Fear of Abandonment and The Nervous System (Infographic)

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Fear of abandonment, rejection, disconnection and loss can leave significant imprints that flare up involuntarily in our relationships. Perhaps you find a repeating pattern recurring that feels outside of your control.


By developing self-knowledge, it is possible to shift old imprints to create possibility of a brighter relational future.


Whenever you move close to a perceived or actual rupture in a relationship – for example through a conflict, misunderstanding, deciding conversation, disgreement – you’ll notice that the body experiences the discomfort and pain before thoughts and reactions kick in. This is because the nervous system (which is relational in nature) activates its alert response to protect you from the loss of a relational connection.


Following this, you may find yourself reacting in ways out of your control. The fear of abandonment leads to the nervous system responding involuntarily. It is shaped by many factors and shapes itself in such a way that it’s response can seem, on the surface, like a personality trait.


This infographic hopes to offer educational information as a step towards understanding how your nervous system works in your relationships.


Sometimes the ANS can also have both patterns present. Both of the above are ways the nervous system responds in alignment with insecure Attachment styles (Anxious, Avoidant, Both).


By understanding the automatic ways your nervous system works, you can begin to take compassionate steps towards skilling yourself with different responses or stretching the nervous system’s capacity in a way that feels safe.


The nervous system’s automatic response is sometimes appropriate and sometimes not, this is for individuals to decide. I have found one of the joys of being human is exploring different responses and making conscious choices.




Significant work goes into creating these resources, so please include the copyright information and attribute to Radiant Roots Wellbeing if sharing! Thank you. This infographic was inspired by NICABM and adapted to add further information.


Now let’s hear from you. What have you discovered about your patterns in relational ruptures? Please leave a comment below.


One Response

  1. Your blog is like a breath of fresh air in a sea of negativity and pessimism Thank you for being a source of light and hope

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