that's very much the the anxious side of things.

Speaker 3:

Avoidant, still driven by the abandonment wound. I think that's really key to say, because anxious gets this what's the word? Label of being crazy, needy, jealous, way too much, and avoidant gets this label of being cold and not caring and they're the villain. And actually they're all coping strategies. So avoidant will tend to keep people love relationships at arm's's length, maybe not be very open with emotions, consciously or unconsciously. Um, it can come in all you know, anxious and avoid. It. Come in all different forms of how it really looks um, and then you have, like I said, the, the disorganized as well, where it's really a mixture of both. It it can be sometimes anxious, sometimes avoidant. That tends to be. If we were just typically giving an overview, that's really what you're looking at.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. And so I'm curious. I love the definitions and thanks for explaining the ultimate fear, because I think that brings a lot of compassion to all of those states. A lot of the women I work with tend to and I'm that brings a lot of compassion to all of those states. A lot of the women I work with tend to and I'm curious if this is a real pattern or if this is just something I've noticed. The anxious avoidant seem to attract to each other. Yeah, okay, can you talk a little bit about that? What I'm curious if the anxious, you know, if the person with anxious attachment, her biggest fear is abandonment, why do? Why do they tend to come together?

Speaker 3:

yeah, they, they do. There's the anxious avoidant trap or the anxious dance that it might be called um. It's like, typically if you speak to people, it's kind of um the word coming to my mind, but it's not usually the one that I use. It's like what is it like? Electric? Um, it's that high chemistry, that high attraction. Um, I feel like I know this person. Yeah, there's people get really hooked on the chemistry here and there are different theories as to why this happens. I guess the key is, if you think about what we were saying about the backgrounds, they're quite inconsistent, unpredictable, quite chaotic. Love wasn't soothing, it wasn't plain sailing, it wasn't healthy, and it's really a case of attracting what you know rather than what you need.

Speaker 2:

Can you say that?

Speaker 3:

so it's a case of you're attracting what you know rather than what you need. So, for example, that idea of, oh, but I feel like I've known this person forever. There's an idea of maybe you have known this person forever in a different form. Like, the more connection there is, the harder it is to leave. Each other is quite often the more it replicates those past relationships. So there's this idea of, yeah, you have met this person before. This is the dynamic that you've seen play out time and time again.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and the you know, know, for an anxious person, when they're around someone who is secure, they find it boring. Yes, this is love. What is this? I don't trust this scary. I don't trust this. They don't know it. We don't trust what we don't know. They don't know how to be around it. They can push secure people away because, um, because, like I say, a secure person is like I'm good for this, like a secure person won't won't necessarily, unless they're already in quite deep, isn't really going to stay in a situation, um, where they're feeling controlled or they're like, oh, I'm not sure about this, because this seems a little bit unhealthy. Um, it's not that they don't like the person, but they are able to be like this is dangerous.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I find that, so I love my other favorite part of the reason I asked you on here was that you include somatic work, because we've talked about this a lot.

Speaker 2:

That, even though I love your line attracting what you know instead of what you need, Right, so the anxious attachment, if I heard you correctly, clearly wants connection, wants relationship, but all she or he knows is abandonment. So, even though it's not what we want, it's the imprint in our body, the issues in our tissues, like that's what I always say, um, it's that. So can you talk about how somatic work, um sort of, comes in play when we're talking about attachment theory?

