Understanding Someone With Abandonment Issues

Understanding Someone With Abandonment Issues

An informative confession from someone who is scared to let people in.

More likely than not, someone in your life was deeply hurt by people in their past, which has made them an extremely guarded individual. This friend/significant other/family member of yours, though you may not know what happened to them, shows signs of insecurity and neediness when it comes to relationships. They may have mentioned or even joked about how they are worried that at any moment, you will become uninterested and leave them. You may think to yourself, “Why? I have given them no reason to think I would ever hurt them. Why can't they just trust me?” You have to try to understand, if they could trust you, they would. You must know, in classic break-up line fashion, it's not actually about you at all. Truthfully, this person was hurt so badly in the past by someone who was supposed to be in their life forever, that they find it difficult to let people in now.

Though they are aware that their constant fear of being left is not the fault of those who are still in their lives, letting go of the paranoia of abandonment is not an easy task.

But! This piece isn't meant to make everyone all down in the dumps. Several ways exist to help your friend realize you aren't going anywhere.

It is important to realize people who have been abandoned have most assuredly been lied to at some point in their lives. Some people are told: “I'll always love you, no matter what.” or “Nothing you do will make me love you any less.” Then, something happens and that comforting statement becomes a lie. As a result, that person is left out in the cold, deserted by the ones who promised they would always be there for them.

Take note: trust is a huge thing for someone with abandonment issues to give you! If you say words like “I love you,” and they pull away, don't say it back, or get a weird look on their face, it's not because they don't love you in return. It is because they don't believe you. As frustrating as it may be, in order for someone who has been abandoned to drop their guard and let you in, you need to be persistent. If this is a worthwhile relationship and you want to make it work, then the person you're pursuing is going to need constant reassurance of your feelings. You're going to have to prove you value them and care for them. It won’t work to simply just say reassuring statements once or twice and then move on. They need to see that they can trust you. You need to show them that they can trust you.

I know this can be an extremely taxing strain on the relationship, but it takes time for someone with trust issues to believe anything you say. Remember, they may have been told their entire lives by someone they cherished that they would always be loved, and then the person making the promises left them.

Validating the opinion of your friend is a huge step in the right direction. Occasionally, tell them things you like about them. What do they do that makes you smile? What do they do that gives them worth? What value and benefits do they bring to your life? Let them know. Don't just assume they know. If they don't hear from you, they aren't going to hear it from anyone. If they aren't validated by you, they will question the relationship and most likely leave it prematurely because they thought you just didn't care.

If there is one thing people with abandonment issues are good at, though, it's leaving people. This statement sounds ironic, but since this person has been so scarred by their past, they are extremely guarded and good at not letting people see the real them. If you are at the beginning stages of a relationship with an abandoned person, then you know how hard it is to get their guard down.

This person has been extremely hurt before, and they don't want to be hurt again. If your relationship is rocky, they will pull away out of fear of being left. In some cases, they pull away first so they can be the ones in control of the relationship because they have never felt in control of what happened to them in the past. Or if you two do split apart for some reason, and you think they are taking it well, it could be that they are hiding their hurt, or that they just never let themselves get close to you. People with abandonment issues want nothing more than to feel close to those they love, but they also have a fortress around them that only allows certain people in after ample time and effort.

People with abandonment issues despise being vulnerable. Just keep that in mind when it comes time to talk about the past. You may willingly give lots of information about your life story; they may not. In some cases, being left is a huge part of their past and the painful topic is difficult for them to talk about with anyone. Be understanding and loving, and eventually they'll tell you their story.

I know this hasn't been the most uplifting of articles, but I'm hoping it helps you understand your friends and loved ones around you. They do want to love you, to show their love in return and to let you in, but they struggle with these actions. This is something you're going to have to deal with and be patient about. Be extremely patient! Because once you become a friend of someone with abandonment issues, and they trust you enough to let you in, you have made a friend for life. A friend who will stick by your side until the end. Trust me, it's worth the work to get to know someone who will truly love you for who you are and never leave.

Cover Image Credit: Richard Carter Allen

Popular Right Now

17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.


Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.

Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.

Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

Related Content

Facebook Comments