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December 27, 2023 47 mins

Kelly talks to relationship author, Rikki Cloos of @anxiousheartsguide, about navigating different attachment styles in relationships. Most of us have heard about anxious, avoidant and secure attachment styles at this point, but do you know how to grow through your attachment style and navigate relationships with other attachment styles? According to Rikki, much of the attachment work out there feels almost doomsday, so she is on a mission in this podcast to speak to the hope their is in any attachment style and why and how you can live a happy and fulfilling secure life. For anxious, avoidant and secure attachment types.

Socials: @anxiousheartsguide

Books: The Anxious Hearts Guide & 21 Day Anxious Attachment Challenge

Podcast: Rikki and Jimmy on Relationships

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Conversations on life, style, beauty, and relationships. It's The Velvet's
Edge Podcast with Kelly Henderson.

Speaker 2 (00:08):
Okay, Ricky Close is here, relationship writer. I actually found
you via Instagram. I've been following you and stalking you
for quite some time, so.

Speaker 3 (00:16):
It's always nice. Yeah, it's nice to actually.

Speaker 2 (00:18):
Connect with the people that you feel like you know
because you follow them on Instagram. But you have your
Instagram is Anxious Heart's Guide, where you give insight and
tips on anxious and avoidant attachment styles. You also speak
from personal experience, and I love hearing about your relationship
before we get started. I just wanted to I feel

like I said this to you before the podcast, but
I feel like most people these days in twenty twenty
three have heard about attachment styles, Like if you open Instagram,
I feel like it's everywhere, and so maybe they have
some surface level understanding. But could you kind of just address,
like what attachment styles are, what the different ones are,
and kind of give us a basic foundation for each

one before we get into this conversation.

Speaker 4 (01:06):
Yeah, let's do that.

Speaker 5 (01:07):
I think it's a very hot topic right now, so
you do see it floating around all over Instagram. But
one of the dangers of that is that everybody has
kind of this surface level understanding of it. Everybody's trying
to diagnose themselves or their partners. So hopefully the listeners
today can get a sense of a bigger understanding for

what attachment theory is and what it does and what
it describes, and maybe also what it doesn't do. I
think there's we're missing a lot of that on Instagram.

Speaker 3 (01:39):
So oh yeah, well that makes me excited.

Speaker 4 (01:41):
Okay, yeah, okay, cool.

Speaker 5 (01:43):
So attachment theory is how psychologists describe sets of behaviors
that we tend to engage in in intimate relationships when
we're trying to seek safety. So just from that right there,
I want everybody to understand that this is not like
your hardwired personality type. And I think that's one of

the biggest myths out there on Instagram, is like, if
you see the characteristics of an anxious attacher or or
if you see the characteristics of an avoidant attacher and
that sounds like your partner, These aren't like hardwired things
that we can't find our way out of.

Speaker 4 (02:21):
And it seems like there's a lot of misunderstanding there
and it.

Speaker 5 (02:24):
Makes me so sad. There's a lot of hopelessness too.
Like I if somebody identifies as an anxious attacher and
they see the bullet points saying clinging and desperate and
they're like, ah, that's who I am, and that's who
I'll always be, and they start to view their partner
as this person who's always distancing too. Yeah, let's squash

that myth today here on this episode. Okay, we're describing
sets of behaviors that we tend to engage in that
we can kind of train ourselves out of.

Speaker 4 (02:53):
I love that's hopeful.

Speaker 2 (02:55):
Yeah, I love that hope because and I actually think
that's what I'm what it's kind of mentioning, Like I've
been talking your page for a long time.

Speaker 4 (03:01):
I think that is what I see. Is this like good?
Oh yeah, because I told.

Speaker 2 (03:07):
You, like I've done some work around this stuff, and
when you start diving into it, you're like, oh, I'm
just trying to get safe, and for whatever reason, something
happened along my journey that kind of tricked my brain
into thinking, you know, I'm not safe, and so I'm
having I'm bringing that into this relationship. So there's a
couple of ways that you've mentioned so far is anxious

and avoidant. So are those the two main attacks?

Speaker 5 (03:34):
So the two well, you know what, let's go into
the different styles. There's actually three main styles, and honestly,
secure attachers are supposed to be the biggest group.

Speaker 4 (03:46):
So we've got isn't that.

Speaker 2 (03:47):
Wild someone I'm like, someone told me it was like
fifty percent of people are secure attachers, and I was like,
where are they?

Speaker 4 (03:55):
Though? Yeah, don't you know what.

Speaker 5 (03:57):
Totally secure attachers tend to partner up pretty young. Those
are the people who are splitting off in their twenties,
like getting married, getting married young and having pretty stable,
pretty normal looking, safe feeling relationships. So we're not I'm
in my thirties, we're not encountering lots of those people
in the dating field in our thirties because they've widely

pared off. Yeah, the research shows it's roughly fifty percent.
So let's talk a little bit about the secure attachers.
These people are comfortable with closeness. Relationships feel kind of
easy for them. They're not scary unsafe places. They experienced
closeness with their parents and in early romantic experiences that

made them view relationships as feeling safe, nurturing, and healthy
and predictable, so they're not spinning their wheels trying to
figure out why someone said something, because in their mind,
a relationship is kind of a safe place, and if
it starts to feel like an unsafe place, they're probably
going to set some boundaries down or exit the relationship
if it's not working for them. That's the dream, right

you and me, and maybe lots of people listening to.

Speaker 4 (05:08):
This are like, Wow, that is not my experience.

Speaker 5 (05:12):
So I guess first, I'm probably going to talk about
avoidant attachers a little bit.

Speaker 4 (05:17):
Okay, if you're.

Speaker 5 (05:19):
Watching a movie and it seems like one person's chasing
and one person's desperately trying to get away and maintain
their independence, that would be an avoidantly attached person. Probably
these people tend to find safety in themselves. They might
describe themselves as a lone wolf, or they're like fiercely independent.