Speaker 3:

it is a lot about retraining what our body is used to, and so it. I mean, you know, with somatic it comes in so many different forms, doesn't it? Um, but initially, what I would say is it is very much around just reforming a connection with your own body. So what you see a lot of the time with people that are insecure is that, first and foremost, they have quite an insecure relationship with themselves. They don't, like the anxious person doesn't, recognize their feelings before someone else, especially if they're in relationship with someone else. They are way more in tune to what someone else needs. What is someone else, especially if they're in relationship with someone else like? They are way more in tune to what someone else needs. What is someone else feeling?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, um, then there's another kind of branch of the somatic work is so key in the sense of being able to learn how to regulate these big emotions that you feel, especially when you're in relationship with someone else, because it triggers so much. So it can go down like a lot of different paths, but for me, I see it in retraining your nervous system. To be able to deal with feeling regulated, to know how to live in the present moment rather than constantly be elsewhere is to connect with your own body. What do I feel? What's that like? What are these sensations? Um, which leads into them being able to regulate and being able to soothe yourself, maybe before taking action, before sending that text, before literally crawling out of your skin because you feel like you need someone else, because you can't handle these sensations and you're convinced.

Speaker 2:

I feel like this because I'm I need this person, but actually we somatically can't cope with what we're experiencing yeah, I love, I love that and, and you're right, I think somatic is twofold it's the regulation but it is the reconnection which it's forming that connection and getting to know what comes up. So I absolutely love that. I'm curious, that's the anxious attachment, so avoidant again, I don't know much about that style, even though I'm disorganized, but I'm curious, or I'm not. I'm working my way towards secure, should we say, but the avoid, avoidant type. Is that more like freeze or what would that be like?

Speaker 3:

because I don't imagine they experience or feel the big emotions that anxious attachment do yeah, it's interesting with avoidant, because if you, if I mean, I don't know what you call it, but if you literally tie them up to machine and look at the stress that they're experiencing internally, they are feeling stressed. They don't necessarily present it. So it's not like avoidant isn't internally regulated and in a soothed state as you're. As you're saying, maybe they will be, maybe they'll be in shutdown, maybe they'll be freeze, maybe they will be anxious. But what they are presenting as um is probably quite disconnected, um, maybe they're not sure how to express it, how to say it. It's still the same.

Speaker 3:

I don't know what I feel, I don't know what's necessarily going on here, but people assume, oh, they don't care, they're so calm, look at them. But that's not the case. There's still just as much of a disconnection between what they're feeling and what to do with that as there is when it's really high and it's and it's anxiety. It's just that's why, with both of them, I just, I just want to meet them with so much compassion.

Speaker 3:

But I put a post on TikTok a while ago when I was sort of trying TikTok out and um, the one post that went like viral, it was me saying about you know, you might call a void in a villain, but this is what's going on for them. You would not believe if you read through the comments. It's just anxious versus avoidant. You do this, but you do this and I'm like everyone misses the point, like it's literally like no, you don't care what, yeah, but you guys are jealous and it's like you're all experiencing such similar difficulties and you they can't get on the same pet or they can't see that well, I love your differentiation in the beginning, that they're actually experiencing the the same fear of abandonment.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so it is the same um it. It presents on the outside differently, but what I'm hearing is internally it would be the same. So back to I'm so curious about the avoidant. I want to, I want to speak about both. But how? How do you differentiate whether somebody is secure or avoidant? Cause I, I know I'm already in in relationship, you know, with friends, people at work, even I would even say my husband a little bit of an avoidant. Like how do you differentiate whether they're just cool, collected and calm, and that's truly secure, or they're freaking disconnected?

Speaker 3:

Well, I would say that I don't. I wouldn't recommend trying to figure that out solely by yourself, as, in Searching for signs and, you know, trying to figure that out out, that that's going to take time to know. Um, and I also a bit, like I said already and you just kind of alluded to as well, yeah, your husband, my partner, me, we're all going to have some avoidant tendencies. Um, so I think, just knowing that you would have to know what your non-negotiables are for an avoidant um, do you know what I mean? So if there are some things when it comes to an avoidant person, that's an absolute no for you. You really need to know that.

Speaker 3:

Um, early stages of dating you're, you're not necessarily going to know 100 percent, but time will tell, because someone who is avoidant, they're going to start probably doing things where they're not explaining themselves. It is really unpredictable. It is really confusing and ambiguous and up and down and hot and cold, or they've got another partner or whatever. You know, there's some really obvious signs and there's some really subtle ones. Um, but you know someone who's secure. You can ask them and this is going to be the best way to differentiate. Don't try and figure it out yourself. Ask them.

