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25 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Fear Abandonment

There are many reasons why people may struggle with fear of abandonment. If you’ve experienced it personally, you may be intimately aware with the impact it can have on daily functioning.

Maybe you grew up experiencing emotional abuse, and secure relationship attachments weren’t part of your upbringing. Maybe you’ve lost someone important to you and are still mourning the loss of that person in your life. Maybe you have a mental illness like borderline personality disorder (BPD) or anxiety — and fear of abandonment is a very real aspect of living with your mental illness.

Whatever the reason may be, experiencing fear of abandonment is a real, debilitating fear that can impact our ability to recognize, form and maintain healthy relationships.

We wanted to know how fear of abandonment can impact daily functioning — or what it “looks” like. To find out, we asked members of our mental health community who experience this fear to share with us what people don’t realize they are doing because they fear abandonment.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “I automatically assume I’ll always become ‘too much’ for the people I’m close to. So I’m always trying to stop them from realizing that and abandoning me. Usually I distance myself a lot when I feel like I’ve let someone in, because if I ‘leave’ them first, it’s better than them getting the chance to leave me.” — Courtney K.

2. “Constantly apologizing or texting almost every day, even when they don’t answer because I need that reassurance they’re still in my life.” — Yaritza P.

3. “Honestly I won’t talk to people because I’ve been told I talk too much and I fear it makes people want to walk away from me. So instead I stay quiet and hope when I do have something to say, they’ll still be there.” — Liz T.

4. “Constantly asking, ‘Are you mad at me?’ ‘Are you sure?’ and apologizing all the time even if I didn’t do anything wrong. I constantly fear the person will leave me if I say the wrong thing.” — Erica R.


25 Things People Don't Realize You're Doing Because You Fear Abandonment