They're kind of afraid to ask for help. They have
a generally negative view of relationships because in their experience,
relationships are places where they have not been able to
get their needs met. People are unreliable in their experience.

Speaker 4 (05:53):
The only way to.

Speaker 5 (05:54):
Feel safety is in themselves. Their core fear is a
fear of closeness. So so their big goal is to
when when when the stuff hits the fan, Avoidant attachers
are gonna distance and try to calm themselves and just
try to take care of business themselves because people let
them down.

Speaker 4 (06:13):
That's their that's their worldview.

Speaker 5 (06:16):
Okay, which might describe maybe the people that you've tried
to have romantic relations all of them, Yeah, okay, same, same, right.

Speaker 2 (06:26):
Yeah, maybe there's like one I can think of who wasn't,
but yeah, everyone else.

Speaker 5 (06:32):
Awesome, Okay, and I awesome, it's a terrible experience. Awesome
because I can relate to that, right, Yes, Avoidant attachers
are like they're like my kryptonite, Like I can't stay
away from them. I actually admire a lot how independent
they are and and they I don't know, they just

seem omnipotent, like they can do anything they want. And
there's something really appealing for that to to anxious attachers,
which is how I relate and probably you from the
sound of it. So, an anxious attacher is somebody who
only seems to find safety in other people. We lack

self trust. We're very nervous and afraid that people are
going to abandon us. And this comes, unfortunately, when we're
really young, from kind of inconsistent care, or what we
perceive as inconsistent care. We might have noticed that our
parents were very close and loving and then they were gone,
so in our mind, the only way to stay safe

is to be constantly looking out for signs that they're
going to leave. We might have felt abandoned by a
romantic relationship when we're when we're young in our first
romantic relationships. It can come from that place too, So yeah,
our way of finding safety is becoming hyper vigilant looking
for signs of abandonment and trying to stay ahead of those.

Also maybe taking ourselves and putting ourselves and our needs
aside so that we can just be Johnny on the
spot for our significant other, you know, doing whatever they
need to feel safe and important and loved, because we're
protecting ourselves against our core fear of abandonment.

Speaker 4 (08:15):
Okay, sounds familiar.

Speaker 5 (08:18):
Yeah, yeah, and I know that. When I first learned
about all this stuff, I was like, oh my gosh,
that's one hundred percent.

Speaker 4 (08:25):
Me and I'm doomed, Like that's what I thought. I
was like, Yeah, my only prayer is.

Speaker 5 (08:30):
To find somebody who's secure and very comfortable with closeness
so that they can give me all the closeness that
I've been missing from these people who are running away
from me. And I think a lot of people think that.
I get a lot of comments on the page from
people going like, ah, screw Avoidance. I don't ever want
to talk to them again. I only want someone who's secure,

or maybe another anxious person so that we can just
live in our little burrito cocoon and never leave each other.
And those comments make me really sad too. Why do
they make it sad if Avoidance are doomed and not
worthy of being loved, so are anxious because you're two
sides of the same coin, right, Well, honestly.

Speaker 2 (09:16):
Yeah, go ahead, No, I'm just gonna let's talk a
little bit about that because obviously most people that I
see doing this kind of work, including me, And it's
it's interesting because I do feel like I'm moving into
a more secure attachment style. Yeah, and we can get
into that a little bit later, but I just feel

like most people who talk about this have had some
personal experience with it, Like you know, you see therapists.
I'm doing it, but most of them too will say
like this was me back in the day or whatever,
And so I kind of want to give listeners a
little background into your story if you're sure in that,
and just like what your relationships looks like, because I
think then we can talk about what you're really relationship

is now and maybe the difference.

Speaker 4 (10:02):
Absolutely those dynamics.

Speaker 5 (10:04):
Cool, okay, And I always try to tell this story,
the story as if the other people in it are listening, like,
I want to be really compassionate and kind about anyone
who's involved here.

Speaker 3 (10:14):

Speaker 4 (10:16):
So I got married very young, okay, and my marriage.

Speaker 5 (10:19):
Was pretty good until the end when it was less
good and we really we really got into that pursuer
distancer dynamic like in a big way. And I love psychology,
I always have. So I started reading a lot to
try to figure out what was going on with.

Speaker 4 (10:37):
Us, and I still anxious move. It's such an anxious move,
it it is. I was like pressing for straws.

Speaker 3 (10:45):

Speaker 5 (10:46):
I stumbled on attachment theory and I even showed it
to my ex husband. I was like, check this out.
There's this dynamic where somebody's always trying to get close
to the other person's always trying.

Speaker 4 (10:55):
To get away. Yeah.

Speaker 5 (10:57):
Even when he saw it, he was like, oh my god,
that's us. That's exactly what we're going through. But unfortunately,
the main book that I was looking at at that
time was Attached. And don't get me wrong, I love Attached.
It's a wonderful book. Yeah, but there's no hope in Attached.
Attached is like you are this, you are this, and
these people suck together.

Speaker 4 (11:18):
They are not going to have any kind of healthy thing.

Speaker 5 (11:21):
And I don't believe that at all. Now the author,
uh Levine, he's even gone on to say, I wish
that I hadn't written it that way. I know there
are so many divorces and breakups because of the way
that I presented this information.

Speaker 4 (11:35):
Oh wow, I didn't know that. Okay, mm hmm yep.

Speaker 5 (11:38):
And I was so glad when you put that out there.
But I was like, the damage is already done. That
Your book's one of the reasons I got divorced. Right,
So we did end up splitting up because we didn't
even with couples counseling, we didn't have any hope that
we could change this dynamic.

Speaker 4 (11:53):
So then there I am.