Speaker 2:

That's the anxious part of me and that's how you're going to see.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the reaction you get from someone is going to really tell you if this person's secure or not. Because if you say, hey, I was wondering about meeting up this Saturday, and they either outright blank you or tell you you're being too needy, or give you some kind of half-assed answer, or whatever you already know something's a bit off here like ghosting you.

Speaker 2:

Is that the?

Speaker 3:

same thing. You come back after three days yes, um, you know just something. That's not healthy. Secure, that kind, that kind because a secure person is. They will say, most likely, of course, look, of course there's always exceptions, um, but most likely they'll tell you if they're not into you, they'll tell you if they don't want to see you, they'll tell you if they're busy. They're not afraid of, like, conflict, they're not afraid that. That's the best way to know. But I think the problem is that fear of being too much and needy means that what you don't do is have these just quite open conversations.

Speaker 2:

If you really want to know if someone's avoidant, ask questions, right, ask about their feelings, ask about their background and not in like, don't be like a detective, right, you know, um, and see through the reactions yeah, I love, I love just telling women, like just even to state like I've noticed this either coming up in me or I've noticed you not responding and just what I'm hearing you more is lean into curiosity, like can you explain a little bit?

Speaker 3:

And you've got to give it time, yeah. Yeah, because if they canceled a date on Wednesday, that doesn't make them avoidant, it might mean they just cancelled a date. But if they cancel the next day, the pattern then you can start to be like, hey, just notice this, um, you've got to see that pattern. But a lot of the time with anxious attachment is they can't bear that, they can't bear the time, can't bear to waste time, um, you know all of those things, and so the anxiety can can lead you into sometimes just um, just getting really anxious with someone, where then it's like, okay, well, let's just call this a day because, yeah, it's getting heated really quickly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, no, I, I, I love that. Just, you just beautifully described how I used to show up in my relationships. Yeah and it is. It is just, it's simple, but it's not in the moment. Just asking, just asking. Um, so, where I would love to go now is, I feel, like's simple, but it's not in the moment, just asking, just asking. So where I would love to go now is. I feel like you've given us a great foundation on each attachment style. Is there anything else you'd like to add on things to look for or root causes or anything like that, because I would love to move into how do we move towards secure?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, I think that's that's fine. I mean, it's so easy to find a list of um if we're coming from the anxious perspective and you want to know well, what does avoidant look like, it's really easy to get a list of avoidant um tendencies and anxious tendencies. But what I would say is exactly like we're about to say is try not to get too obsessed with what an avoidant person looks like or why they do what they do. Get more obsessed for lack of better word when it comes to anxious attachment um with what is secure with what is secure yeah, because what?

Speaker 3:

often what you're doing is you're seeking out avoidant tendencies, avoidant signs, because just trying to figure someone out and all you're doing there is staying in that pattern of putting people before you, trying to get in their headspace, kind of like almost worrying, ruminating, trying to figure it out, whereas if you really really want to change the dynamics of your relationships and have a healthy, secure relationship in your lifetime, get more obsessed with what secure looks like that's right, yeah, I love that.

Speaker 2:

Or even like get more obsessed with what's coming up for you yeah, 100% partner.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, um, because, yeah, because otherwise you just stay in that loop yeah, so can we.

