Extensive research indicates that individuals with fearful and preoccupied styles of attachment have the lowest self-esteem of the attachment style groups.
The same research also draws a direct correlation between 1) low self esteem and negative romantic experiences, 2) negative romantic experiences and rejection sensitivity (and/or social exclusion (real or perceived) and 3) rejection sensitivity and worry.
In simple speak, if you have a fearful or preoccupied attachment style, chances are you also have low-self esteem which has contributed to many of your negative romantic experiences. Fear of these negative romantic experiences repeating themselves cause you to worry (too much) about losing someone you love, and that worrying has made you rejection sensitive.
Let me walk that backwards. Because you have a fearful or preoccupied attachment style, you anxiously anticipate rejection (preoccupied) and doubt your ability to keep the interest of someone you love (fearful). This causes you to worry too much about losing them and consequently say things and act in ways (needy and /or clingy) that end up creating negative experiences. Consciously or sub-consciously you know that your fear and worry about losing someone you love creates these negative experiences and that makes you not feel too good about yourself (negative self-view or low-self esteem).
Just think about that for a moment. Really, think about it. It all makes sense.
You want your ex back, but the (negative self-view) voice inside of you keeps telling you that despite everything you say or do, your ex is not going to take you back, is going to find someone new, is leading you on, taking advantage of you, thinks you’ll always be there because you are in contact, is having their cake and eating it too– all the negative stuff that say that you do not trust your ex and you do not trust yourself.
You come to my site which is based on secure attachment style and you find a different view of exes and of relationships. You read advice and feel positive and encouraged to try because that part of you that longs for love and companionship (attachment) wants to give love a chance.
You apply everything you read but deep inside you worry about every word and every action (preoccupied) and/or are too scared to say or do the “wrong” thing (fearful). What ends up happening is that for some time you are able to follow the advice, and even begin to see some small progress but then that (negative self-view) voice takes over.
Your ex doesn’t respond or takes longer than usual to respond and “Oh my God. It must be something I said or did”.
Your ex seems cold and distant and it’s, “Oh my God. I pushed him/her away”.
It’s not that you are selfish- Self-ish. It’s that you make everything your ex feels or does about you.
You don’t for one moment think, maybe they are having a bad day. Maybe something happened that I don’t know about. Maybe they are too busy.
You automatically think you did something to create the negative experience because that’s what your past experiences have been. You love someone, they love you back, then you begin to worry and act needy and clingy (preoccupied) or act hesitant and distant (fearful), and they leave.
In your anxious anticipation of rejection and/or doubt about your ability to attract back your ex, you make it all about you. Your low self-esteem tells you it was going to happen soon or later.
But that’s not even the worst part…