Speaker 5 (11:55):
Early thirties thrown back into the dating field, which was
so weird because the last time I dated before that
was like the early two thousands. It was like a
dating on a different planet. And I end up meeting
my current partner now, Chris. Even though I was doing
so much research because I just loved attachment theory, I

couldn't stop reading about it. I found myself a super
attractive and very interesting raging avoidance and that was that
was Chris.

Speaker 3 (12:26):
Like a magnets though right it was. It was a
whole party.

Speaker 2 (12:30):
And you put now with these like active attachment styles
and a ring with a million other people, they'll find
each other.

Speaker 4 (12:37):
It's just the way it works. No, he had like
a glowing aura around him. When I saw him, I
was like, that's the one I want here I am. Yeah,
I was.

Speaker 5 (12:46):
Still very embroiled in my anxious attachment even though I
knew what it was. I wasn't far enough into my
work that I was really finding my way out of
it yet.

Speaker 4 (12:55):

Speaker 5 (12:56):
So I started dating him and we went immediately into
this like hardcore pursuer distance or dynamic, like even worse
than in my marriage. And that's not to say that
we had a bad relationship, but like all the classic things,
me texting too much, me looking for a relationship label
way too soon, me wanting to know all of his

romantic history so that I could figure out ways that
I wouldn't mess up, and him working too much, dodging
my phone calls, going out of town and not saying goodbye,
and not you know, giving me any heads up about
where he was. We were a mess, like a mess,
A mess. Yeah, And we kept kind of being a

mess and end breaking up and coming back together never
more than a day.

Speaker 4 (13:44):
People always ask that, like, oh, did you ever split
up for three months? No.

Speaker 5 (13:48):
We would have a fight or an argument and we
would say, well, that's it. We just sucked together. We're
in our thirties, we're not going to waste our time.
And then twenty four hours.

Speaker 4 (13:55):
Would go by and we would call again and be like,
this is dumb. I don't want to not be you.
I just don't want to have this argument. So instead
of instead of.

Speaker 5 (14:07):
Sitting him down and going you're an avoidant, and here's
all the things that you need to do. I knew
from my reading how bad that was, and I was like,
you know what, screw it, I'm just going to spend
the next like solid year working on myself, working on
these things, reading all the books relating to the topics
within anxious attachment, and seeing if I can do anything

about that, because when we can change our own side
of the dynamic, it changes the entire atmosphere of the relationship.
And I thought, I don't want to leave this guy.
I'm not ready for that, So I'm just going to
work on myself and see what happens. And I got
to tell you, a year and a half in to
this work, he came to me and he sat down
and he said, I don't know what's going on, but

you're a completely different person than the person I met
in the best way, and I want in. He's like,
I don't know what you're doing with your time, and
you're in all this weird reading, but like you're so
calm and it feels so safe talking to you now,
and you're not up and down with all your emotions.
He's like, I don't know what you're doing, but let's
do it. I want to figure out what's going on too.

And then he started reading books with me and he
would have talks with me about the relationship. So hopefully,
hopefully that's very hopeful for people. He was the avoidantist
of the avoidant that I've ever met. Yeah, and just
by making myself a safe place to land, someone to
talk to who's not accusing him of things or honestly,

my reading about avoidant attachment helped a lot too, because
then I was able to take the things that he
was doing one hundred percent less personally.

Speaker 2 (15:46):
Well, you just hit the big nail on the head,
because I think as a person who's been anxious in
certain relationships, and to me, what I'm also looking at
now is like, and I don't know if you feel
this way, but I don't feel anxious in all my
relationship and so it was like, sure, starting to kind
of recognize when it comes up for me, and it's
typically like when there's an avoidant on the other side

of that dynamic, it'll just happen. And so if I'm unaware,
then I'm kind of just operating this constant trigger. But
I like what you said about not personalizing it, because yes,
the more I've learned about avoidant behavior too, I'm like, oh,
it's their way to get to safety. I want to
go connect and I want to talk it through, and
I just want to get to the other side of

it and know that we're good. They need to like retreat,
and so it's that finding that balance.

Speaker 4 (16:38):
But I want to.

Speaker 2 (16:38):
Also ask because I feel like the thing that I
struggle with the most in this is just the fine
line between staying with yourself and not abandoning your own
needs versus like being able to show up and respect
another person's needs as well. We love that so different.
So can you allow us to start navigation?

Speaker 4 (17:01):
Let's do it.

Speaker 5 (17:02):
Let's let's pick a really concrete example. Okay, let's pick
so my partner, he loves to travel, and he loves
little adventures, and sometimes his adventures. Oh, he's also very spontaneous,
so sometimes he doesn't plan his adventures out. He just
gets it in his head that he's going to go
do something, especially if things are getting uncomfortable between us two,

those are.

Speaker 4 (17:25):
The best times for him to adventure, right, because that's
why it gets his distance.

Speaker 5 (17:29):
Yeah, So I knew that if things were getting especially
if they were really good, you know, like if we
spent the whole weekend cuddling, that would be like a
signal for his brain to get the head out of
what is that.

Speaker 3 (17:42):
I'm like the second, I start to feel good, where
did you go?

Speaker 5 (17:46):
Okay, So let's let's say that we've spent the entire
weekend all snuggled up and it feels really great. We've
been talking about our feelings, right, Oh man, that triggers
them more than that.

Speaker 4 (17:56):
Oh god.

Speaker 5 (17:57):
So then and then Monday rolls around and his brain
is like, get some distance, right, So, knowing a little
bit about avoidant attachment, I figured it was coming right, like,
all right, this was a good weekend.

Speaker 4 (18:10):
He's going to want some distance now, and.

Speaker 5 (18:13):
I can if I call him on Monday and I'm like, hey,
wasn't that a great weekend?

Speaker 1 (18:19):

Speaker 4 (18:19):
It was.