Speaker 2:

Let's start with the anxious attachment. If somebody's listening and they are really resonating, maybe with that attachment style, and I love, I mean I love that there is a disorganized one, because I've found a lot of people touch all of them, right, and it's not. And you're right, everybody wants this like box. Which box do I fit into? But we do sort of ebb and flow through each one depending on the relationship. But let's, maybe, let's make it easy and say, within romantic relationships, you have an anxious attachment and you're fully aware of it. Now, right, the awareness has come on. What? Or maybe the awareness hasn't come on. Maybe that's the first step. But what would you say would would be yeah, I know it's a journey, but what would the steps be? To sort of start to unravel your own attachment so that you can attract the new dynamic. Because you're right, it's, it feels safer to just say let me change the person who's avoidant or who I think is avoidant, without ever actually looking at your own tendencies.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I think that is always one of the first steps is self-reflection, and actually it's something whatever your attachment style insecure you can really really struggle with is to go inwards and to really have that relationship with your inner world, because you're so used to going outwards, like I was saying. So, I think, to develop a really basic understanding of your inner world, your thoughts, your feelings, the images, the emotions, your beliefs, how you view the world, how you view relationships, just to start really reflecting on that and getting to know your patterns. So, and a lot of the time, where that really starts with insecure attachment is on feeling triggered, feeling activated or, if it's avoidant, noticing that you're deactivated. Um, that's usually what wakes us up right is we're extremely triggered by a breakup by a person, by a situation, and we're tempted at that point to go outwards and figure it out. But we've got to start that self-reflection. What am I noticing that I'm thinking? What are my types of thoughts? Do I have? What am I noticing that I'm feeling and what does that the somatic work? What does that feel like? What are the sensations in my body really? And you see this a lot like, um, you know, if I start working with people. One of the first things we're always going to do is need to keep some kind of log, some kind of diary of your triggers and what happens, mind and body when you experience that.

Speaker 3:

I think, even if three times one of the first things I ever did when I was like, right, I've got to figure this out it's just three times a day I would literally say to myself what am I thinking, what am I feeling, what am I doing? And just that itself. It wasn't about only when I'm triggered, it was all emotions because, remember, I wanted to get to know like what is it like to be regulated? What is it to be happy? You know insecure people. They're so more likely to be anxious, to be low in mood, have highs, highs of, but otherwise probably not feel that satisfied with life, and I wanted to figure it all out. So, just three times a day what am I thinking, what am I feeling, what am I doing? What's the urges to, what do I have the urge to do when I think this and feel this?

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, and that that works for avoidant as well. Yeah, absolutely yeah. What is your thought on? Uh, because you know we hear a lot of this in the personal development space of you you must do the healing work first, individually before getting in relationships, right? Yeah, so I'm curious, because the way I was taught is that there are certain patterns that truly need to be healed within relationships, but I can't remember.

Speaker 3:

There's that as well. There's so many things that I wasn't able to master or see or really know until I was in the relationship that I'm in now. But I just think like it's too simple to say that you have to be single to do the inner work. It's way too simple. There are times and maybe this is where it gets a little bit lost where you're not able to sustain a relationship. Let's say, if your jealousy is just too extreme and you're with some, you're choosing people, maybe they're actually quite secure. Who knows, um, and they're they, they're just a no to that. Maybe there's times where it's like, okay, you're probably going to need to work on the jealousy to sustain a relationship. However, who is to say that you're not going to get into a relationship with someone who loves you way more, that you're way more than the jealousy and loves all those other parts of you and is willing to stick this out with you and help you as you get that inner work?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I was. I definitely, with my partner, wasn't so much jealousy, but there was a certain pattern that was showing up at the beginning of our relationship, so it was around separation, anxiety, and he stuck it out with me whilst I figured it out and literally had to go back to therapy, had to go back to getting a somatic coach, and he knew that I was doing that because he could see if we could see the pattern, we could see it was a problem. So who's to say that that's not going to happen? However, if that was years ago, would he have stuck it out? I don't know when it was really under the radar and I wasn't able to express what was happening and it was just I was.

Speaker 3:

Maybe I wasn't ready, but I held down a relationship at that point as well. Yeah, and I also know of people. I do a lot of work with people that are in relationships. They come to me in relationships and they do the work.

