Your attachment style impacts every area of your life.
It's formed in early childhood due to your earliest experiences with your primary caregivers.
It results inthat become a template by which you try to get your needs met in all of your other relationships as an adult.
There's a strong adult relationships.and your happiness and satisfaction in
What Is Attachment Style?
These differences created the foundation for the concept of "Attachment styles are one of the foundations for why you respond the way you do in your close relationships, even as an adult.".
Attachment styles are a universal part of being human and part of the larger animal kingdom.
It's like the way we walk in life. For example, you've known how to walk for many years. What if someone asked you to change the way you walk to have better posture? You might change your stride, but in a short amount of time, you would likely return to the way you have always walked.
Your attachment style is similar. It's part of the way our mind and body are wired in childhood.
How Your Attachment Style Is Formed
Your specific style is formed in childhood. It's based on how you received care and how you bonded with your caregivers (also calleds) and situations from when you were very young.
Your attachment style is meant to help you bond and receive the care you need through infancy and childhood with your intimate relationships and how you expect to be cared for and care for others.s. Then your is created from this pattern. It's then transferred into your adult
The challenge is that if you or your partner grew up in a situation without healthy caregiving situations, then your ability to develop a nourishing and loving relationship in adulthood will be impacted.
Why Knowing Your Attachment Style Is Important
Knowing that these styles exist will help you understandand that neither you nor your partner are “crazy” or “not understandable”.
Many behaviors in relationships are an attempt to try to meet your needs. When you can understand that, and try to meet those needs in healthy ways, it changes your whole approach to interacting in your interpersonal relationships and creating emotional bonds.
When you pull a hamstring or break a bone you don't think you're a bad person for having this happen. You seek out proper medical care to help you restore your physical body.
The same is true once you learn that you have a system that can become injured in the process of your development. With proper care, you can move towards increased levels of health and functioning.
The research is clear that when people have healthy relationships, which can be measured by , they have lower rates of both mental and physical health issues.
By taking the time to learn about your attachment style, your partner's attachment style, and whatlooks like, feels like, and sounds like you can make positive changes.
Types Of Attachment Styles
There are four distinct.
Avoidant, anxious, and disorganized styles are referred to as “insecure”.
This is not meant in a derogatory way and should not be used to beat yourself or your partner up. It means that you could not count on your primary caregivers to meet your emotional and relational needs when you were a child. This says more about who your parents were than about who you are.
However, now that you're an adult it's time to take responsibility for your attachment system so that you can live from a place of security.
If you are starting with one of thes then you get to move towards “earned secure attachment”. Earned secure attachment will be a great gift as you move towards it as it allows you to trust both yourself and others.
Each of us has some elements of each interpersonal relationships. However, there is a dominant one, and that's what we're addressing in this blog.within us. We all use some of the aspects of each attachment style when we interact in our
Secure Attachment Style
Secure individuals are able to easily move back and forth between being connected with their intimate partner and having time by themselves.
These individuals generally trust that their intimate partner will be there for them, understand them and care for them in times of distress. They have a relatively easy time with intimacy.
They also have an ability to go out into the world and take on new challenges and explore their environment in ways that are consistent with who they are and what they want to accomplish in their lives.
This does not mean their lives are without pain, disappointment, or fear. Rather, it means that as they face these inevitable parts of life they generally have the resilience to reassure themselves or turn to their intimate partner for support and care.
This style develops in an environment where one or both of the parents are consistently available to help their child through both emotional and practical realities of growing up. These parents value and convey both emotional and cognitive intelligence. Secure partners can be incredibly healing to other due to their emotional stability and healthy patterns of behavior.
Avoidant Attachment Style
People who have an avoidant attachment style are more often self-reliant and generally more mistrustful that other people can be there to support or understand them. This style is sometimes called .
These individuals often feel anxious about romantic relationships. Their response to relationship anxiety is to not count on others and to feel ambivalent about closeness.
When it comes to going out into the world, they may be willing to take on new tasks and challenges but their fear of failure, looking bad, or not getting it right may block some of their progress and success.
They will often be unable to incorporate valuable feedback about their behavior because they are so self-reliant and don't trust others.
This style develops in a caregiving environment where one or both of the parents are consistently not there to meet their child at an emotional and/or a practical level. These parents downplay or dismiss the value of emotions as a source of information about what is happening in their lives.
Anxious Attachment Style
These individuals have a difficult time trusting themselves and knowing how to meet their own needs.
They havethat makes them prefer meeting other people's needs rather than focusing on their own.
When it comes to going out into the world and taking on new challenges and experiences they may be highly social and engaging but have trouble maintaining initiative when they perceive someone as not approving of what they are doing.
This style develops in a caregiving environment where one or both parents tend to be overly involved in the child's emotional world and convey messages of uncertainty about whether the child can live up to expectations. The parents may have also used the children to meet their own emotional needs without much consideration of the child's emotional needs.
Disorganized Attachment Style
These individuals have the hardest time in romantic relationships and are mistrustful of both themselves and others. They generally do not believe that other people can be a source of support and care for them.
Going out into the world to take on challenges proves to be very difficult for them as they have a hard time figuring out who to trust and what to do when things are not going their way.
This style develops in response to home environments that are particularly chaotic and threatening and the parenting patterns are unpredictable.
How To Change Your Attachment Style
If you have an anxious, avoidant, orstyle, you're likely asking yourself “what can I do about it?”.
Changing your style of attachment style isn't easy.
Although it can be challenging, it's important to learn, grieve, and accept that your childhood experiences with caregiving created your attachment style.
I can remember when I first learned about the different styles of attachment. I completely dismissed the idea.
This was because I was in denial about my own need for caregiving. I was the person who was the caregiver for everyone else because I had an. Now many years down the road I have moved closer to what is commonly referred to as “earned ”. You can too.
The first step to changing your attachment style is to learn about.
This is a starting point for exploring your style.
There are also many great books and YouTube videos on the topic ofand .
Learning about yourstyle and your partner's attachment style will provide you with new information about why you and your partner do what you do. This likely won't be enough to change everything about your relationship. However, it will move you in the right direction and start to build a new map of what your relationship can look like.
Healing Insecure Attachment - The Power of Eye Contact
One way to begin to heals is through connection. Because your do not just reside in the thinking part of the brain, but throughout multiple regions of your brain, you have to find ways to create new relationship experiences that begin to rewire your brain.
Your actions, thoughts, and feelings that drive the way that you show up in relationships are mostly reflexive and unconscious.
Your job is to become aware of what you are doing and then find new ways to get your needs met.
One powerful way to start this process is by working on eye contact. Eye contact is one of the earliest parts of attachment bonding between the mother and baby. Eye contact communicates powerful messages beyond your thinking brain to the more relational parts of your brain.
I would like you to start with just becoming aware of how often you make eye contact in your intimate relationships. The less often you make eye contact the more likely you or your partner has one of the s.
Healing your attachment style and moving towards earned mental health professional who has done study and training in and models of therapy.can also be greatly benefited by working with a
Every day is a chance to explore and become more curious about how you experience relationships and why you experience them the way you do.
Start looking for the exceptions to your attachment patterns when you have moments or experiences that feel secure in your relationship with yourself and your intimate partner.
You will have to practice and try to integrate what you learn about yourself and attachment.
It will at times feel awkward and uncomfortable as you are changing your orientation in life towards increasing security.
If you have aand your partner does not there is still an opportunity for you to grow in understanding yourself. Take time to become more conscious of how your parents and family cared for you and how that allowed you to experience security in relationships.
Wishing You Healthy Love and Money,
MBA, MA, MS, CFP®, CFT-I™, LMFT
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