Speaker 5 (18:20):
I was like He's like, yeah, I'm just packing my stuff.

Speaker 4 (18:22):
I'm heading out. It's like cool.

Speaker 5 (18:24):
It's like, hey, I love that you are getting out
doing something that you love. Like that is so you like,
go have an adventure. But and this is really scary.
Brace yourselfs anxious hearts. This is not going to be
fun to hear. I had to learn to set boundaries
with him, like the moment you start feeling like you
need to jet and take some adventure if you want

to be with me and you want me to be
happy and I think you do. You got to tell me, like,
I can't be somebody who just calls you and you're
gone for three days all of a sudden. And I
was like, if that's what you wanted to do, if
that's like who you are and who you want to be, Like,
I'm okay with that, but it's not going to work
for me in a romantic relationship, will be platonic buddies

or nothing at all. If that's how it is. If
you want me as your romantic partner, you just got
to do that. And that's scary because a lot of
people are listening to this going crap. I might have
to let this person go because they might make the
decision that they're like, not, I don't want to check
in with someone, you know, I don't want to. I
don't want to compromise and listen to somebody's boundaries. But honestly,

like I'm telling you, I hate to sound callous, but
you don't. You don't want to be with somebody who
doesn't care about making you feel safe in a relationship.

Speaker 4 (19:37):
Or maybe you don't want to. You can't. It's not sustainable.

Speaker 2 (19:41):
I think that's exactly right. Well, I love the idea
of the boundary setting because that's sort of that hits
on the line that I was talking about, but totally
like I hear what you're saying, and it's like, Okay,
he would jet off and leave and that would be
really hurtful and weird and give me kind of anxiety.

Speaker 4 (19:59):
Yeah, it all.

Speaker 2 (20:00):
It feels different than like if he was y'all got
really close to he was like, oh I gotta go
like cheat or something, which I've been.

Speaker 4 (20:08):
That's different.

Speaker 2 (20:08):
Yeah, there's there's definitely lines, and I mean that was
an extreme example maybe, but like you know.

Speaker 4 (20:14):
Not really though not really a lot of a lot
of people.

Speaker 5 (20:17):
Listening who Yeah, unfortunately, Oh I'm gonna hate myself for
saying this, But sometimes avoidance are more likely to cheat
because they're desperate to get that distance, and sometimes inserting
another person into the situation is like an excellent way
to do that.

Speaker 4 (20:33):
So it's just a wall. Yeah, it's a wall. But
that can be a boundary too though. That's like, no,
it totally is deal breaking for me.

Speaker 5 (20:41):
Yes, as anxious attachers or even secure attachers, we have
to be sure of what our what our boundary is
and be willing to let somebody go who who can't
fulfill that. If you are somebody who needs a message
every day or a phone call every day and somebody
is not willing to do that, we have to be
willing to let that person go. If it's somebody who's

not willing to give their little side partners up, we
have to be willing to let that person go. If
it's someone who's married who's not willing to get divorced
to be with you, you have to be willing to
let that person go.

Speaker 2 (21:15):
Well. And the crazy thing is is, as I hear
you say that, I would imagine a secure attacher would be.

Speaker 3 (21:21):
Like dud duh, yeah, yeah, exactly, And I.

Speaker 2 (21:26):
Can relate to that now, like this is how I
know I've grown in my life is because that is
how I date.

Speaker 4 (21:31):
Now, Yes, good, thank you, it's awesome.

Speaker 2 (21:35):
But it's taken me really addressing why I was so
scared to say, what like looking at well, what happens
to me if they go like that was something that
I couldn't even get to that question with myself because
it would just ignite my nervous system so much at
the thought of them leaving, even though the relationship could

be terrible, like, yeah, good for me.

Speaker 4 (21:58):
I was miserable, but.

Speaker 2 (22:00):
The idea of them leaving felt so scary to me
that I was like, no, we can work through this.
Are like I can get another book or you know, okay, yeah,
go ahead, go ahead.

Speaker 4 (22:10):
That let's dive into that too.

Speaker 5 (22:12):
So so the fear, the fear for anxious attachers is
that if we've got so much of our self worth
and our identity tied up in that person, right, if
they leave, we're gone. I always relate it to somebody who.
I relate the anxious attachers to someone who can't swim,
Like we're all hanging out in this ocean together, but

the anxious attachers can't swim. We're we're holding on to
people who we believe can swim, and if they swim
away from us, we're drowning.

Speaker 4 (22:43):
People are our.

Speaker 5 (22:43):
Lifeboats, and that's why we do anything that we can
to keep holding onto them, because we literally feel like
we may die if they if they leave us, you know,
or at least are who we think we are.

Speaker 4 (22:57):
Will die, and that's terrifying. So I talk about this
a lot in my book.

Speaker 5 (23:02):
Our salvation here is learning how to swim and the
way that we learn how to swim is that we
spend a lot of time and energy building up an
identity for ourselves that's separate from anybody else. That might
ring true for you in your work on codependency right
self forth is that's tough to talk about, but some

concrete examples of ways that we build up self worth
are exercise exercises is a fantastic way to.

Speaker 4 (23:33):
Spend a little bit of time every day showing ourselves
that we are worth working on. Right.

Speaker 5 (23:39):
I just love it because it's concrete and you get
you get to see actual results from it, so that
part's nice. Self worth work could be spending extra time
with friends and family, people that were sure care about us,
They feel great to be around, they care about We
know that they have our best interests at heart, so

that's yeah, so that's nice. It can also be the
work that we do journaling, like looking into ourselves. I
always mentioned journaling, but if you're not a journaler, you
can draw pictures, anything that you can do to ask yourself,
what do I like, what do I need? What things

feel good, what things don't feel good? Figuring out like
kind of meeting yourself and figuring out who you are,
gives yourself a very solid identity, and all those things
help us swim so that if somebody else does decide
to leave us, we know that we're still there treading
water and we're okay.