Speaker 2:

I think that's the best time to do the work. I think the relationships are honestly the biggest gift and biggest mirror. I know, for me, my patterns like you said, I was consistently focused on it being other people's issue that I really you know, I'm so honest, I'm so upfront, I'm not the anxious one, but I was totally the anxious one and that didn't come up and surface until you know, while I was in, while I was married, so that was actually really helpful to me. But I think the part the, my other question about the anxious attachment is so how do you differentiate when you need to do the self-reflection and the inner work versus really asking for co-regulation or support or reassurance, which I know is a big one for people that are anxious?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think one is getting it wrong, being willing to get that wrong for sure, and I guess I guess the main thing is the anxious attachment. There has to be a priority in self-soothing, because usually you do want that co-regulation. You feel like you need someone else. I guess the way to really tell is like do you feel desperately that you need someone else? Um, do you, do you wholeheartedly know that actually I'm okay, I'm safe, I'm good, but I need some love right now. Like, are you? It's a some kind of level. If you desperately feel like you need someone else, that's when I feel like that's a sign that self-love is missing so is this coming from a place of fear, or or or love?

Speaker 3:

yeah, is it coming from fear or love? But I feel like sometimes, when you're in the moment, you don't know what that means. Yes, um, so I feel like those words, like if you feel desperate, yeah, if you feel?

Speaker 3:

like urgent. Yeah, ideally, it's not always going to be possible, though. What I would say here and this can be hard to hear is your partner doesn't owe you anything in those anxious moments. Because what happens is people say and I usually only hear this from anxious people it's not to blame one or the other. That's probably because I work with more anxious people as well but they will question the relationship because their partner can't meet their needs when they're really anxious. And I just want them to message me, or I just want them to hug me, or I just want them to be with me, but actually they get annoyed and they get avoidant. How can I possibly be with this person? The same thing is happening.

Speaker 3:

It's like you can't really expect someone. If you are that anxious that you need this person. You can't really expect them to be in their state of avoidance and to show up for you either, because they've gone into their form of anxiety, which is avoidance. You've gone into anxiety, which just so happens to be leaning in, theirs happens to be leaning out. The reality in that situation is you cannot be there for each other.

Speaker 3:

The only way this is going to work is if you both self-soothe. Unfortunately for the anxious, that means time apart, which is where it can feel annoying like why should I? But the reality is you're both dysregulated. You're not really showing up as your best self in that moment either. Yeah, um, so I would say that before making a judgment on whether they can be there for you, what are they like actually when you're anxious and they're regulated? Can they be there for you? What are they like when you're both regulated? Can they be there for you if you're both, if you're in a conflict? Probably they can't be there for you because you need to self-soothe both of you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I've had, I've had a lot of success coming back right, like when once you do the self-soothing and then coming back and explaining what came up, whether that's in my friendships or in my marriage or even with clients and their and their partners, and that seems to go really well, like very well.

Speaker 3:

but again, I've seen someone have a great conversation when you're triggered this is the thing and but still, it won't stop many anxious people if they're listening. Depending on where you are in your kind of journey, I would say, the further along you are they'll be able to hear this people if they're a bit earlier on. So if you're listening with much love and respect, this is meant um, it will be harder to hear without thinking or why should I? Um, what that's not fair. Why should we have to take space when they don't? But there will be a time, because you're listening to this podcast and you're clearly committed. There will be a time you're like I get it, I get why we need to self-soothe first, and you'll be so proud oh, my god, how proud you are when you take time to self-soothe.

Speaker 3:

I remember real one of the first times with my partner and we had I had acted up. I'm not gonna lie. I had an anxious episode alcohol was involved and, um, the next day he was unhappy with me, which is fair enough and we met up and he was saying it's fine, but I'm not coming back to yours like we're going separate ways tonight, and that to me, like my body, I was like I can't, I cannot, I can't, I can't, but I remember feeling like I know I've got to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's when you have the awareness.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I was like I know, and I also thought, if I can do this, because I also needed to see how does this play out? If we separate tonight, does it mean that we come back together or we don't? Yes, and this is like two years ago or whatever. We don't. Yes, and this is like two years ago, whatever. Um, and it played and and being able to do that and seeing it play out that we had a row, had a conflict separated for that space did come back the next day and that was repair. I got to see repair in action. I didn't text him all night, I just self-soothed and how was it?

