Do you ever find yourself wondering why you react to certain situations in certain ways? Or why do your partner or friends seem to react differently than you do? It could be due to attachment style.
Attachment style is something that you develop early on in life, based on your experiences with your primary caregivers. It's thought to be largely unconscious and can influence the way you relate to others in your adult relationships.
Understanding attachment style can help you learn about why you react the way you do in certain situations. It can also help you to form healthier, more secure attachments in your current relationships.
Attachment styles are your default way of relating to others and can be classified into four categories: secure, anxious, avoidant, and disorganized.
Secure Attachment Style
Secure attachment is when you feel comfortable and confident in your relationships.
you're able to be yourself and don't feel the need to put up walls or hide your true feelings.
You're able to rely on your partner and feel like they're someone you can count on.
Secure attachment style forms when your early caregivers were supportive, responsive, and attuned to your needs.
This type of attachment leads to a more positive view of yourself and others, and you're more likely to have healthier relationships as adults.
Anxious Attachment Style
Anxious attachment is when you tend to be more clingy and need reassurance from your partners that they still care about you.
You might also worry about being abandoned or rejected. You might feel like you need affirmation and extra support from your partner or jealousy can develop. You might also find it difficult to trust others and have a hard time being alone.
Anxious attachment style forms when your early caregivers were inconsistently responsive to your needs.
This can lead to feeling unsure if other people will be there when you need them. It can also lead to a more negative view of yourself and others, and you're more likely to have unhealthy relationships as adults.
Avoidant Attachment Style
Avoidant attachment is when you tend to be more independent and self-reliant.
You might have a hard time being emotionally intimate with others and might find it difficult to trust them.
You might also avoid getting too close to others or might push them away when they get too close. Although you might seem independent and self-sufficient to others, deep down you may in fact be afraid of getting too close to others.
Avoidant attachment style forms when your early caregivers were unresponsive or unavailable to you. This makes you develop a belief that you can only count on yourself. This can lead to a more negative view of relationships and make it difficult for you to form healthy ones as you often create a lot of distance in relationships.
Disorganized Attachment Style
Disorganized attachment is a mix of both anxious and avoidant attachment.
It's characterized by a sense of insecurity and confusion in your relationships.
You might find it hard to trust others and be afraid of being rejected or abandoned.
You might also swing between feeling close to someone and pushing them away.
Disorganized attachment style forms when your early caregivers were both unresponsive and intrusive. You weren’t sure whether to respond with independence or seek out more affection, which led to confusion.
This can lead to a more negative view of yourself and others, and you're more likely to have unhealthy relationships.
So why does attachment style matter?
Understanding your attachment style can help you understand your reactions to certain situations and why you might feel more uncomfortable or anxious in some relationships than in others.
It can also help you to form healthier, more secure attachments in your current relationships.
If you're not sure what your attachment style is, we have a quiz you can take to discover your attachment style (take The Attachment Style Quiz).
If you think your attachment style might be impacting your relationship, there are some things you can do to try and change it.
If you have an anxious attachment style, for instance, you can work on building trust and learning to be more independent. If you have an avoidant attachment style, you can work on being more emotionally open and intimate with your partner. If you have a disorganized attachment style, you can work on developing a more secure attachment style by working on both trust and independence.
It can also help you be more aware of your partner's attachment style and how that might impact your relationship. If you're in a relationship with someone who has a different attachment style, it's important to be understanding and patient.
Attachment styles are often based on past experiences and can be difficult to change. With awareness and effort, however, we can all learn to form healthier attachments.
In next week's blog, we'll be diving into how your attachment style impacts 6 key areas of your life including your intimate relationship, your work, your finances, your parenting, your friendships, and your health.
In my course, The Couples Guide to Financial Intimacy, I dive into what attachment style is and how it powerfully impacts both your relationship and your finances. We also discuss how to utilize this knowledge to improve these areas of your life. So if you’ve been wanting to create more financial intimacy in your relationship, be sure to check out the course today.
Curious About Your Attachment Style?
Take the Attachment Style Quiz now and learn how it impacts your relationships, finances, and life!