Speaker 4 (24:41):

Speaker 2 (24:42):
I don't know if you relate to this, but one
of the main things that has helped me in the
past couple of years is just realizing that I was
getting into these relationships so focused on not being abandoned
by my partner, but not realizing that the whole time,
I was abandoning myself and so like my I was

asking someone else to do for me something I wasn't
willing or capable of doing for myself. And so the
more that I've started to heal my personal relationship with
myself and actually pay attention to myself, like not just
go out and try to seek it through even work,
I can find different activities to kind of like find
my worth in, but actually just like sitting with myself,

asking myself what I need, what I need, like literally giving.

Speaker 4 (25:30):
Myself a hug.

Speaker 2 (25:31):
That I do this every morning, like I give myself
love a hug and say I.

Speaker 5 (25:34):
Love that I started doing that too. How awkward was
it at first? Oh my god, I'm hugging myself. I
feel so lame it was, But I don't know if
you feel this.

Speaker 2 (25:42):
The second I do it, it's like I get tingles
in my gut, Like it's like my body just wants
to be acknowledged, you know. And so the more I
fill up in those ways which sound would sound so
frustrating to me back in the day when people would
be like, oh, well, your self worth is just low,
I'm like whatever, I like.

Speaker 4 (25:58):
Yeah, so how do I right? Exactly?

Speaker 2 (26:01):
Like I didn't really realize the broken relationship with myself.
And so anyway, the more that I've done that, the
less weight relationships in general even have all my life, Like, yeah,
it can kind of let people ebb and flower in
relationship so far like that I've been dating again, it's like, great,
people come in, but I do have a very like

if this is what I need, and if you can't
do this, not in a harsh way at all, in
a very like loving the most surrendered way I've ever
done it. And it's been interesting because people can kind
of come in and out and I can respect their
journey as well.

Speaker 4 (26:39):
Yeah, isn't that freeing? Oh?

Speaker 2 (26:41):
Oh, oh my God, the amount of time. Like the
other thing I wanted to touch on is if you're
listening and you're like, oh, I'm not codependent, because like
that sounds pathetic, Like to me, anxious attachers sound desperate sometimes,
and we are, but it's not like a person like
it doesn't look like what you necess would think it
would look like, Like.

Speaker 4 (27:01):
It totally doesn't. I'm telling yeah, go ahead.

Speaker 5 (27:05):
The folks who I knew in my life outside of
my relationship were like, oh, Ricky, you're you're such a
caring person. You're so great, Like clearly everybody that you're
with or jerks, that's what's going on exactly right, Like
they couldn't even see inside of it. How I didn't
have any hobbies. I didn't have any desires or preferences.

So it's like in their mind like that person's a
jerk for not wanting to do the few little things
that you like and want.

Speaker 4 (27:33):
But I was like, I wasn't.

Speaker 5 (27:34):
Telling all those people, like I'm not telling my person
about anything that I want or need at all.

Speaker 4 (27:41):
You know.

Speaker 2 (27:42):
Yeah, so you're asking for your needs at all, but
you're expecting them to meet them, not it.

Speaker 5 (27:48):
Yeah, And then being resentful when they don't and they
don't even know about it.

Speaker 4 (27:52):
Yeah, right, that felt it kind of a tangent, but
it was I'm sorry, it's all right. We got a
little off topic there.

Speaker 2 (28:01):
Well, I want to talk a little bit about because
anxious attachers I do find well, like the way one
of the ways I used to self soothe was like,
I'm going to get the most information that.

Speaker 4 (28:12):
I possibly can about this.

Speaker 2 (28:14):
And you mentioned at the beginning of the podcast that
it's really important not to just go to someone and
be like, well, you're avoidant.

Speaker 5 (28:21):
Clearly, it's incredibly important you will. You will push that
person faster, You will push them away faster than if
you send them thirty texts in a row if you're
okay sitting them down and telling hey, and I did
this to Chris, my poor partner.

Speaker 4 (28:35):
I did.

Speaker 5 (28:36):
I did, at my worst time, sit him down and go,
I know exactly what's wrong with you and exactly what
you need to do to fix it, and if you
want to be with me, you should fix that thing.

Speaker 4 (28:46):
You can bet.

Speaker 5 (28:47):
I did not get to hang out with him a
lot after that. He was like, do I even like
this person who's telling me all the things that are
wrong with me.

Speaker 2 (28:56):
Okay, so it's that's why it because it just feels
like you're telling someone. Oh yeah, it's so interesting because
in my head, if I was ever doing that, the
only motivation for me is to save the relationship.

Speaker 4 (29:06):
I'm like, oh, for sure it was. I don't get
me wrong.

Speaker 5 (29:08):
Yeah, I didn't feel like I was criticizing him. I
was like, I'm here to save you, you know. But
to him, he was like, holy cow, thanks for telling
me all the ways I'm defective.

Speaker 4 (29:20):
And yeah, and honestly I try to tell people too.

Speaker 5 (29:25):
How would you like it if you in a state
where you're not feeling very self aware, had somebody sit
you down and say, I've pinpointed exactly what's wrong with
you and why you're unlovable, and here are all the
things that you need to do to make someone love you.

Speaker 4 (29:40):
Like, yeah, that would feel very good. No, it doesn't
feel good at all.

Speaker 2 (29:47):
We have words every month on the podcast that's kind
of the themes, and our word this month is metamorphosis.
So you know that obviously, just to me, looks like
evolution change what you can grow into. And I like
that topic with this topic kind of like what you
said at the beginning of just like finding the hope

in this and that it can happen. So let's move
into that a little bit about just kind of how
we can, if we do identify with either anxious or avoidant,
how we can move into more secure attachment and maybe
some tips or just even like what the journey looks like,
because I know it's not good every day, right, I

know you guys.