Speaker 2:

how was the repair?

Speaker 3:

it's. I mean, now it's normal, because now I but would I have been able to do it now without that? Um, I just remember. I don't remember how I spent the night. I remember the walk home more than anything, knowing this is right. That's what I remember. I remember knowing when we were saying we were gonna not go because for me, as I just come home with me and then I'll know we're okay um, but I remember when he was saying no to that, as I can know that this is right. And I remember the walk home being like you can do this, yeah, and that meant not giving into all the urges that night, not to people, please, or compliment him all night, or make sure we were okay, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Just let this play out. Yeah, and I mean the repair. I'm glad that you brought that example up, because I think, on the way to secure attachment and I'm not completely there, I am way better than I used to be but that imprint, those emotional wounds like those, still come up in certain situations. We just experienced one recently in my marriage where, but I had the awareness and the and the wherewithal to say you know, this is my thing, this isn't your thing. And then coming back together, you're right, I think, cause I think when people start to do this work, it gets really frustrated when they have triggers, recurrent triggers. But I've always been been told, and I'm curious, it's, it's always the decrease in frequency and intensity of the trigger. Yeah, that matters, right, because don't you do? You do you find as you were anxious? Is that right or were you disorganized?

Speaker 3:

anxious avoidant, so does it still surface sometimes. Yeah it can still surface. Where does it surface? Now? It's really difficult because as we have progressed and you just get more comfortable, it can be a lot easier. But it sounds silly. But where it shows up now isn't necessarily about our relationship, but I will still worry about other things about our relationship, but I will still worry about other things that will, that will bring up those kind of anxious behaviors that he doesn't love to experience or you know those kind of things.

Speaker 2:

But it's not necessarily about the relationship so much anymore, because who you choose is really important yeah, yeah and yeah, and this question is probably not an appropriate question, but I'm curious, if anyone's listening and knows that they are more the avoidant and they're in relationship with someone that's anxious, is there anything you could offer from both sides where we could support the other? So, meaning, if I see that mine, well, cause it's, it's really hard, like when you, when you're in an anxious state acknowledging what you just said, oh, they're also anxious and they're just shut and it's not about me and that's their thing. That's really hard. So what, what happens when you're in that dance? Like, can you offer any ideas or tools to help one another, to support one another?

Speaker 3:

Well, I do think as well that there is the idea, if you're in relationship, that it might be that you have an argument very lovely, perfectly okay. Um, because you, it's a relationship and conflict is part of that. I think if you can look after some of the basics try not to be calling anyone any names, try not to be bringing up what happened last week or the past, or be mindful if you're going into your mind reading or your assumptions I think if you can look after the basics like that during conflict, it's ultimately okay if the two of you have a conflict.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, need to self-soothe and then the repair. Yeah, um, I think sometimes, especially with insecure attachment conflict, there is such a belief that it's bad, that it's gonna be an ending, that it means that they're terrible, um, and it can then lead to a lot of shame actually that I think part of it for me was realizing I don't need to spend the next two days shaming myself and then people pleasing right, right.

Speaker 2:

You can't shame yourself into change right yeah, because it might.

Speaker 3:

It would be. I would feel so bad, so guilty that we'd had a fight, like so worried that then I would do like really subtle things. Um, even if it's just like sending that extra cutesy, nice, nice text, which is fine, that can be part of the repair. But it was that question sometimes I knew that was coming from. Um, oh god, like is he mad at me? Still, I need to make up for it. He's moved on yeah, he's moved.

Speaker 2:

No, yeah, yeah yeah, I guess I was no, no, that's, that's helpful, and I think I'm, I'm, I'm more like again from the anxious standpoint. My question is what can, what can they do to help me feel better? So, as I'm talking, I'm missing myself.

