The fear of abandonment is a no laughing matter. While most of us have experienced abandonment in some form or another, we all cope with our fears differently. A person with abandonment issues is not necessarily someone who was abandoned by his parents as a child. It could be someone
- who grew up with neglectful parents,
- buried someone he or she loved,
- experienced acute pain of loneliness when his or her best childhood friend moved away,
- was rejected by someone he or she loved,
- or it could be someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (more on BPD here).
Not every person who had to live through these unpleasant experiences will develop the fear of abandonment, and even if they do, the severity of their symptoms may vary greatly. Some of the common symptoms include:
- extreme jealousy or clingy behavior in romantic relationships,
- pretending like you don’t care about your spouse when you actually do,
- rejecting your partner before he or she can reject you,
- avoiding getting close altogether,
- desperately trying to make a lot of friends so you can never be alone,
- extreme insecurity,
- underestimating yourself,
- becoming too complacent and putting up with mistreatment in workplace,
- anxiety and depression.
Seemingly happy and carefree individuals such as “the life of the party” or a non-committal boyfriend may very well be suffering from the fear of abandonment. Not everything is always as it seems. Sometimes you need to look beyond the mask to see the real person.