Speaker 4 (30:30):
Have it's certainly not a workable situation.

Speaker 2 (30:32):
But maybe talk through some of the tools that really
help you in your relationship.

Speaker 5 (30:37):
Yeah, totally. So finding the self and diving into yourself
is it's scary work for anxious attachers because we worry
that anytime that we turn the focus back to ourselves,
we're creating disconnect between ourselves and our partner. And that's

it's it's strangely the opposite. I hate to say that too,
because they're like, I know I'm losing people right now.
The time that I spend in my room working on
my journaling is time that I'm not texting my partner.
It's time that I'm not nagging him for more togetherness.

And so not only am I building up my own
identity that was lacking. It gives him time to miss me,
and that's the kind of thing that makes him initiate.
That's when I get the phone call like, hey, you
want to go hiking. Hey, I've been thinking about you.
So the time that we spend nurturing ourselves and building
our own identity is time that actually brings an avoidant

type partner.

Speaker 4 (31:41):
It makes them.

Speaker 5 (31:41):
Feel safer to approach us. And I know not everybody
here is probably paired with an avoidant type, but it
works the same for our secure partners too. Anxious hearts
can tend to overwhelm secure partners as well. So anything
that we do like Okay, I'm going to join a
new gym and make a to do that every Tuesday,

that time on Tuesday where we're doing our own thing
is it's safety building with our partner. They can see
that we're our own person, and that builds a little
bit of intrigue and curiosity and makes them want to
approach us and come close and feel safe to do that.
We're not the drowning person anymore who's looking at people
as lifeboats. We're sitting swimming on our own and it

makes other people feel good and safe to come close.

Speaker 2 (32:28):
So this is where I hear that fine line thing
again though, and I just it just dawned on me
of like, okay, well, this is where you would set
boundaries because doing that, focusing on yourself and actually having
the intention to connect with yourself. Because I also can
be guilty, or it was guilty in the past, of
being like I'm going to go do this and see
if it makes them you know.

Speaker 5 (32:51):
Yes, yes, okay, thank you for bringing that up. Yeah,
it cannot be a tactic to bring somebody close. I'm
just trying to I'm just trying to give everybody home
that Like you're worried about the disconnect, but that's actually
the kind of thing.

Speaker 4 (33:03):
Yeah, that makes people feel safer to come close.

Speaker 5 (33:06):
If your intention is to do it to bring to
make them come closer, they will feel that.

Speaker 4 (33:12):
They will smell it like a dog, right, and it
will work.

Speaker 5 (33:17):
No, So make sure that the thing that you're doing
is not purposely try Look how independent I am.

Speaker 4 (33:23):
I don't know you like that. It's got to be
a genuine desire to connect with yourself.

Speaker 2 (33:29):
And for me, yes, for me, it's a surrender too.
It's like, stop trying to think that the only way
you can find peace in this world is if this
partner comes to you right this minute and the way
you want him to and at the exact time, Like
I think, then you do miss out on the good
stuff and relationships a lot of times totally. But then,
so what if, for instance, like I have a friend

in a situation where she is a big texter and
wants to text more and so her needs are not
necessarily getting met with her avoidant partner, and it similar
to what you said earlier. You're mad, you're resentful, you're whatever.
So how what is a good way to ask for
what you need? Like I've suggested, it would really mean

a lot to me to connect in the morning and
before we go to bed or something like be specific.
But do you have any input on that kind of thing?

Speaker 4 (34:19):
Yeah, I totally do.

Speaker 5 (34:21):
Directness and vulnerability are the two tools that you want
when you're trying to make what feels like a difficult
ask to your partner. Directness meaning we don't want any hinting,
We don't want you asking for less than what you
actually want. Figure out exactly like your friend would figure
out exactly what kind of frequency of texting would feel

good to her.

Speaker 4 (34:44):
And she needs to be super direct about that.

Speaker 5 (34:47):
Yeah, instead of just this is exactly what I need,
because that might not be received well either.

Speaker 4 (34:53):
Vulnerability can cushion that blow a little bit too.

Speaker 5 (34:56):
Okay, it feels it feels like kind of kind of
unsafe and creddy for me when my phone is just
sitting there there's no message. I know that you're able
to text me like sometimes that makes me feel afraid,
and it also makes me wonder, like, man, is this
the kind of relationship that's gonna feel good for me
long term? I know that you want that for me

because you clearly care about me. So what do you
think about a texting frequency you know of this? What
do you think how would that work for you? Get
curious about their situation too. Maybe there's a reason that
they don't that they don't text that much. That's different
from just they hate you and don't want you to
get your needs messed, you know. So let's add curiosity

into that directness. Vulnerability and curiosity are your tools for
those difficult asks.

Speaker 2 (35:47):
How important is it for you and your partner to
have to equally have awareness about your own attachment styles?

Speaker 4 (35:54):
Because yeah, like.

Speaker 5 (35:55):
Yours are set what do you wait, it's zero percent
important for us to have anywhere close to the same.

Speaker 4 (36:03):
I just had to interject with that, what do you
tell me?

Speaker 5 (36:07):
Yeah, I think a lot of people think this stuff's
not going to work unless both of us know exactly
what's up and we're both putting the exact same effort.

Speaker 4 (36:17):
I want to say.

Speaker 5 (36:18):
I mean, especially with the work that I do, I'm
focusing on this stuff like ninety percent of the time,
like way more than normal people are focusing on this stuff.
My partner gets exposed to it a lot because of
what I do, but I would say he's at like
a ten or of fifteen percent work level with this stuff.
It's very low. So I think if you like attachment theory,

if you like the idea of self work, that is awesome,
strap on your your diving cap and dive in as
deep as you want. You don't need to expect your
partner to do the same thing. Because your work in
that atmosphere, your work and that area, is going to
change the atmosphere of the relationship, and if it doesn't,

you might be with the wrong person. Because my partner
doesn't know very much at all about attachment theory. But
he does care about the things that I need and want,
So when I express those, he's pretty darn good about listening.