Speaker 3:

The avoidant person would, and do you mean like, would you have a conversation with them?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm wondering if, if you even suggest ever like having a pre-framing or front-loading conversation of hey, when you notice I'm in this state cause there are certain things where it's like it's hard for me to snap out of it, Right, yeah, and I know in our marriage what really helps is him to just hug me and whisper I'm not the bad guy, and so we have that between us and he knows that and it immediately pulls me into my body and I'm like you're right, I want you to be a bad guy, but you're right. But I just wonder if there's anything else that you've experienced with your clients that would be helpful and I know everyone's different, but that might be helpful know everyone's different.

Speaker 3:

Um, but that might be helpful to. I think it is exactly what you've just said. If you are in a relationship with someone who where you can have these conversations, I think it is perfectly okay to describe what happens for you. Yeah, um, you know, a quite a classic bit of advice that I've heard many times is that you could just say to the person that I'm having these thoughts. What do you make of that? You know, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Is there anything that you would add? Am I getting that wrong? Yeah, but also the the more that you get to know each other. I remember I've just told my partner if I'm in a worried state and you can see me actively worrying, all of the solutions that you're giving to me in that moment, or telling me not to worry and things like that in that moment I can't hear you. It's not where I'm at, because I'll come back the next day and I can see things clearly again. And I think it depends. Again, you've got to think about what you need. I think he's getting better at actually, even just sometimes. I do just need a bit of silence. I do just need to, like I don't need all of the solutions. I don't need to be told, like, what to do, what not to do, or for it to be fixed. And if it is annoying you me being worried, just try and remember I've gone somewhere.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yeah, but yeah, I mean it comes back to your self-reflection, like in order to really offer, I guess, to the partner what it is that you need, you have to know what you need you have to know that in those moments I don't know what I need, so don't fix yeah yeah, so the amount of times people will want their partner to know them. Yes to meet their needs. I always say my love language is to and they do not know themselves.

Speaker 3:

So people will say, oh, I really just want someone who really gets me. I'm like, but do you get you?

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, a hundred percent. When I have clients that say I feel misunderstood, do you understand? Yes, I love that. I love that you brought that up. Okay, I could talk to you for hours. I have so many because there is so many layers to this. It's not as simple as just saying I fit into this box and this is what I have to do. It is layered, as you and I both know, but I love that you're bringing somatic, and I mean to me it should have always gone hand in hand, but it doesn't always. So I think that's a beautiful pairing on your end, and I'm curious if there's anything else, any words of wisdom or last minute nuggets that you would love to share before we close out here.

Speaker 3:

I don't know, I don't think so. I guess, like the main thing that I really go by is that I really do believe, like I've said, like I think twice already, I really believe everyone deserves a healthy, secure relationship in their lifetime. I really believe we have to teach ourselves how to do that if we don't know already. And yeah, I believe we have that secure self within. It's just a case of uncovering them yeah, so we're all capable of getting there.

Speaker 3:

Really, I believe that, yeah, don't know, I don't believe that we all will right right, oh Right.

Speaker 2:

I love that, though. That's so empowering and and thank so grateful for for people, for women like you, that that walk this path with other men and women. So, lastly, would you just tell my audience where they can find you and connect with you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think the best place is either my podcast lessons and attachment or my Instagram, carlyann underscore. They're probably the best two places to find me.

Speaker 2:

Perfect. I will link all of that in the show notes. Thank you so much for your time and your wisdom and I'm just, I'm really, really grateful.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

That wraps up this episode today. I hope you learned something new and or are able to take away a fresh perspective to apply to the moments in your life. Remember to rate the podcast, share it with someone you love or leave a review. I'm always grateful for your time and I'm always rooting for you to wake up and thrive. I'll see you guys next week.

Attachment Theory and Secure Relationships
Understanding Attachment Styles in Relationships
Exploring Self-Reflection in Relationships
Navigating Conflict in Relationships