Speaker 4 (37:20):

Speaker 2 (37:21):
So when you're expressing your needs, your boundaries, and you're
staying curious and all the things you've already told us,
you're finding that you're getting a positive response.

Speaker 5 (37:30):
Yes, And that doesn't mean that he does those things. Okay,
So that okay, that's good. Like, let's see some realistic
expectations for people. My partner does not text. It's not
a thing for him. He's over forty. He hates technology. Right,
it's not going to happen. And he told me that
very early in the relationship, just like I hate texting.

That's something you got to know about me right up front.
So sometimes, so if I were to come to him
four years in and I could, I could come to
him and say, look, Chris, I really want more texting
between us. That would feel so good for me. Sometimes
I feel the same scripts Sometimes I feel alone when
there's no.

Speaker 4 (38:11):
Text coming in.

Speaker 5 (38:12):
Right, it doesn't mean that he abandons who he is,
which is someone who hates technology and is very confident
that they want nothing to.

Speaker 4 (38:21):
Do with it.

Speaker 5 (38:24):
The compromise there is that he takes my hand and
he says, I know that that's something that you care about,
but babe, that's not who I am. Like, is there
something else that I can do for you that would
make you feel great? Because he's like, and we've had
this exact conversation. He's like, I love phone calls. He's like,

I'm a phone call guy.

Speaker 4 (38:45):

Speaker 5 (38:46):
He's like, I'm not gonna be texting you heart emojis.

Speaker 4 (38:49):
He's like, that's not what I do.

Speaker 5 (38:51):
But if I'm thinking about you during the day, would
it work if I gave you a phone call and
just said, hey, babe, I'm thinking about you right now.
And I was like, you know what, let's try that
because I'm very texting.

Speaker 4 (39:02):
I love texting. Yeah, And I said, let's try that.
Let's see if that works.

Speaker 5 (39:07):
And now it's been four years and I've gotten like,
you know, I can count how many texts I've gotten
from him. But man, that man calls me constantly, and
that's our that's our compromise. So sometimes you don't get
exactly what you want, but if you have a good partner,
they do care about you. Feeling like the needs being met,
you know.

Speaker 2 (39:26):
Well, that's what I was gonna say I heard so
much of that, because really, I don't know that's so
much of like it's probably not about actually about the texting,
it's about.

Speaker 4 (39:34):
What it's totally not totally exactly that's not happening.

Speaker 2 (39:37):
And so when his response that you just gave to me, immediately,
my nervous system would be like, okay, he hears me.

Speaker 4 (39:45):
I'm totally I feel safe, and yeah.

Speaker 2 (39:48):
I can be flexible about the ways that I'm getting things.
It's just like the bigger picture of am I scene
in my herd Am I safe?

Speaker 4 (39:57):

Speaker 5 (39:58):
So your friend who feels like she's not getting enough texting,
there's a need beneath that, Like nobody's gonna die if
they don't get texts. You know, she's got to figure
out what the need beneath that is, and perhaps there's
a different way that they can work together as a
team to get that need met.

Speaker 2 (40:15):
Even it's maybe even acknowledging what he is doing too, yeah,
you know.

Speaker 5 (40:19):
Like, oh, totally you know that I wasn't a call. Yeah,
like I wasn't thinking about all his phone calls. I
was just asking for more texting. Even though this is
this is a dude who calls every single morning, every
single night, and usually in the afternoon too, And.

Speaker 4 (40:34):
I was like, where my heart emoji tasts?

Speaker 2 (40:36):
You know, And you're so focused on that thing. Like
when we get triggered, we get so focused on the
thing we're not getting that you can't see all the
good that you are, right.

Speaker 5 (40:45):
Because the thing we're not getting. Yeah, sorry, I totally
I'm off fire out now. It's because the thing that
we're not getting is proof to us that they don't
care about us. You know, that's our own narrative, right,
it's exactly.

Speaker 2 (40:57):
Yeah, it's just finding that I feel like sometimes my
way of making myself safe as being hyper vigilant, and
so it's like, I'll have a narrative he doesn't actually
care about me, and in the less the little text
that I get or whatever, I'm like, see, I knew it,
knew it. I knew it, I knew it, And so
then you miss all the other ways that you are
getting totally probably met.

Speaker 5 (41:19):
Do you want to hear one weird thing that I
did ye in my year where I was like, screw it,
I'm just going to work on this myself. Yeah, I
pulled up the notes app on my phone. And every
single day, if I noticed him doing anything that I
could even remotely interpret as kind or loving, I wrote

it down. I didn't write down the bad things. I
just wrote down the good things.

Speaker 4 (41:44):
And in the moments where I was like, dang it,
I don't even like this guy.

Speaker 5 (41:48):
He doesn't text me like I would tell myself stuff
like that, I would pull open that notes app and
it would be like, Chris made me tea this morning
without me asking. Chris called me four times this morning
because he found something cool and wanted to tell me
about it. And then it really helped bring it into perspective.
I was like, I'm looking for way reasons that he
doesn't care about me when he shows me constantly that

he does.

Speaker 2 (42:12):
Oh, I love that. So writing down it's very helpful. Yeah,
that's a really good tip.

Speaker 3 (42:17):

Speaker 2 (42:18):
Also, we have the book. It's called Anxious Hearts Guides.
Anxious Hearts Guides.

Speaker 4 (42:23):
Yeah, I guide.

Speaker 2 (42:25):
Yeah one as Okay, there's a lot of I didn't
realize this, but you.

Speaker 4 (42:28):
Know, I didn't realize it was a tongue twister. Yeah,
anxil Starts Guide. It is me, that's you.

Speaker 2 (42:34):
And then there's a work book that's twenty one Day
Anxious Attachment Challenge is a workbook.

Speaker 5 (42:39):
It's yeah, it's kind of a workbook. It's twenty one
chapters and every single chapter is only like two or
three pages.

Speaker 4 (42:47):
The chapters.

Speaker 5 (42:47):
You take it day by day, so every day you
read like two pages. Each one addresses some aspect of
anxious attachment. Okay, And I just love those twenty one
day challenges because they're like little bite size wasys to
work on a different, a different thing every day. One
of my favorites that I did was it was a
twenty one day like self Love Challenge. I think that's

what it was called. And man, it was just nice
to not have to focus on doing the same thing
every day for twenty days, but something different every day
that made me feel like I'm okay, I'm working on
this thing.

Speaker 2 (43:21):

Speaker 4 (43:21):
I mean, it's fun to write a bet.

Speaker 2 (43:24):
And I was gonna also say, if you're one of
the people listening that might you know fit in that
box that we were talking about where you don't know.

Speaker 4 (43:31):
What you like.

Speaker 2 (43:32):
I remember when I first started doing my work on codependency,
people would be like, well, what do you like to do?
And I was like, literally, I don't know. Yeah, I'm
so out of touch with myself that I didn't even
know the things that I enjoyed doing. So these kind
of things might be a good way to start navigating that.
Even giving yourself this one little challenge each day is
spending time with yourself.

Speaker 4 (43:51):
Yeah, I mean it totally? Is it? Totally?

Speaker 5 (43:54):
That's my That's why I'm so into journaling too, because
it's my my half hour or so that I spend
with myself during the Yeah, listening to my own thoughts.

Speaker 2 (44:04):
Yeah, I'm gonna put the link to both of those
books in the description of this podcast.

Speaker 4 (44:08):
But what can.

Speaker 2 (44:09):
People find in the Anxious Heart Guide? Anxious Hearts Guide? See,
I did it, and.

Speaker 4 (44:14):
Maybe I need to rename it.

Speaker 3 (44:16):
I'm just saying all the says. I think it's a lot.

Speaker 4 (44:18):
Yeah, it's a mouthful.

Speaker 5 (44:20):
In my book, I spend the first maybe third talking
about attachment, specifically anxious attachment to just so that we
can get a little more a little more information, we
can have more awareness on Okay, I'm doing this thing
and that's like a very anxious thing.

Speaker 4 (44:38):

Speaker 5 (44:39):
The middle part of the book really dives into self
work work, self worth work, and building up our relationships
with other people around us, lots of things that have
nothing to do with the romantic relationship, because we're looking
to build that self trust with ourselves, the main thing
that anxious attaches are lacking. The last part of the

book actually talks about engaging in romantic relationships in healthier ways,
So that's the closeness. Once you develop that sense of self,
then you can move toward developing healthy closeness, which is
also I just want to say all this talk is
not to say I want you to become somebody who
doesn't need anybody else to swim, right Like, I want

you to swim and like hold in hands with your
person in the water, but you're still cool keeping yourself
afloat with the rest of your limbs.

Speaker 4 (45:31):
Right yeah.

Speaker 5 (45:32):
Closeness is wonderful, It's a beautiful It's my favorite part
of being alive. But the universe can take away a
person who's very committed to us and loving as well.
So we can't be somebody who can't swim alone because
sometimes the universe takes our person away even if they
want to be with us.

Speaker 2 (45:52):
Right yeah, I love that. Where else can people find you?
I'd mentioned your Instagram? Will you tell the people were that.

Speaker 5 (45:58):
Yeah, I've been dabbling on TikTok, but I kind of
feel like I'm too old for it, and I.

Speaker 4 (46:05):
Know I get that. I get that.

Speaker 5 (46:07):
Honestly, Instagram is really where I live. Don't find me
on TikTok.

Speaker 4 (46:13):
Come on, come on Instagram really for it.

Speaker 5 (46:17):
Oh, I did just start a podcast with my buddy Jimmy. Yeah,
he's kind of blowing up Jimmy. Jimmy offers people advice
in marriage. But honestly, like it's just he's so funny.
That's why he does so well on TikTok. I'm not funny.

Speaker 3 (46:35):
Yeah, TikTok is a whole different beast.

Speaker 4 (46:37):
It really is. It really is.

Speaker 5 (46:39):
But my podcast is pretty cool if you google Ricky
and Jimmy on Relationships. We're only like eight episodes in,
so it's new, but we're having a lot of fun
with it and I think I'm going to be doing
a lot more of.

Speaker 4 (46:50):
That in the future. Amazing. Well, I'll put that in
the description as well.

Speaker 2 (46:54):
It's Ricky R I K K I for you guys,
Ricky and Jimmy on Relationships.

Speaker 4 (47:00):
Okay, Well, thank you so much.

Speaker 2 (47:02):
I know we had thanks for having the listeners. We
had a couple time difference. Oh my god, our scheduling
because Ricky's in Alaska, which is so cool. Yeah, I've
never had anyone on the podcast from Alaska.

Speaker 4 (47:15):
Oh cool.

Speaker 5 (47:15):
There aren't very many of us up here. Yeah statistics. Yeah,
but I'm really glad that we could make it happen.
This was really fun.

Speaker 2 (47:23):
Need too you guys go check out ricky Anxious Heart's Guide. Yeah,
and I will put all those links in the description
of this podcast. Ricky, thank you so much again.

Speaker 4 (47:33):
Thanks, this was lovely.

Speaker 1 (47:35):
Thanks for listening to the Velvet's Edge podcast with Kelly Henderson,
where we believe everyone has a little velvet and a
little edge. Subscribe for more conversations on life, style, beauty,
and relationships. Search Velvet's Edge wherever you get your podcasts.
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